I have a BFF who’s hilarious, but she’s too scared to try comedy. I know she would thrive on a stage, but I just need to get her on one. Do you have any tips on convincing your funny friends to do comedy?
I Have Funny Friends
Dear I Have Funny Friends,
So many people I know are hilarious but are too scared to grace the stage. This makes sense, considering comedy is one of the most vulnerable acts, along with porn, slam poetry, and going on the Bachelor. Audiences can be intimidating, and one bad experience can prevent a super funny person from ever wanting to try comedy, or opening their mouth in front of a group again. I know after I bomb on stage, I take at least a 3 min vow of silence. However, I have converted many friends from comedy-curious to getting a full hard-on for jokes.
One tip I like to use is easing them into the comedy universe. I found that once I started finding friends in the comedy world, the community was hard to escape, and it encouraged me to want to perform more. I would start by taking your friend to more comedy shows and open mics, introducing them to your comedy friends. WARNING: Do not take her to that creepy open mic host, or if you do, read up on Ask Avery. Do not surprise them by signing their name to an open mic without prep, because she might just not wanna hang out anymore.
Another thing I pretty much tell my friends constantly is “you should write a joke about that” or even simply “Tweet this.” A lot of times my funny friends will be telling a story or ranting and I can’t help but imagine them turning it into a bit, or creating a character or funny song based on it. I honestly am at the point where I need a Staples “That Was Easy Button” for this considering how often I say it.
My last piece of advice is just to ask your friend for comic advice. If you need help with a set or a sketch, encourage her to be your writing assistant. After she gives you tons of funny advice, the realization of “man I should try this myself” is sure to hit. And then you guys can be the next big comedic duo, or she can get her own show and pull you on the writing team. A win-win in my book.
So encourage your funny friends to use their funny to the max!!!