Lessons learned from the Eddie Brill workshop. Eddie is David Letterman's warmup comic and pics all the comics for the Late Show with David Letterman. Eddie gets all the credit for anything wise below. I'll take the blame for anything foolish.
Basil needs to kill the self-deprecation, on stage and off.
Being honest, sincere and true will put a responsibility on what you say.
Writing exercise: record your act in front of a friend who listens as if you're having a conversation. Record your act again and let your friend interrupt you with who/what/how/when/where/why questions.
Do more open mics more.
Be the shining light and let people come to the light that is you.
The only likeability that counts in art is how much you like it.
The only approval that counts in art is how much you approve of it.
Work on your confidence by exploring meditation and/or spiritual work.
Basil doesn't hate standup comedy. What Basil hates is what the anxiety and failure of standup comedy is doing to Basil.
Give audiences the time to catch up to what you say.
Don't adjust yourself to the mic. Adjust the mic to you.
Explore your premises deeper for more riffs.
You're talented but sloppy. Be talented and tidy.
Share what it's like to be you.
Act from a place of serene, silent power.
When other people's judgments get you down, remember: Most people who judge you are incompetent. Auditions are opportunities for other people to prove their competence.
Reality TV is the opiate of cowards who safely enjoy other people fck up their lives. Get out there and take a chance and fck up your own life.
Hold yourself in high regard so you can hold other people in high regard.
Laugh at anxiety. Laughter and anxiety come from the same place in the brain.
Listen to yourself talk.
Write some non-comedy material, maybe from an attempt to write as unfunny as possible about observations about life and what hits your emotions.
You have to be willing to get hurt to get love and laugh at your anxiety and fear and hurt.
Write the smartest material you can.
The only contest is the one in your head.
Hold hecklers in high regard. Keep saying that until you believe it. It may take a while.
When you're onstage and people are talking, slow your words and walk to them and bring the focus of the audience to them talking.