The Art of Being Funny
Everyone loves loves a good comedy, whether it’s a TV shows like “Modern Family” or “How I Met Your Mother” or movies such as “The Muppets” or the Hangover franchise. Comedy makes the audience feels good and take their minds of whatever problems they may have and makes the genre enticing for actors because a good comedy will lead to success. But acting in a comedy isn’t always fun, it can be hard work.
A great comedy actor knows to stay serious when delivering a joke. Have you noticed, famous comedians and actors are serious when their delivering a funny line? No matter how ridiculous the line may sound to you, you have to make the audience believe that you believe it. It looks unprofessional when an actor laughs at his/her own jokes; it loses the magic. Sometimes, actors try too hard to squeeze every last bit of humor out of one line just to be sure s/he gets the laugh. Remember to commit to the script. The writers have a specific vision for how they want to scene to be played out and as an actor, your job is to follow that script. You have to believe that the laughs will come. Even if you don’t, just pretend like it isn’t a big deal and move on with the scene.
Any actor knows that body language is important, that is just as true in comedy, especially when you are doing physical comedy. If the script says to fall, it’s trickier than you think, in fact, it’s almost an art form. You have to practice you physical comedy as if you were learning stage combat. You have to practice looking like you’ve been hurt or blinded by a cream pie when you actually haven’t takes time to master. The Three Stooges and Charlie Chaplin weren’t immediate masters and you shouldn’t expect to be either, and that’s OK!
Whether it’s slapstick comedy, farce, Imbroglio (trying saying that 4 times fast!), etc.. the comedy is only as good as the person who delivers it. Most importantly, make sure you’re having fun doing it! No matter how hard you try, if you don’t enjoy what you do, the audience will see that. So get in from of a mirror and practice your best Jim Carrey impression!