A Director's Guide to the Art of Stand-up

A Director's Guide to the Art of Stand-up

by Chris Head

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Stand-up: it's the ultimate solo art form. Yet, behind the scenes, you will increasingly find the shadowy figure of a director. For comics themselves and for those who support them, this is the first book to give the director's perspective on creating and performing stand-up comedy. Drawing on his own experience of directing stand-up alongside speaking to comedians and their directors, Chris Head produces a revealing perspective on the creative process, comic persona, writing stand-up, structuring material and delivering a performance.

Directors interviewed include Logan Murray, John Gordillo and Simon McBurney, who between them have directed Eddie Izzard, Michael McIntyre, Milton Jones, Lenny Henry and French&Saunders. With a foreword by BBC arts editor Will Gompertz and contributions from many other interviewees including Oliver Double (author of Getting the Joke), this is the only book that goes all the way from one-liners to theatre via comedy club sets and full-length shows.

Perfect for stand-ups from newbies to pros, students of comedy, academics studying and teaching stand-up and for directors themselves, A Director's Guide to the Art of Stand-up offers hundreds of inspiring practical insights and shows how creating the comedian's highly personal, individual act can be a deeply collaborative process.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781350035539
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date: 07/12/2018
Series: Performance Books
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 200
File size: 422 KB

About the Author

Chris Head has established himself as one of the UK's leading comedy coaches and has twenty years' experience as a director of live shows. As director he has worked on shows at all the major venues of the Edinburgh Fringe, across London including Soho and Bloomsbury Theatres, on national UK tours and internationally at the likes of Melbourne and Adelaide Comedy Festivals, and LA Shorts Comedy Film Festival.
Chris Head is a comedy director, teacher and script-editor. He has taught stand-up, sketch and sitcom for twenty years and teaches on the BA Comedy Degree at Bath Spa University. Chris recently script-edited BBC Radio and Channel 4 sitcom scripts, a comedy short film that was a global hit, and a sell-out comedy play seen at Assembly in Edinburgh and Soho Theatre in London (that he also directed). His stand-up directing work has been seen at Soho and Bloomsbury Theatres, Pleasance, Assembly and Underbelly in Edinburgh, and internationally.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor

Act 1: On Stage Identity/Off-Stage Process

1. Directing the Persona: The Comedic Self
2. Where Comic Ideas Come From (And How to Cultivate Them)
3. How Directors&Stand-Ups Work Together

Act 2: Writing&Performing Stand-up

4. The Interplay Between Writing and Performance
5. Writing Jokes: Afterthoughts&Beforethoughts
6. Re-Writing Jokes: To Fix Them, Improve Them and Suit the Teller
7. It Takes Two: Incongruity, Transpositions, Analogies, Personification&Bathos
8. Developing and Structuring Stories&Routines
9. Set-up/Payoff in Stories&Routines
10. Directing the Stand-up Performance

Act 3: Full Length Shows&Theatre

11.Developing and Structuring Full-Length Shows
12. Vulnerability and Pain in Stand-up Shows
13. Case Study: The Naked Racist
14. Stand-Ups Do Theatre
15. Theatre Makers Influenced by Stand-up

Afterword: The End

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