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EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH Artistic Director, Walt Frasier, has transcribed his Stand-Up Comedy course into a new text book. Dedicated to his students and all lovers of comedy. this book takes you from zero to five minute routine in four easy steps. Also learn about getting stage to you need to develop as a comic.
Featuring a FORWARD by the funniest kid in America
I wasn’t born a comedian. Though I spent many of my 13 years on this planet trying to find where I fit in, I don’t want this to sound like a cheesy finding-my-place story; so I’m just going to tell it like it is. I tried everything before comedy (yes, everything). I did violin, guitar, sewing, singing, robotics, taekwondo, tennis, and even soccer for a hot minute. But everything I did, I got bored of. I didn’t want to practice chords or kicking with the inside of my foot. You can probably imagine this wasn’t making my parents too happy; honestly, they were getting pretty desperate, and my dad didn’t want to waste any more money on weekend activities. So, in the last week of one long summer, my mom had run out of options for me. Instead of keeping me at home for a week of relaxation like I wanted, she stuck me in the basement of The Broadway Comedy Club in Walt Frasier’s improv/standup camp Improv4Kids. Walt’s camp was the only one still open that late in August. Keep in mind, I was about eleven, and there was a bar right down the hall. And yet that’s when it happened; in that one week alone, my yearning for performance could not be satisfied in five days; and, lucky me, there were Saturday and Sunday comedy classes that started in the fall, so I immediately knew where I would be every weekend.
Being in Walt’s class, you never know what to expect, never know what games you’re going to play, or even when you’re going to crack your next joke. The most important thing you have to do, or bring, rather, is your energy (never leave that at home). Energy is key when it comes to improv; without it, scenes fall flat, and they’re not as structured or fun as they could be. The thing about class with Walt is no one is ever pressured to perform at all. You’re never pulled up on stage or forced to be in a game; there’s free choice for everyone to do what makes them feel comfortable. I never felt like I had to be anyone/anything because performance is about finding yourself and your style…then run with it! If anything, you have to be more of YOURSELF.
Walt has a tendency to ramble a bit, but when he does, most of the stuff he says can be super crucial to perfecting your craft. For example, every morning, Walt tells us to smile. Not only does it wake your body up by stretching your face around, but chances are fake smiling might make you “real” smile. Being in a better mood will 100% boost your energy, which you know you need in order to be at your best. To quote one of my favorite Walt mottos, “Treat every rehearsal like a performance and every performance like a rehearsal.” In other words, bring confident energy to rehearsals and your playful spirit and ease to performances.
Unfortunately, I’ve come to the end of this Forward…I know, I know, I’d love me to write forever, too, but to finish I thought I’d add why you should read this book. I can tell you, it’s jam packed with great advice on how to critique and better yourself (in terms of performance) that I hope will inspire you to step out of your comfort zone, help you to get just one more laugh, or maybe even make you chuckle at some of the stories.
(If you’re still here, after this Forward thing, thank you!)
(An 8th grader living in Manhattan, Carolyn is the Winner of Kenan Thompson’s Ultimate Comedy Experience 2019— “Funniest Kid in America”)