Comedy is often said to be one of the hardest genres to act in. Nailing the perfect comedic timing, delivery and facial expressions can be a daunting task for even the most experienced of actors. However, with a bit of practice and know-how, anyone can hone their comedic skills and become a force to be reckoned with on the silver screen.
There are a few key things that make a great comedic actor. The first is timing. Being able to deliver a joke at just the right moment is essential for making people laugh. Another important quality is the ability to be self-deprecating. Making fun of yourself is a great way to get people to relax and enjoy your company. Finally, it’s important to be able to improvise. If you can think on your feet and come up with funny responses to unexpected situations, you’ll be sure to keep your audience laughing.
Oh! Let’s remember these key components as well:
Delivery is critical because it helps sell the joke and create a connection with the audience.
Physicality is essential because it helps bring the comedy to life and makes it more believable.
Some of the best delivery and physicality can be seen right here in the clip of the sitcom Friends.
Now, let’s get into it. Here are some tips on how to be a great comedic actor:
Acting is a process of fearlessness. It’s about putting yourself out there, in the moment, and being present. When you’re fearless, you’re free to be your true self. You’re free to explore and experiment. You’re free to take risks. And when you take risks, you open yourself up to new possibilities.
So how do you become fearless? First, it’s important to understand that fear is normal. Everyone feels fear at some point in their lives. It’s what we do with that fear that matters. Second, it’s important to know that fear is not real. It’s just an emotion that we create in our minds. Third, it’s important to have faith in yourself. Believe that you can handle whatever comes your way. Fourth, it’s important to remember that you are not alone.
How to deliver a joke.
When it comes to acting, delivery is key — and that extends to jokes as well. Whether you’re a stand-up comedian or an actor in a comedy film, nailing the delivery of a joke can mean the difference between laughs and crickets. So how do you do it?
First, remember that timing is everything. If you rush your punchline or drag it out too long, the joke will fall flat. Second, keep your delivery casual and conversational – if you sound like you’re trying too hard, the audience won’t believe you. And third, make sure you commit to the joke 100%. If you look like you’re not confident in what you’re saying, the audience won’t be either.
Make fun of yourself.
If you want to be a comedian, one of the most important things you can learn is how to make fun of yourself. It sounds counter intuitive, but being able to laugh at yourself is actually a sign of confidence and self-awareness — two qualities that are essential for success in comedy.
1. Be honest about your flaws and weaknesses. The key to making fun of yourself is not to try and hide your shortcomings, but to embrace them. After all, everyone has them — it’s what makes us human. So be honest about your flaws and weaknesses, and don’t take yourself too seriously.
2. Use self-deprecating humor. A great way to make fun of yourself is to use self-deprecating humor. Use humor to defuse the situation. If you can laugh at yourself, others will likely follow suit.
3. Avoid using negative self-talk. For example, don’t say things like “I’m such an idiot” or “I can’t believe I did that.” Instead, focus on the positive and make a joke out of the situation.
4. Be careful not to overdo it. Making fun of yourself is one thing, but constantly putting yourself down is another. Find a happy medium and stick with it.
Watch this scene from the film Jexi. Adam Devine is self-deprecating and Wanda Sykes’ delivery is just beautiful.
Wanda Sykes and Adam Devine in Jexi
(Self-deprecation is the act of reprimanding oneself by belittling, undervaluing, disparaging oneself, or being excessively modest. It can be used as a way to make complaints, express modesty, invoke optimal reactions or add humor. It may also be used as a way for individuals to appear more likable and agreeable – Wikipedia.)
In order to be a good improviser, you need to have quick wit, sharp observation skills, and the ability to think on your feet. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Pay attention to your surroundings and the people you’re with. You never know when someone is going to say or do something that you can use as material for your act.
2. Be prepared with a few topics or ideas that you can fall back on if the conversation starts to lull. However, don’t be afraid to deviate from your prepared material if something better comes up.
3. Don’t be afraid to take risks — the more daring you are, the funnier you’ll likely be. But don’t force it — if something isn’t working, move on to something else.
1. Find your funny.
2. Be brave.
3. Be original.
4. Be committed.
5. Be yourself.
So get out there and start making people laugh!