How standup comedians overcome their nerves
The idea of walking on stage and trying to make a room full of strangers laugh would terrify many people. But comedian Dane Baptiste says there are a handful of rules to give you the best chance of maximising the chuckles and minimising the heckles.
Dane, who attended several courses at National Lottery-funded The Comedy School early in his career, said the first step is being prepared. He said, “Get the blood flowing, get the circulation going. Know your material and take your time. You’re taking people on a journey.”
His own journey has been remarkable. After swapping a career in media sales for standup, he became the first black British solo comic to be nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer prize at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Dane’s final tip for ruling the comedy roost is this: “maintain control”. Learn how to use the microphone, don’t bring too many props on stage and let the audience know you’re confident and in charge.
Dane is certainly in control – his BBC show Bamous earned rave reviews – but he hasn’t forgotten the importance of his early training. He said, “The Comedy School gave me a sense of orientation – it gave me the direction to a dream.”
The National Lottery has funded more than 625,000 good causes across the UK. This video series introduces you to fascinating people involved with 5 of them and asks them to share some tips, techniques and secrets. As well as learning how to keep your nerve as a standup comedian, you’ll learn strength tips from a trapeze artist and hear a filmmaker explain how to direct real people. A counsellor explains why it’s vital to put wellbeing first and a stargazer tells you how to find the North Star (no telescope required!).
Check out Dane’s video below.
1st March 2021
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