I read an article this week about something a lot of us do every so often…uptalk. Even if you’re never heard the term you can probably already guess what it is. It’s that way? …You talk? When you phrase something in a question? By uptalking at the end of your statement? Reno Collier is a comic who actually has a really funny bit on it. Stereotypically, sorority girls or valley girls are the main offenders. However, while listening at open mic last night I heard it in a lot of comics.
It’s harmful to your act for a few reasons. It takes away some of the assertiveness from your voice, and often your punchline. “Punch” is hard to do when you model it after a valley girl. Listen to your recorded sets and see if you’re guilty of it, even in setups. I think we develop this habit subconsciously making sure the audience is listening and following along. It’s even harder to avoid while trying new bits. So this week’s tip is to record yourself and see if you’re guilty of uptalk. If you can remove it, your laughs should increase if the joke has any potential at all.
As a reminder, a good portion of what I blog about is not mentioned in my book. So if you order, know that it’s a lot of other in-depth help with the unwritten rules of comedy. Thank you to everyone who’s been reading this blog for the last 2+ years. I will continue it as long as I can. Enjoy your holiday gigs!
Here’s the actual article. You have to watch a youtube clip to access the whole thing but you have that kind of time.
One thought on “What’s an annoying stage habit many of us have…”
Hi, Rob–Here’s a bad habit that you may have already written about: blaming the audience if a joke doesn’t go over. “Hey, that was funny. Come on.” No, sorry. The audience is your “proof of concept.” If they don’t laugh, by definition it wasn’t funny. If you want to turn me off completely, tell me I shouda laughed at something that I didn’t find funny. I can say this from experience as a comic and as an audience member.. When I was doing stand-up, I worked in places where the audiences were so mean, they drove more experienced comics back to graduate school. You didn’t put the blame on those audiences–they would throw bottles at your head. You coped and learned.