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The Hidden Tools of Comedy: The Serious Business of Being Funny Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I like the book so much I'm going to attend his two-day intensive session in Los Angeles in January 2016. I'm flying from Colorado to do it.
If you're trying to write and trying to add humor to scenes you NEED this book.
Don't think you can sit and just read this. If you're a writer you're going to need a notebook with you while you read.
I want to gush about the things I've learned but then that would spoil your fun.
Okay... I'll share just one good thing I got. Don't try to write funny. In each situation let your Bill Murray character just do what they would naturally do in a scene to get what they are trying to get. As Steve Kaplan says, "Give them permission to win." If you try to write funny bits, and wouldn't it be neat if--you're going to fail. Instead, just ask, "What would I do in this situation? What would a normal person do in the situation?" Don't try to make them do something silly or funny for a gag or a laugh-be honest. Let your characters be honest. The humor will come from their struggle.
The book is stuffed with things like this (and it will make much more sense when you read it from Steve Kaplan's own words.
I laughed out loud several times reading this book. Really. Wait until you encounter the three people leaving the room, and also the slap interview.
If you're a writer or story lover, or film student this book is a must.
WARNING: Once you read this you'll never again be able to watch half-assed comedy with the same respect. After reading this book you're going to see good story, good acting and good comedy much more clearly.
Like a doctor, a comedian also uncovers the truth about what it’s like to be human. Even though some of us may simply give up hope, as a species we tend to go on and get up after being knocked down, worse for wear, but alive and kicking. According to Steve, the courageous person who gets up again and admits to being human, telling the truth about the experience is the comedian. The person in trouble who doesn’t give up hope is the premise of all comedy.
I learned a great deal from the tools in this book but mostly I learned not to be afraid to trust my own vision. Steve’s book lets me know that following characters honestly and organically does not always result in side-splitting results, but that’s OK. Whatever you can create this way will be your own version of sweet, silly, touching, moving and truthful because such is life.
We all know that laughter is the best medicine. Thanks to Steve Kaplan, not only will struggling writers recover and smile again, but everyone who reads their resulting work will become healthier. He’s the Surgeon General of Comedy and this book is his black bag.