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TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
1
Master Class: Stand up Comedy Workbook by Sherri D Sutton

I don!t make much distinction between being a stand-up comic and acting
Shakespeare-in fact, unless you are a good comedian, you are never going to be
able to play Hamlet properly. Sir Ian McKellen

Tips, tricks, exercises, and advice from the master!s masters

Introduction

Can Stand- up comedy be taught? Well, the short answer to that is "yes!.
Delivery, timing, and being funny, now that is debatable. My road to learning the
craft has been a life-long process and I have turned to my favorite teachers of
this particular style of comedy for insights.
Comedy has numerous forms, but stand-up has its roots in Popular
Theatre, Music Hall, Vaudeville. It breaks the 4
th
Wall and usually means that the
comic reveals personal truths, observations, and incongruities.
It can take years to create one hour of material that is worthy to perform
for the masses. Comics usually work on developing 3-7 minutes of good material
and even that can take quite awhile. Writing becomes a critical element to how a
comic works. Performing material in front of different audiences is the only way
for learning and growth to occur. Overnight success takes years.

Stand up comedy workbook

Comedy worksheet by Judy Carter

Comedy rule of 3: Comedy uses things in 3 as a general rule

Black people should get their social security check at 29. We die too soon.
High blood pressure, hypertension NYPD. Chris Rock

It!s a scary world out there, there!s global warming, terrorism, and

___________________________________________.

(This is where you would add a twist: the 3
rd
answer should take us on a turn- so
adding "the war in Afghanistan! just sounds like more of the same. A reversal of
expectation is what can make the joke work).

You know your relationship is over when you!re sleeping in separate bedrooms,

_______________________and_________________.

TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
2
About you

Current relationship status: __________________________________________.
This is a time in my life when I!m
________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.


Unique jobs within the last five
years?___________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.

Characters in your life:
Who is making your life hard? And the stupid things they say:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

It was hard growing up with parents who
were____________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.

People have stupid stereotypes about me because I
look/am__________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.

Daily workout

Just get your creative juices flowing by writing down daily events.

Day 1

Date:________________
TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
3

Best thing that happened today (factual):
________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.
Best thing that happened today (exaggerated):
________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.

Worst event or conflict of the day (factual):
________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.

Worst event or conflict of the day (exaggerated):
________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.

Event I want to note:
________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.

Stand- up

Comedy quick tips

1. Are you stuck for ideas? Try ranting.
Force yourself to rant for two minutes. Rant about topics that you feel
passionate about (remember passion does not mean "like!). Use crunchy
words: I am frustrated by I am stressed when

2. Be truthful and honest. Don!t try to be funny. Your unique perception or
take on life is the key to good comedy. Base your comedy in your truth.
Make the material about you and your unique experiences. There are so
many comics out there and we need to stand out. Networks and sitcoms
are built around comic!s personal truths.

3. Exaggerate (as long as it!s based on the truth).

TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
4
"Her glasses were so thick you could see the past, present and future in
those things!! If you are really angry, then it needs to go to the place where
you are about to explode or insanity.

4. Your flaws and imperfections are perfect for stand-up comedy
Use them, address them, and get comfortable with yourself. Know thyself!
Celebrate your huge nose, your height, weightremember if you have
something that the audience can see and do not address it, we are going
to be uncomfortable.

5. Bring the past into the present and use words that create visuals. You
didn!t get pulled over by the police last year; make it happen to you on the
way to the club.

6. Find your attitude and commit to it. Attitude makes you memorable. I.e.
Sarcastic, ego-driven, underdog/poor me, victim, shy/reserved,
opinionated, observationalist. We all possess each of these attitudes, but
the key is to find the one attitude that works for you. Use one of these 4
attitude words from Judy Carter to help you slam your topic with attitude:
hard, weird, stupid, scary: to describe your topic.

7. Perception! Ask other people their perceptions about things to help you
get in touch with your perception. Understanding your perception and
others can help create a premise.

8. Understand that jokes have structure and beginning comics should use
the structure to help them find their comic voice.

Premise
To set up, introduce or inform the audience about the main subject
or topic. Thesis. We are in need of more silence. (Ellen)

Set-up
The story, what happened, your slant, or p.o.v. I was at yoga the
other day, looking out of my third eye and it was amazing what
came out of the silence.

Punch
The payoff, the one-line visual, the conclusion of the story. (Sings)
Mama loves Clorox 2.
The set-up doesn!t need to be funny. In fact, serious truthful topics
can be in the set-up.


TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
5
Set-up
My doctor told me I have cancer and I need a hysterectomy. Why
do they have to remove a part of your body you need?

Punch
Why can!t people get cancer of the fat? (as a Doctor) Julia, you!ve
got cancer of the fat. We are going to have to take it all out.

9. One- line visuals! Words that create a picture in the minds of your
audience. A great comic will draw you in so that the audience sees it
happen! My wife picked up a stick and proceeded to beat the kids.
Or: My wife picked up a yard stick; she looked like a samurai warrior.
Followed by an act-out.

10. Details are funny! Not rambling! Details. I was at yoga, sitting in the lotus
position, looking out of my third eye. Not: I was at yoga yesterday.

11. Reversals! The unexpected is funny. Incongruity!

12. Avoid using I or Me in the set-up: You are assuming people care about
you and they don!t. I don!t like dogs. It!s like when you try to open a cd
case. Or engage the audience: You ever tried to open a cellophane
wrapped cd case? But you could say, I can!t open anything in
cellophane. As long as you set yourself up to sufferwhen speaking
about yourself it must be relatable and usually requires you to be a bit self-
deprecating.

13. Change negatives into positives: Avoid using the word I hate to describe
a person or a serious matter. Sarcasm can sometimes work: I love
waking up to the sound of my mother screaming at me. Audiences don!t
care about happy insights or love. I love my wife. I love bunnies. We
usually want to see what frightens you, annoys you, freaks you out, etc.

14. Create conflict: Putting yourself in an unusual situation can do this.
Imagine seeing your dad leaving a nail salon. This creates an unusual set
of circumstances to build your set.

15. Keep it clean (Don!t go "blue!!) It is too easy and audiences get tired of
hearing lots of profanity and potty humour. Networks want to see comic!s
work clean and club managers know if you are using it as a crutch
because you really have nothing else to support your material.

16. Focus on emotions! Provoking emotions in the audience (anger, fear,
shock) is the key to connecting and forming a relationship with them.
TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
6
Reveal information about yourself so that the audience will feel and
emotionally connect with you.

17. Mix or twist: This is where the comic will connect two things that the
audience would not normally connect. Taking something personal and
making it universal or universal and making it personal.

18. Choose relatable topics!

19. Disenfranchised groups get to talk about other disenfranchised groups.
That is the rule! White, straight, men need to be very careful about talking
about other races, sexuality or genders. Even if you personally do not feel
empowered, you are a member of the most powerful group, so it makes
you look like a bully.

20. Use callbacks/reincorporation. Callbacks can be physical or verbal.

21. End your set with a blow line!

22. Use act-outs! Be physical!

23. Comedy happens in 3!s.

I The truth

Personal by Sandi Shore

In this section I don!t want you to try and be funnyjust write and try to write in
detail.

Taking stock in you

Make a list of all your physical and psychological traits (Remember: I am
not a therapist). Your flaws are ideal for stand up as long as you are comfortable
with yourself. Do not use the audience as a way for you to work out your junk.

Let!s get personal: Write the truth. Don!t try to be funny!

1. What is your view of current events, society, and politics?
2. What ticks you off about the world we live in?
3. A law or social rule that is ridiculous or unfair?
4. If you were in charge what would you do?
5. A law or society rule that is great.
6. Religious, Spiritual? Nothing
TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
7
7. Parentsalcoholic, shopaholic, depression, divorce, perfect
8. In love, like, hate, divorced, married, single,
9. Sexuality- bi, tri, straight, dabbled, gay, pansexual, take what u can
get, given up?

We will spend quite a bit of time working on our unique truth and point of view!

Status & peer pressure

Are you popular or unpopular around your peers? Does this cause problems or a
conflict? Give example to support answer.

What do your peers think of you?

If your pet could talk, what would it say about you?

What happened last time you went to a party or social event? Did you have fun
or were you bored? Did anything annoy you?

Childhood

Depict where you were born in detail.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

What was your favorite game as a child?

Describe worst thing (experience) you!ve ever had with your mom?

Describe worst experience you!ve ever had with your dad?

Best thing mom/dad ever did for you?

3 conflicts in your family

What are your siblings like?

How would your friend describe your family?

Fears, phobias, nightmares & pet peeves

Name 3 pet peeves

What do you daydream about?
TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
8
Do you have a phobia (s)? What would it say if it could talk?

Name your 3 greatest fears

Why do you fear them?

How do you handle confrontation?

What is the last confrontation you had?

Write down what you really wanted to say

What was your worst nightmare and what would you do if you dreamed it again?

What are your sleeping habits?

When you look in the mirror after you wake up, what do you see?

School or job

If you didn!t have to go to school, how would you spend your time? Why? Be
specific?

What is the best thing that has happened to you at school?

Describe a conflict you are having at school/work?

Describe a teacher/worker. The way they talk, an attitude or even what they wear
that bothers you.

Describe school lunch.

Are you part of a clique?

What is the one rule in school you would change? What would happen?

Possible topics

Siblings Sports
School Lunch The Boy Scouts/ The Girl Scouts
Video Games Tv
Peer Pressure Music/Bands
Fashion Tests
Parents Riding The Bus
TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
9
Divorce Sexuality
Marriage Grandparents
Parents Dating Religion
Blended Families Toys: IPods, Gameboys, Laptops
Curfews ADD or ADHD
On-Line Hairstyles
Spend The Night Politics
Dating Current Events
Summer Camp Adoption
School Being Sick
Doctors
Commercials

Add 5 topics to this list:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

*Pick topics that you feel passionate about (remember passion does not mean
like it usually means things that make you angry, worry you, frighten you, find
strange, find stupid or difficult).
*Creating 2 minutes of funny is better than 10 minutes of so-so funny.

The formula for funny by Judy Carter

Attitude + topic + premise + act out + mix + act- out

Attitude
Topic = the set up (can be serious)
Premise

Act out
Mix
Act out (perhaps) = the punch-line or pay off (the funny and the money)
Another Mix (perhaps)


TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
10
Commit to your chosen attitude! Slam the topic with attitude!

Attitude and topic

Attitude words: hard, weird, scary, and stupid!

Pick an attitude to go with your topic. Choose one out of the four attitude words.

Your topic is important but needs to have relatability to the target
audience. Get the general details about the topic and then work to the specific
because comedy is in the details.

Premise

Finding your premise and making sure it answers the why of the chosen
attitude: like a thesis statement. Why is the topic hard, weird, scary or stupid?
Attitude and premise work together.
A premise is your point of view, your opinion, a slant, take of hit or spin,
your unique perception.
A good premise is more insightful than funny. It is specific about what
exactly is weird, hard, scary or stupid. Avoid Hack Material!

Premise exercise

Relationships are hard because why???
Relationships are scary because why???
Relationships are weird
Relationships are stupid

Go to your topic and attitude. Create a premise that answers the why of the
attitude.

Another premise exercise

Don!t try to be funny!

TOPIC: _______________Drugs________________

Friend!s view:

Mum!s view:

Other!s view:

TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
11
Your view:

Attitude:

What attitude word works best with your premise? Hard, weird, scary or stupid?

Act out

Physically and/or vocally becoming the person(s), animals, plants, objects, God,
the Devil, your mum, celebrities, etc. that you used in your set-up.

Perform what you are talking about.

Find the tiniest details. Nobody knows your mum!s voice, so just create a voice
but if you are doing an impersonation it better be great!

Act out exercise

What if animals had the same fears as humans?

Different generations are scared about different things.

When people travel they become scared of the stupidest things.

Act out mistakes: Turns into a story, becomes a dialogue back and forth, instead
of performing what you described.

Mix

Where the comic connects 2 elements that people would not associate. It
is how the comic connects the two that creates laughter. Often the comic uses
"What if! Or: "Can you imagine! Or: "Next thing you know!. Using those sentences
lets the audience know that you are going to take them somewhere unexpected.
When writing mixes you can take your joke from the personal to the universal or
vice versa.

One line visual helps with an act out and/or helps to create a mix.

Painting a picture with words. Don!t try to be funny: My wife picked up a stick
and beat the kids (It!s a one line visual but not strong) What size stick? What
did she look like?

Bill Cosby: My wife picked up a yard stick (beat and strike pose) she looked like
a samurai warrior!
TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
12

Gilson Luban: Racism isn!t over until licorice tastes better. Red candy tastes
like cherry, green candy tastes like apple, yellow tastes like lemon. What!s up
with black candy? Black candy tastes like molasses and struggle. It makes you
want to fight. What!s in it? Hate and sugar?

Sherri D. Sutton: It!s hard to come out of that closet. I was so deep in that
wardrobe, I was having tea and Turkish delight with a lion and a witch.

The mix is taking racism and comparing it to candy. The mix in my joke is
taking homosexuality and comparing it to C.S Lewis. Also, it!s an example of
taking the personal and making it universal.

Kids are losing the ability to write, especially teenage girls. Everything is LOL.
And you know they are not laughing out loud when they text crap. (Act out
teenage girl texting) Parents divorcing (laugh).threw up my cracker at lunch
(laugh).pregnant(laugh to cry). It was only about 60 years ago that a 13-
year-old girl, Anne Frank, wrote the most beautiful diary about her life in a
concentration camp. And I!m glad that the technology we have now wasn!t
around then. Cause you know Anne would have had a blog. (This is the mix and
an act- out) Dear blog, Nazi!s suck! LOL. Hitler is an A-hole. W.T.F.? But if she
did have the technology, she could have sent a message out to everyone to warn
us so maybe we could of acted a lot sooner (act out)Dear world, Auschwitz:
not a summer camp. LOL (The LOL is a call back).

In your act-out whatever character you create, a mix would take that character
and put them in an unexpected situation or place. For example:

Motivational speaker or Cheerleader at a funeral
A therapist or magician that can!t keep a secret

Comedy writing exercise

Find humour in nouns (these are not jokes)
Adapted from "The Complete Idiot!s Guide to Comedy Writing! by James
Mendrinos, pp. 23-24

Goal

This exercise will help you to see the world in a funnier way.

Procedure

TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
13
1. Get a newspaper, a book, a dictionary, a magazine, or any other kind of
publication.
2. Open it at random points and start to list the nouns you find. Start small
with a list of twelve to twenty nouns. Put them in the first column.
3. In the second column, write down what!s funny about each of the nouns. If
you can!t think of something right away, keep looking until you find
something funny about it.

Example: Nouns What!s funny about it?
1 Dance
clubs
Most people in them can!t dance.
2 Computers I spent $2,000 to get spam.
3 Lawns I only spend time on my lawn when I mow it.

Nouns What!s funny about it?
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20


TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
14
Perception exercise

Helps develop Premise. You will be given a one-word topic and you will write
down your perception of this word in a sentence. Then ask a couple of friends
(one your age and an adult) and have them answer in one word or a short
sentence. This is to help you get in touch with your unique perception and there
is no right or wrong.

Topic: Technology

You______________________________________________________
Friend 1 ________________________________________________
Friend 2_________________________________________________

Topic: Dancing
You______________________________________________________
Friend 1_________________________________________________
Friend 2_________________________________________________

Topic: Sports
You______________________________________________________
Friend 1_________________________________________________
Friend 2_________________________________________________

Topic: Summer Camp
You______________________________________________________
Friend 1_________________________________________________
Friend 2_________________________________________________

Topic: Math
You______________________________________________________
Friend 1_________________________________________________
Friend 2_________________________________________________

Topic: Divorce
You______________________________________________________
Friend 1_________________________________________________
Friend 2_________________________________________________

II Finding your attitude and committing

Attitude makes you memorable.
Be consistent in attitude and your appearance should reflect your comic
voice.
TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
15
Find your truthful attitude.
Anyone can tell a joke but it is the comic with the attitude, or strong
persona that we remember and adore.

Pick one of these four attitude words to connect to your topic:

Hard, scary, stupid, weird

The attitude must work with the premise; you must be able to answer why the
topic is hard, weird, scary or stupid. Work with a partner on your topic and
attitude and make sure your premise answers the attitude word. If the topic is
Macdonald!s and the attitude is weird Macdonald!s is weird. Your next response
is to answer why Macdonald!s is weird. Maybe you need to change your attitude
word.

Writing with attitude

Go back to the personal inventory worksheet and choose three topics that you
would like to explore after listing your topics, take the corresponding questions
and answers and rewrite each paragraph so that it reflects your chosen attitude.

1.

2.

3.

Your chosen attitude: (hard, scary, weird, stupid)______________________

Topic 1______________________________________________________

Your new answer with your chosen attitude (premise):

Your chosen attitude: _______________________________________
Topic 2 ______________________________________________________

Your new answer with your chosen attitude (premise):

Your chosen attitude____________________________________________

Topic 3_______________________________________________________

Your new answer with your chosen attitude (premise):

TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
16
































Put your topic in the centre and then break down every detail of the topic
(which just creates makes more topics)
A


YOUR PERSONAL
WORLD TOPICS
B


THE WORLDS
TOPICS
C


RELATABLE
TOPICS
GENERAL ABOUT TOPIC












SPECIFIC ABOUT TOPIC





S













TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
17














MIX
Comparison Chart
Main Idea
TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
18
Feature Topic

1.






2.





3.
X: topic Y: topic

III. Tips of writing by Sandi Shore

Tip 1: Bring the past into the present

Don!t talk about something that happened last week, make it last night, or
on your way to school, or ask the audience. On my way to work this
morning I saw a dog driving a car. Or ask the audience, Did you guys see
that dog driving a car this morning? The audience is more engaged if they
feel the experience is recent.

Tip 2: Exaggerate

Base the story in truth but it makes it more interesting then do it! "A toilet
that overflowed became the mighty Mississippi river.!
TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
19
Tip 3: Add details

Be explicit in your description. "Your beds became a raft.!

Tip 4: Take a left turn

Surprise the audience by ending your story in an unexpected way (go
back to your one-line visuals and see if you can create an unexpected
one-line visual). "You offered up your house as a set for BIG RIVER and
landed the role of Tom Sawyer.!

Tip 5: Make it personal

Try changing the "you! to "I! in your set- if it will work. Example, It!s like
when you try to open a cellophane wrapped cassette tape. Change it to,
I can!t open anything wrapped in cellophane. But you can try the, Have
you guys ever tried to open a cellophane wrapped cassette tape?

Tip 6: Change the negatives into positives

Try changing words like "I hate! to "I LOOOOOOVE! (sarcastically). It
makes it lighter. Never use the word "hate! to describe a person or a
serious matter. It!s ok to use it for pet peeves, like wet hands (one of my
pet peeves is being touched with wet hands).

Tip 7: Create conflict

Putting yourself in unusual situations can do this. Imagine seeing your
dad leaving a nail salon. Why is he in that situation? This creates an
unusual set of circumstances to build your set. Go back to part I and look
at your own different personalities.

Tip 8: Keep it clean

It is the easiest and audiences get TIRED of hearing lots of profanity and
oozing body parts. It doesn!t require creativity and if you want
opportunities to perform, then club managers don!t really like it. But
sometimes using a sound effect or not saying the word can make people
really laugh.

Tip 9: Focus on emotions

Think about this: Everything we do is emotionally based; provoking
emotions in the audience (anger, fear, shock) is the key to connecting and
TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
20
forming a relationship with them. Reveal information about yourself so
that the audience will feel and emotional tie with you.

IIII. You are now going to write your set!

Let me add that this is also the challenging part- don!t quit!
We will focus on your topics and attitude from Part I and II, organizing material,
and of course more writing and editing your set. You will learn to write a "one line
visual.!

1-2-3-4 is an exercise in editing your paragraphs from Part I and II into 3
sentence stories with a beginning, middle and end and the 4
th
sentence is
where you try to find the mix.
Applying the "one line visual! in your set.
You will organize your topics into material.

1-2-3-4 sentence exercise

Take a paragraph from Part I or II and condense it to four sentences. Get
to the point! When you take a topic from Part I or II, study it and ask:

How much of what I wrote is rambling?
What is the point I want to make? Your unique POV, insight, slant
What are the highlights and details of the topic?

1. The first sentence is where you will introduce your topic and attitude.
2. Second sentence is where you will inform the audience about your point of
view by answering the attitude word. This is your premise.
3. Third part is the Act Out
4. Forth part is the Mix

Learning to edit takes practice, but if you do everyday, yes everyday, then it
will be like breathing. Later we will expand and embellish your story and also try
out different delivery styles.

One-line visuals

They are words that create a picture in the minds of your audience. A
great comic will draw you in so that the audience "sees! it happen because of the
one-line visual.
Maybe one of your special skills may help or work to create a one-line visual.
You have to get rid of the fat in your writing. After you write your 3 sentence
story, explore several different endings to find out which one has the best impact.
TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
21
Try it out in a tape recorder and then play it back. Once you decide on your
sentence, you will be ready to try out your material. Ask these two questions:

Is my punch line a one-line visual?
Did I bring my situation into the present?

One-line visual exercise

The one-line visual is the most important concept to grasp. Don!t try to be
funny, be funny. Don!t force it- rewrite it. Learn how to paint a picture with words,
example from Bill Cosby: what if he would have just said, My wife picked up a
stick and proceeded to beat the kids. It is a one-line visual but it is not
strongwhat size is the stick, what did she look like? So he said, My wife picked
up a yard stick (beat) she looked like a samurai warrior! He also struck a
physical pose to help with painting the picture.
In this next exercise, you will get three statements that don!t create a
picture. Turn the statements around so that a picture is created in your mind (the
sentences are random and do not "connect!, so don!t try and make them work
together).

Try some:

Her head was large
My car wouldn!t start
His bank statement
Their retirement plan
The toilet overflowed
I went for a long walk
Everything looks different to a (man, child, old people,)
My dog just stares at me

1._______________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
2._______________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
3._______________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________






TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
22
Resources

Books

"The Comedy Bible! by Judy Carter

"Secrets to Stand- Up Success!

"Step by Step Stand- Up Comedy! by Greg Dean

"The Art of Stand- Up Comedy! by Franklyn Ajaye

"Born Standing Up! by Steve Martin

Podcasts

The Nerdist
WTF by Marc Maron
The Apiary
Rooftop Comedy
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Practitioner!s pathway

When I was four years old, I created my first comedy routineI stripped
naked for my first Baptist Church to the tune of Let Me Entertain You. The
reviews were mixed-mostly shock but there was laughter. I loved it; however I
had no idea how to make it happen over and over again.
TaPS Master Class Resource Pack
Stand- up comedy Workbook
Sherri D Sutton October 2011, London/New York
23
When I was 12, I knew I wanted to be a stand-up comic, but had no idea
how to make that happen. How do I take my sense of humour and translate what
works with my friends to the stage? I watched and bought a lot of stand-up
comedy albums (I am guessing you have no idea what albums are, but let!s just
say that they don!t travel well).
It took quite some time for me to gather the courage to pursue stand-up as
a career, but a thirty-eight years of age, I sold everything but my dignity and my
dog in a yard sale, and moved to New York City where I would begin an amazing,
disappointing, rewarding, frustrating, exciting journey into the world of stand- up
comedy.
I signed up for classes where I learned about the craft comedy. It makes
all the difference in knowing how jokes are structured and what techniques and
exercises can help create material.
I have two critically acclaimed one-woman shows: "Don't Make Fun of
Jesus! and "Taking Out the White Trash! that have toured all over the world. My
style is a mixture of stand- up/storytelling, and theatre of confession. I!ve opened
for Roseanne Barr, Kevin Hart, and was a featured TV guest at the Winnipeg
Comedy Festival. I!ve performed in some of the best clubs in NYC and LA, but
my favourite gigs have been performing for the ISTA students in Malaysia and
Jakarta!

To learn more about me, please visit me at sherridsutton.com.
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