I got an interesting E Mail from Scott Horwitz this weekend, a very funny guy. Like me, after a career in finance, he set out to release his creative side. Scott chose to release his passion through stand up comedy, a medium of which I am a big fan.
As a member of a comedic improv troupe, I have genuine admiration for anyone who tries the nakedness of standup. It’a all about the audience’s attitude: in improv, the audience is on your side, they are trying to guess where you will go and are either gratified when you say what they think you should say or, even better, thrilled if you totally surprise them. Stand up, on the other hand, is not quite as participatory. The audience knows you are going to tell jokes and their attitude is, “Go ahead, make me laugh, I dare you.” In Improv, you have fellow performers to bail you out, in stand up you either “kill” or “die.” In improv, we rely on spontaneity and eschew “jokes”. Standup requires prepared and memorized material that must be delivered with perfect timing; while both forms of comedy can be hilarious, I believe the rules and structure of improv make it a safer place to play. There is no way I have the nerve to do a stand up set!
Scott is a brave soul; I hope you enjoy his set. I did!
And, by the way, feel free to drop us a line about your creative outlet!