From Child Actor to Stand-Up Comedian
Is your young performer interested in stand-up comedy? If they have a great sense of humor or a knack for making their co-stars laugh frequently on set, then they may have what it takes to thrive as a comedian.
While it may seem like kids exist on a different wavelength than the rest of the world, their sometimes-wacky viewpoints can bring a new light to many common topics, and that is a tremendous asset in stand-up comedy. A child’s humor is suitable for all or a wide variety of audiences, as everyone was a child once and can relate to the experiences from which a child comedian may draw.
And if your child has on-stage experience from acting, they already possess many of the skills required of a comedian. Actors are well-positioned to expand their skills into comedy. Here’s what they should know to start out:
Being a Child Comedian
Comedy relies on expert storytelling with a strong perspective. Children have their own interesting view of the world that lends well to comedy, since they have a way of making interesting connections between subjects that adults may not. They respond to a different array of social cues and interpret interactions and situations differently from adults. Because so much of comedy depends on presenting a relatable scenario in an interesting way, the voices of child comedians can bring in fresh perspectives to this popular field.
The stories told in stand-up comedy often take day-to-day moments and shed a new light on them to highlight a problem or play with an audience’s expectations. Many stand-up comedians tell jokes about their children or bring a parent. Kids have an amazing opportunity to tell their side of the story. Even framing a joke as being in opposition to parents’ perceptions of a situation can create a fun sense of conflict that audiences will find interesting.
Comedy is a special platform that brings attention to reactions to mundane things. It speaks to thoughts many people have but don’t share, and creates a sense of community over the absurdity and messiness of being human. Allowing kids’ voices onto this platform can help them feel included and that their experiences are important, while also nurturing their creativity and building their skills.
Acting Experience Makes You a Better Comedian
Because acquiring acting gigs can be fickle, stand-up comedy can be a great recreational activity for actors still looking to hone their on-stage presence. Actor Jerry Corley described turning to stand-up as “a chance to find my own voice, to be ‘real, present and in the moment’ on stage.”
Also, acting requires improvisation and quick thinking. Comedy requires the same, but with more urgency. Sometimes your audience even participates in your act, so being able to shift gears and think on your feet depending on the energy and responsiveness of an audience is vital to good comedy. And because comedy can be so hit-or-miss, a child comedian can help to build confidence through trial and error.
Whether your child hopes to pursue comedy as a career or use it to supplement their acting, the skills they can acquire through stand-up are valuable, and extend to more areas of life than just one’s profession. So, if you notice your child’s knack for telling funny stories, consider introducing them to stand-up. You never know what might happen!