On Sketch Comedy Writing

For those of you who haven’t heard of the Upright Citizens Brigade, it is a comedy theater founded by Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh in New York City. There are improv and sketch comedy shows performed there nightly and they are almost always hilarious. In 2003 they opened their training center that teaches their unique form of comedy. Many talented comedians have risen their way up through the improv and sketch classes they offer, including, my favorite person, Aubrey Plaza. And now, I am taking the Sketch 101 class.

I really enjoy the class a lot. One of the biggest ways it’s helping me is to not be so worried about whether I’m funny or not. While writing my sketch for this week, I asked a lot of my friends if certain jokes were funny or if they had any ideas I could use. When my sketch was being read aloud in class, though, one of the jokes that I had the most worries about got the biggest laugh. The teacher, as well as a few classmates, complimented me on this sketch. I realized that sometimes things won’t be funny and sometimes they’ll be hilarious, but the only way to know is to write it out and have people read it.

Having a fair amount of writing background, actually tackling the sketches and getting them out on paper isn’t that difficult. I have good English, my formatting is good, and I have a good grasp on the way things should flow. This class was more for me to get out of my comfort zone and explore other ways of saying what I have to say.

During the class today, I got to thinking about the different writing forms. In these blog posts I can get all my ranting out in a fairly direct way. Then, I can take my analysis a step further with another writing form. For example, if I think a product on the market is stupid, I could rant about it here, or I could write a commercial parody sketch about it. Both ways get out what I have to say, but in certain circumstances one is more powerful to the audience than the other.

My teacher was talking today about how as you begin to write more you realize your ideas are not limited. I’ve been wondering that lately and thinking I might run out of ideas at some point. I thought that if I produce writing at such a fast pace as I’m producing it now, maybe I will run out of ideas or creative energy after a couple years. When he said this I felt a lot better. I am finding this to be true about my writing. The more I write, the more I uncover things that I didn’t know I had in my mind. I believe this is all a part of the writer’s journey and the human journey.

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