So you're writing and you get a premise down on the page and then... it just doesn’t seem to go anywhere. Does this happen to you?
I was Skype-coaching with one of my students today and he said, I've been trying to write, but I keep feeling like I'm getting stuck."
It can be super frustrating, especially when you’re just writing to put something, ANYTHING, on the page.
So how do you take that idea and make it into something?
Here's a sure-fire way to develop that idea further to get to the jokes.
I'm here to tell you there are NO RULES in this business for getting work. In fact, I think I know more people in the business who have gotten a job working as actors, writers, and comedians who basically wrote their own rules.
So I have put together 10 tips for getting a hired writing for Late Night TV by NOT following the rules.
In the vast horizon of possibilities of where comedy can come from, why would anyone who's taken any time to study this art make such a definitive and limiting statement about comedy?
Not only that, just look around! Jerry Seinfeld, "What is it with bugs?!" or "I don't know if horses really know they're racing. I think horses are sitting at the starting gate going, 'I know there's a bag of oats at the end of this and I wanna get there first.'"Does that sound like it comes from the depths of Seinfeld's soul?
Or take Anthony Jeselnik: "The best way to break up with a girl is like I take off a band-aid, slowly and in the shower."
Depths of his soul? Or just a incongruous association joke about breaking up with a girl?
Of course there are pieces the "depths of the soul" comment that make sense. It's cathartic to talk about things that are deep and you have an emotional connection to. But how limiting is that statement?
It's missing something, like, where the laugh comes from!
The opportunity for writing in Late Night T.V. continues to explode. We've never had more movement in that industry. There are more shows. And more shows need more content.
Who's going to provide that content?
Comedians and writers like you!
The other technique is to sit down and write jokes. I prefer this technique because I don't have to wait for the coincidence of the moment with friends or a funny situation to just happen to 'occur' to me. I can just sit down and generate material.
I do this by utilizing about 23 different approaches, but for the sake of this blog post, I will just write about two approaches. Here they are...