Random Thoughts

Essential tools all comics must have… ish

Right, if I’m going to be a superstar stand‐up comic guy, I will need a few things…

OK, first on the list is a notepad and pen. These are really important and the first thing any comic wannabe needs to have on them at all times. I also use my mobile to store ideas, though there is something so more engaging if you actually write it out by hand.

Comedy Note book — for those random thoughts and ideas

Ideas and jokes pop up all the time, it could be something you notice a stranger doing out of the corner of your eye, or a random story that evolves whilst messing around with friends. My last entry was when a group of us sitting in a Yoga spa having lunch (random thing to do in Bali) and one of us had ordered nachos with cheese (not me I promise!) which then got delivered to the wrong table, where 5 stick‐thin girls were sitting! Shit, they hadn’t eaten any carbs for a month and now there was a delicious carb‐pumped plate of nachos covered in dripping cheese and all the extras right in front of them! There’s a joke in there for sure.

Next, once you have enough of these ideas they need to be put together and practiced. I’ve noticed (as I mentioned in my last post) that if I spend too much time writing things out as if it’s an essay, I just kill it completely. The best way I find to sculpt material is to act it out.

Obviously it would be great if we could just build a mini stage in the corner of the flat to practice off. I ran this past Laura and she felt it was a nice idea that maybe we could do in the next house or when I live on my own!

Mic and Stand

So the next best thing is a mic and stand. I have found that by just letting myself go on the mic and recording it on a dictaphone, I can iron things out or add links without getting concerned about it not being perfect. Also a word of advice, if you do get an amp, try to get a slightly larger one than the one I bought…

Worlds smallest amp !!!

Worlds smallest amp!

So the final thing you need is to keep time. If asked to do 5 minutes and you accidentally clock up 28, this might look a little unprofessional and will certainly piss off any comics performing after you. I was advised to get the Casio Futurist Watch, due to the fact it has a silent vibration mode, so you know when your 5 mins is almost up and don’t run over. In some clubs there will be a red light at the back of the room, though I’d advise relying on yourself. Also, in a competition if you over run it’s an instant disqualification!

Casio Futurist Vibrating watch - modelled by me

Casio Futurist Vibrating watch — Modelled by me

Dan Tambling is a stand-up comedian, sketch comedy writer, actor and producer of ‘12 sketches in a London house’. This is his blog.

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Cartoon of Dan holding a typewriter