Sign up for our
Podcast and Blog
066 CROWD WORK TIPS and TRICKS (podcast)
Watching a masterful comedian navigate crowd work is a beautiful thing. Like a hunter, they are one step ahead of their prey. Leading them here, baiting them there. The stand-up comedian is artfully creating a theatre in which the audience is keenly aware of the risks. When done competently, crowd work is a beautiful thing.
Conversely, watching someone flounder around trying to get the audience to participate in crowd work is nearly unbearable. When should a new comic start working towards incorporating crowd work into their shows? It depends.
Some comics will tell you to wait until you have a solid act before you start working the crowd. I agree that you should always focus on creating great material. But it is unrealistic to think that you should have to wait several years before you begin working the crowd. I suggest finding opportunities to dip your toes in the water and test your skills.
In this episode we cover the ins and outs of crowd work.
Specifically, we talk about:
- How to select the best audience members
- Who to engage (and who not to)
- The importance of LISTENING in crowd work
- Where you should work the crowd first
- A “perfect spot” for crowd work for headliners
- One non-verbal technique to keep in mind
- How to create a space for “playing” in your show
- How to minimize failure with YES or NO questions
- The fun (and risk) of open-ended questions
After listening, we welcome any tips you may have on getting the most out of crowd work. Send them on to us SchoolOfLaughs@gmail.com.
This episode also contains our first “FIX-A-JOKE” segment. Lee Hardin provides us with a joke he wanted punched up. Thanks Lee! We want to help as many comics as possible. If you have a short joke (100 words or less) that you would like some feedback on please send it in! You can email the joke written out or send us an audio clip, or even a link to a YouTube video. We will get it on the show and get feedback for you, give out your web site and / or twitter handle to help you get your name out there. Our show is PG so please take that into consideration when selecting a joke.
If you enjoy this episode, you may want to check out this blog post “Should a HOST do CROWD WORK.”
- Guest Blog Posts
If you are blogging about your comedy journey or have written articles about your experience we’d love to share them. Send a link to the post and any other info you would like us to know and I’ll consider posting it and promoting from our site.
- Sponsor An Episode
Do you have something you’ like to promote? A new CD, big show, or your very own podcast? Contact us for podcast sponsorship options. You can promote on one or multiple episodes.
ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF LAUGHS:
This podcast is a production of the Rik Roberts School Of Laughs. If you want to learn about becoming a stand-up comedian, or just become a better one – visit the wwwSchoolOfLaughs.com web site.
Better yet, subscribe to the bi-monthly School of Laughs “Insider Tips” email and get exclusive information delivered right to your inbox. It’s fast, free useful and fun.
Email: SchoolOfLaughs@gmail.com and put “insider tip sheet” in the subject header. I’ll make sure you get the official tip sheet and I promise to keep your email anonymous and spam free.
@SCHOOLOFLAUGHS on Twitter