Energy is useless

Wed, Nov 23, 2005


Without it you will die a lonely death in this business and with it it gives false hope

I am always amazed on how newer comics want everything handed to them on a silver platter. They will not drive for free gigs or spots to get better. When I was a younger comic (cue music now) we would drive hundreds of kilometres a week just for free to get better.

My average wednesday would start like this in 93. I would wake up at 6 am and drive to work for 8: 80 kms. Then I would drive around all day with my day job: 75 kms. Then at night I would wait in kitchener for the amatuer night to start. i would go on first at 8:45 and then race to my car and drive to london to get the last spot on amatuer night there: 80 kms. Then at the end of the night i would return back home from london to sleep: 100 kms. So when you factor in the day job that was over 300 kms to get better. I know you are saying why use the day job miles. Well i hated my dayjob but it afforded me to keep doing standup so I count them. This was just wednesday.

On monday I would do the same day driving and then go all the way to toronto to just try and get on. Most nights I would not even get on but I still tried. Like many say there is no such thing as luck and I believe that. hard work gets you ahead…even more so then talent. There are lots of lame comics that do well but they work hard and I would rather reward that then laziness.

Cut to today and I know some comics who won’t drive to the danforth for a free spot. There are tons of great venues outside of toronto that you can do and perform in front of a real crowd but comics won’t do it. Now some can’t afford it and I understand that but there are lots that are just fuckin lazy and that is the worse thing in the world for me. Lazyness breeds contentment.

Another thing young comics and some seasoned comics do is just add energy and that makes what they are saying funny. Like the old: say a bunch of things really fast and with energy and the crowd will laugh. This kinda laugh is hollow cause there will come a time where you don’t have the energy to sell something or high energy is not the right vibe for the room and you are fucked. Never do a joke that you have to sell to make it funny. Now it is different in the beginnign stages of a joke when you are feeling it out to get the right words etc. Once the joke is done you better make sure the laugh is for the right reason.

We can all kill by smiling a lot and acting like we are having the time of our lives but false hope is like false praise…useless. You are not getting better in fact you are getting worse. The older you get in this biz the harder it will become to sell something you are not into. I am not saying don’t be pasionate about what you are saying but try telling the joke without all the energy and see what happens…is there really a joke there or just a happy dance around a statement.

This post was written by:

darrenfrost - who has written 380 posts on | The Official Website of Darren Frost.

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. will w. Says:

    I know I may be quite green (which is a bullshit thing to say, but some people will only listen to a young comic if you preceed whatever you say with that), but I have to disagree with you about selling jokes. Personally, I feel like a joke is only half there if it’s not being sold properly. A lot of the brilliance of some comics is the fact that they tell every joke like they’ve never told it before, with that unique energy that’s so hard to recapture. As an example, Ryan Belleville is probably one of the least stolen from comics in comedy, simply because it’s near impossible to copy what makes his material so special.

    will w.

  2. darren frost Says:

    The point is that a lot of new comedy has nothing to say or is not a joke but simply a monkey dance around a statement. That is what I am saying.

    A joke has to be sold properly but if it is only energy holding it up then what is the point. As for the reference to ryan belleville…he writes good jokes that are then given a certain energy. Just because he is not stolen from means very little. A cynic could say maybe his jokes are not worth stealing but I don’t think that is the case.

    I am just sick of comics whose punchlines are not as big as the setups.

    thanks for the post…maybe I was not clear to what i was talking about



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