Experience goes in, art comes out: Wants, Opinions, Emotions

I have been pursuing a new style of note-taking in my comedy journal, in which I write down things other than fully written jokes. Instead, I write snippets: flashes of opinions, observations, things I want to express or convey, my visceral emotional reaction to something.

The first reason I do this is because, to be frank, the process of "writing on stage" and recording it (aka fucking winging it) has proven to be more uncomfortable but more fruitful for me. But there is another reason as well.

When it comes to writing material that people give a shit about, wants, perspectives, and emotions are better barometers. It is possible to write a very well crafted joke, and elicit a laugh. It is more potent, and gets more to the heart of standup, to be as honest and authentic to your experience as you can.

But authentic to what? I think most comics, myself totally included, struggle to express a point of view in their material because they do not listen to the point of view in their own lives. I know I certainly walk around reading, listening to podcasts, catching snippets of videos: anything to avoid the tyranny of an idle moment alone with my thoughts.

But what if that quiet self-awareness leads to greater self-discovery? And, I'll paraphrase the great Jerry Seinfeld, who said something like this:
The degree to which you will be successful as a standup comic is the degree to which you can explore and reveal yourself.
That's all for today, see you tomorrow!

-Jon

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