How to use Comedy and how not to

If we all dress up like a clown, with big floppy shoes, a bright shiny nose, and trousers five times too large for us, will our audiences naturally roll around in hysterical laughter? Obviously not, it doesn't work like that, in fact that kind of stereotype clown approach is probably the worst thing you could do. Leave that genre to the Circus performers who do it really well.

We mentioned earlier that a common trap that many magicians and other entertainers fall into is that they try to use comedy to support or prop up an inherently weak act. The reality is that your act must already be strong for the comedy to be successful. It's an enhancement of the magic, not a device to try and cover up poor planning and practice. We make no apology for emphasising this again.

Paul reinvented himself in the early days of performing in clubs.

If an audience laughs during your act, that's the measure of a great show, right? Unfortunately not. It's important to understand that just because people laugh, it doesn't automatically mean they are enjoying the show. To explain, many performers don't realise that people sometimes laugh to cover embarrassment or to hide their real feelings, a kind of nervous or awkward laugh. On other occasions an audience might laugh because they think the performer is silly, a fool (when you don't want them to think that).

It follows then that you need to evaluate your performance based on the opinions of some trusted friends who won't mind telling you the truth - good or bad! It doesn't mean they will always be right, but it will help you to gauge the value of your comedy ideas. And if you plan on doing kids shows, test the ideas on some kids rather than adults.

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