Walt Frasier has been teaching Stand-Up comedy since 2011. We find data from articles in Improv Comedy all the time. Here are the highlights of Backstage’s Article.
- It makes you more dynamic.
- You learn timing.
- You can sell a line.
- You put attention to tension.
- You can be your best self.
- You learn and play with your type.
- You get out of your comfort zone.
Walt Frasier Adds:
- One of the best reasons to do stand up comedy is discovering who YOU are.
- While doing Stand-Up you showcase who YOU are. Casting Director or Agent in the audience know what they are getting should they stumble into your work.
- Being in the clubs you are networking with other comics, show bookers and industry. The networking is amazing.
I grew up a theater actor. I was trained to become someone else for hundreds and thousands of people. I was mostly musical theater and opera.
18 years ago I landed in comedy, almost by accident. At first as a way to showcase for industry, but eventually learned how to produce and make money in comedy clubs.
I slowly discovered how to play REAL through Improv, which made me much more desirable for modern plays. Through Stand-Up I learned to play myself, which made me more desirable for TV.
Both made me far better at auditioning. But it was the Stand up comedy, including serving as MC for 5000+ short form Improv comedy shows, that made me confident to stand by myself and just do the work.
I wish I had learned this skill earlier. I’ve been working in Theater since 1994, debuting in DC dinner theater. After that a lot of stipend work and a few regional/touring musicals. But like most “actors”, I spent more time serving food and drinks.
In 2002 I fell into comedy, by accident, through my wife’s troupe. By 2005 it became my day job, doing 6-8 shows/week at Times Square clubs, including a few gigs with corporate events, colleges, etc.
It was being in the club that got me my first TV gig, a sketch show, STANKERVISION on MTV 2. It was being in another club years before that landed my second TV gig NAKED BROTHER’S BAND on NICK. Currently at the IMPROV I was working one block away from LETTERMEN when they called me in to walk a horse across stage. I made a good impression and was asked back the next week to ride a bike across stage. In all I was booked nine times, eating a lot of cookies in the green room.
In 2007, I met a guy, who was the friend of a friend of my soon to be manager. I booked my first SAG commercial off my first booked audition through my manager. This relationship led to many commercial bookings and a few Costar TV books as well. So far the big film role has escaped me but a number of call backs have been amazing relationship builders with dozens of NYC Casting Directors.
Starting a Comedy Career During Covid
One might think these are the worst times to start doing comedy, when every club in the world is closed or operating at diminished capacity.
However the time is perfect to start developing your self and your act. Online shows have small audiences but thanks to online platforms hundreds, perhaps thousands, can discover your work online.
Right now, online comedy classes are cheaper. Unlike Theater, Stand up classes are perhaps even more effecting online. We get to focus on things that get difficult with stage nerves getting in the way.
To become a stand up comic all you need is stage time. In my booked STAND-UP COMEDY, I lay out a simple four step process to develop a five minute routine. I also discuss ways to get stage time.
Stage time is the secret sauce. You need to get on stage, or online. Whether in a class, open mic, or a booked show, every moment on stage develops your talent and material.
Currently I have a class every Monday at 8pm Online. EMAIL me to drop in your first class for FREE firstname.lastname@example.org
Walt Frasier has appeared Internationally in TV (Billions, Blue Bloods, Royal Pains, Lilyhammer, Letterman, MTV, NICK, WE), Commercials, Comedy (Clubs, Colleges, Corporate Events, K12 Outreach), Theater (Off Broadway, Regional, international tour), and Music (Soloist and Opera).
Books by Walt Frasier
- Stand-Up Comedy by Walt Fraser is a text book for comics and teachers looking to bring fun creative writing sections into the classroom.
- Improv on Zoom by Walt Frasier is a list of games with tips and tricks to play online as well as Improv technique and wisdom.
- Both books are now available via Kindle and Paperback on Amazon. Coming soon to Audible!