I had a great chat recently with lovely John Byrne from "The Stage." John wanted a "How to...learn stand-up comedy" for actors. I believe stand-up comedy is a very useful skill for actors to take on when they first start out in their careers. In my experience, interestingly it isn't easier for actors to do stand-up comedy just because they're already performers. Actors spend their working lives pretending to be somebody else on stage. Stand-up comics are relentlessly themselves on stage. There are some crucial and interesting differences between the skills of acting and the skills of stand-up comedy.
I've had the great privilige of teaching stand-up comedy to some terrific actors. When they first started out in their acting careers, Liz Carr from "Silent Witness" and Tracey-Ann Oberman, best known for her role as Chrissie in "Eastenders" had, at different times been on my stand-up comedy courses. They're both wonderful and very funny women. It was Tracey-Ann who first told me she believed that learning stand-up had helped her land a role in a West End comedy.
"How to...learn stand-up comedy" John Byrne, The Stage
"My experience of teaching professional actors has been that by learning how to write jokes and understand the distinct rhythmn and the "language" of stand-up comedy in writing and performance, they've become much more sucessful at landing comedy roles....read full feature"