Video… A Comic’s Best Friend
In this video blog, I’m returning from a weekend in Michigan with The He Said She Said Comedy Show. After our sets, the encore “Q & A with the audience” is broadcast LIVE on Facebook, which makes it a lot of fun.
In fact, I’m able to book gigs off it. Many times, after I post the video, I have a message or two in my inbox requesting booking information.
It’s a magical, wonderful world we live in where we are able to carry broadcasting stations in the palm of our hands. I like to record as much as possible.
I’ve always been into video taping. Mostly just for fun. Just to capture moments for posterity. I remember creating home videos back in the day. I was 13 or 14 years old and I worked an entire summer de-tasseling corn in humid Iowa weather, just to save up $1000 to buy an over-the-shoulder VHS camcorder.
Now we have better quality video as a free feature on our fucking phones!
And we can shoot it into the ether where it can be directly viewed by an audience. We are carrying the camera and the TV in our hands every day. I love it!
Sometimes I feel like a nerd about it. I don’t meet many other comedians that have this much fun with video-recording. Why is that?
We no longer need to use tapes. Editing is not even necessary. And it’s a damn near instant upload to Facebook, YouTube, or any social media platform. You get an instant audience.
And with these video blogs, I don’t even give a shit about the number of views. If nobody likes it, so what? It’s my diary. My video blog. I go back and look at it as a way to learn and grow as a performer.
I video-record every single show.
I would think more comedians would as well.
With as easy-to-use and as cheap as this equipment is, shouldn’t the video camera be a standard tool in every comedian’s arsenal after the notebook and pen?
I’ve always had a video camera going or at least an audio recorder with me on stage every show for as long as I can remember doing stand-up. And I still have most of those recordings.
I don’t mention it in this video, but it’s a fun creative exercise for me to pull a recording of my set from several years ago. Lots of times I find premises that I had abandoned and forgotten about. Now separated by enough time, I’ll have a new perspective. So, I dust those bits off, re-work them into my set list, and they are better than ever. Or, I’ll discover WHY I abandoned the joke and forgot about it. The non-laughs serving as a painful reminder. Either way, it’s fun.
Another reason I record every show is because you never know what the hell is going to happen. I get a lot of crazy people in my audiences. Every comedian experiences heckler battles. Those exchanges are so fun to watch later on video. And it helps me remember what I said, so when a similar situation occurs in the future (and it will) I have the perfect response at my disposal.
I improvise much of my material when I’m first working it out. And it’s tough to remember everything exactly what I said or how I said it or how I framed the bit that got the reaction I was looking for. So I go back and watch the video of my performance for writing purposes as well.
And through all this, my comedy and performance skills constantly improve. I can find all the spots in my set where I’m making mistakes, cursing too much, using extra words that aren’t necessary, gestures, facial expressions, or movements that are sloppy, etc. etc. Reviewing video helps me tweak and polish up that stuff.
Video increases creativity, helps develop your skills, builds your following, and gets gigs. If you want to get to the next level in stand-up comedy, video should be your best friend.