The Improv

Last week I watched “The Improve, 50 Years Behind the Brick Wall”. It was a series of interviews with many of the comedians that had had caught their break at the legendary comedy club. I didn’t realize how many of them knew each other from that place, how many of them started together, and how small the comedian community is, in reality. Bette Midler, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Jay Leno, Bill Mahr, they all had time in front of the Brick Wall.

One thing that really caught me was Judd Apatow saying he would sit and write his comedy sketches, spending hours doing it, and at the time, he was living with Adam Sandler. One day Adam Sandler said to him, “What are you doing?” Judd responded, “I’m writing.” Sandler asked, “At a desk?”

That made me laugh for a good while; but, it also made me think.

Everyone has their own process, clearly at the time Adam Sandler didn’t find merit in sitting and writing jokes, some people just do better on their feet. I read about people doing outlines, spending hours sketching out their stories before ever hitting a single keystroke. I’m more in the Sandler club when it comes to creating but definitly in the Apatow club when it comes to editing.

Outlining has never worked for me. I’ve always sat down and things just flow out, almost as if I have no control over it. My mind begins to wander and out pour my words. They are definitely not always roses, which is why you have to go back and edit and read, and re-write. Editing is where my creative work really starts. One method is not better than the other, the method that works for you or works for a particular story is the best method. Regardless of the method though, the work has to be put in to get the result.

Your Homework: Try a new writing method, whether it’s by outlining, free-writing, or doing bullet points, try out something new and see how it gets that pen moving!

Saturday: The Spark will update tomorrow. Come back next Friday for a new post!

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