How teaching taught me to Stand-up
Updated: Oct 31, 2020
Here's where the story begins,
I always wanted to do Stand-up Comedy, but I never had the confidence.
Here's where you'd see a movie montage, the 'Rocky' soundtrack blaring, I'm running down the street popping one liners at passersby, they roll around with their guts truly busted
taking heckle after heckle on the chin like a comedy champ,
now mounting a slab of raw audience to the ceiling - pummeling the laughter right out of it -
finally rushing up those iconic Philadelphia steps to the final crescendo
here I am, up on stage - grab the mic raise it to my lips and BAM! everyone explodes with laughter...
But that's not the truth, the truth is...
I became a teacher
I found myself Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in Spain, but it was only then I realised - the craft of teaching is a lot like stand-up comedy.
you're speaking in public,
you're in front of a (sometimes) rowdy audience,
you’ve prepped material, but you have no idea how well it will go down
you have to be quick, think fast, act, enact and react at the drop of a hat
you’ve got people in front of you, you’ve got ideas behind you (or in the back of your head) and you’ve got to connect the two together.
Fundamentally, the core action of teaching and stand-up is the same - it's all about connecting people with ideas - that is the craft.
I realised I’d (sort of) been doing stand-up the whole time and teaching English in as a second language had shown me the value of attempting to communicate - you have to constantly negotiate, adapt and find your way in the moment - this is what a stand-up does ... and I'm doing it!
Here's what I knew:
I loved wordplay
I learned more by having to think on my feet
I loved the back and forth of dialogue - when it’s done right - everyone wins
I yearned to learn not just how to do it, but like any good educator I wanted to dive into the theory behind it
Thats when I found the Masters Degree in Stand-up Comedy at the University of Kent and next time, we'll go through all the 'oh no's, oh yeahs! and
show how taking Stand-up Comedy seriously, improved my life both on stage and off stage ... I began my journey to find out how to: