OPINION: The gift of laughter is priceless
Now that restrictions are being lifted and gatherings of more people are allowed, it means comedy clubs and comedy events can now take place — great news for us jokers and fans of jokes.
Being on hiatus as a wannabe stand-up comic has given me lots of time to write and refine my routines but also to look at the reasons why comics put themselves through this.
Why get on that stage, lay yourself bare and try to make others laugh?
Why do people get on stage and tell jokes, funny stories and anecdotes to a group of relative strangers?
I often ask other amateur comics that question.
Undoubtedly it mostly comes down to ego, after all you don’t get many shy and retiring stand-up comics.
Most in my circle are very gregarious and take great pleasure in being the centre of attention in any room.
Another reason is the “exorcising of demons”.
Many comics use the writing and performing process to work through some fairly intense and deep-seated issues.
Stand-up for some is a very effective form of therapy.
It seems counter-intuitive but one of the greatest solutions to some comics’ problems is to talk about them in front of a crowd of eager onlookers.
Making them laugh seems like a bonus.
But for most, myself included, it’s the deep-seated desire to lift people up.
I have been a clown since I could walk and speak.
I have always enjoyed making light of situations, of using humour to break tension and to lift others up, often through self-deprecation.
The world is an often dark and humourless place, there is enough misery to go around.
I see my role as to counter that as much as I can.
There are enough people spreading doom and gloom.
We need more jokers, more clowns, more people whose life-long ambition is to make others smile and chuckle.
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