Arts & Entertainment

Student Session: Workshopping Tim's Act

Steve Martin

Lesson time 9:54 min

Steve examines one of Tim's bits and illustrates how he can heighten the comedy, connect with the audience, and streamline his performance.

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Topics include: Workshopping Tim's Act


Tell me, you look very, like a kind person. You seem like a very kind person. And I wonder if it's a thought to kind of undercut that a little bit? Because I was looking at your material and thinking, is there something-- you don't really swear. No. Yeah. I wonder if it might be good for you? To say something like, good evening, fuck. I just say that because people think I'm too kind, and I'm trying to undercut this image. In that restaurant bit that was there, one of the reasons I liked doing that is because I know that's how I come across, and so I like to play characters that-- No, I like that. In fact, I was looking at that. We're going to get to somethingl else in a minute, but I was just looking at this. This is your restaurant there, right? Yeah. I think it can be very, very sharp. And maybe, I don't know how you deliver, but a bigger energy. It might be interesting to think of it that way, and really let yourself get mad. Yeah, I definitely do it small. I guess the impulse of that was because I just like to be as like smally condescending-- to have small moments of condescension build to something truly rude. But it's true, I've never really gotten to big with that. Well, you could start very small, like you say, and then get big. But maybe I'm thinking, maybe that's the way I'd do it. You've got to do it the way you'd do it. But you've got such a great premise of here's when I'm rude, and then we just see you kind of get a little rude. I'd like to see you get really rude. Yeah. So I'm going to destroy it by ruining it. You say, I don't want to talk about food. I'm very, very rude in restaurants. I'm incredibly rude in restaurants. I don't know why it comes out of me. It just flows through me. The rudeness flows through me like it's like air. It's, I'm a bad person when I'm in a restaurant, because I talk. I talk rude to the server. I don't mean to. It's just the worst. So what I want to do right now, because I don't want to go out to eat tonight, I wanted to get some of the rudeness out of my system. So for right now, you are all now one server. So when I point to you, please say may I help you. So I think that's really good. I think there are some trims in there and a little more logic straightening out. But now you've incorporated them in a sketch without them knowing it. It's really good. So please say may I help you. May I help you? And you say OK, pretty good, but let's try it again. May I help you? Perfect. Sits down at invisible table, points to audience. And you could point to them, may I help you? Oh yes, thank you for coming finally. Hey, considering the menu throughout before every request, delivered sarcastically. First, um can I have a glass of water please, when the food comes? ...

About the Instructor

One of Steve’s first gigs was at the drive-in movies. When the audience liked a joke, they honked. In this comedy class, Steve shares insights from performing for cars and humans over a 50-year career spanning sold-out arenas and blockbuster films. Learn how to find your voice, gather material, develop an act, and take your comedy writing to the next level.

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Steve Martin

Steve Martin teaches you everything from finding your comedic voice to nailing your act.

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