Whose Persona is it Anyway…

So… I’ve taken my random rambles off at a slight tangent recently and into the world of stand up comedy…

Which has caused a few of my friends to ask me – What the bloody hell has that got to do with Tarot? Why are you doing that?

And I’ve answered – Because I thought it would be fun!

But the more I think about it, the closer to Tarot it feels, in that it’s just another mode of expression and as such requires you to find your own voice and style…

So… last week I was offered the tip that to be more comfortable on stage, it is a good idea to develop a stage persona…

Mmmm… Interesting, I guess… But it’s not quiet working for me…

I can see the possible benefits of creating this new identity… I guess it would give you a layer of protection in that you wouldn’t feel as though you are totally exposing yourself… Or maybe allow one to play with social  stereotypes and taboos, and if you come across as obnoxious, ignorant or even worse NOT FUNNY 😀 you can always pass the buck and blame the character… Oh! These are not my personal views, I invented them for my character for effect…

Or… I guess it could be liberating in allowing you the opportunity to voice and express things you think but wouldn’t dare say in polite company… I’ve seen a couple of people swell with delight at having said that C word out loud… But those who know me, know I’m potty mouthed on a day to day basis and the C word slips quite easily across my tongue…

No… this whole other identity causes me a big headache… First off… I’m blessed/cursed with a vivid imagination… I already spend all day talking away to myself, so why do I want to bring into the equation some bitch who’s going to start interrupting and giving me back chat? It already takes me nigh on an eternity to get out the door, as I’m so easily distracted… so the last thing I need, is to be on the way out the door and to hear Lulu (see… I’ve not even created her and I’ve already named her… ) yeah… last thing I need, is to be on the way out the door and Lulu says… Hey! Surely not! You’re not going out dressed like that! Do you really think I want to be seen in public with you? Please! Go and get changed!

And then of course… if you’re going to invent a character, that entails a lot of work! You’ve got to breathe life into it, develop it and make it believable and interactive with an audience… and surely that requires acting skills and I didn’t sign up for acting class, I just wanted to tell a few gags 😀

Then there’s that whole thinking on your feet gig… and as myself, the witty comeback comes fairly fast and fluid…

As an invented character… whoa! That’s just layered in whole new levels of complexity and difficulty… Now to be off the cuff, first I have to process… Oh! How would my character respond to this? How do they sound? How do they move? What do they find funny? Oh… hold on… the audience has got up and left whilst I’m scratching my head…

So… I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, and I’ve found two quotes that I like, that back up my bias towards being bone idle and doing the least amount of work I can get away with…

” Great actors are highly skilled at becoming someone else. Great comedians are highly skilled at being themselves” ~ Steve Roye

” If you can be yourself on stage, nobody else can be you and you have the law of supply and demand covered” ~ Bill Hicks

So… indeed….why would you want to invent a character, when it makes so much more sense to develop the sense of humour that is already there… because also, at the end of the day, it’s the material that counts… If the material just ain’t funny, then no amount of masking through veneers is going to last for long…

So… what’s this got to do with Tarot?

Oh… everything… after all… I am a Tarot reader… I can twist anything in life around to pretty pictures on cards…

Speaking of which I asked M… Hey! Where’s my comedy gold to be found?

And this is what he said…

 Cards fromTarot in the Land of Mystereum by Jordan Hoggard (c) 2010

Cards from Tarot in the Land of Mystereum by Jordan Hoggard (c) 2010

Ok… Let’s have a big warm welcome and put our hands together for the first act of the night… Let’s hear it for The Empress…

Oh! Karen my darling! First rule of comedy… Timing! You tend to tell a lot of tales… allow a space for those to grow, be fertile with your imagination as you build a scenerio… Leave a few pregnant pauses for your audience to use their imagination also… Paint a picture as colourful as your words…

Oh… Enter stage right… here comes the Eight of Swords…

Deliver your unique perspective on things… It is  often the case that things are not actually funny… but your take on them and the words you choose to describe the scene and how you  express your quirky observations… now that can be priceless 😀

Oh… watch out! Here comes the headline act! For your delight and delectation, the one and the only… King of Pentacles!

Ah… Karen! Come closer… I have much wisdom to impart… Consider where your humour is based… what are the solid foundations that you can build on? Now… I could get all erudite here and spring forth a sermon on the privileges that are afforded to a court jester and that the gift of being able to bring laughter also brings Royal protection and the impunity to speak freely without fear of reprisal from the crown… but I think I will instead put it into terms that I know you will understand more easily… OK… so just stick to relentlessly and mercilessly mocking the long suffering Mr S… you’ve got a back log of almost a quarter of a century of material at your disposal… make it work for you… 😉

Cool! So… Timing, Perspective and Stories you know…

Oh… and before you come out in defence of poor old Mr S… trust me, he’s more than capable of matching me blow for blow… and besides… It wasn’t me that said it… It was those cards…

😀

You’ve been a wonderful audience!

God Bless & Good Night!

😀

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10 thoughts on “Whose Persona is it Anyway…

  1. Pingback: Joy got outta the closet… | The Pure and Blessed Way...

  2. I am sure the people we really connect with on stage, whether it is comedy or inspiration or something else, are the ones who are truly themselves. Ok, all of us need to be a bit bigger and louder and perhaps even MORE ourselves when speaking to an audience rather than one to one, but an audience needs to feel that connection. Love this post!

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    • Thanks! Mmmm… It depends on what you’re delivering really… Rather than bigger and louder I’d say exaggerate fits better as a lot of my stuff is toned down and underplayed… Like I say… I do swear a lot in general life… One of my friends came to see me and brought her husband along, he said to me afterwards – that was brilliant! Just like when you’re sitting on our sofa, though I was very surprised that you don’t swear on stage…
      I don’t swear on stage unless if feel it really adds to the comedic effect as in itself, it’s not that funny and if it looks forced, it’s cringe inducing… I said to him… Yeah Joy (my stage name) has really nice manners… Me… I’m a *@#{ foul mouthed ¥»%#!!! 😀

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  3. It is interesting..the debate on being ourselves versus shifting to meet situations comes to mind immediately (obviously!). I tend to do all I can to stick to me and that means I am aware of the situation I am in and act appropriately, but in all cases it is me…just a version of me for that situation. I applaud your foray on to the stage and know that the you that needs to be there will always be there!

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  4. Ii love your sense of humour, you’ve (maybe unwittingly, maybe on purpose) stuck to the subject of fun for me anyway. Maybe it’s not so much a case of creating a separate stage persona, but more a case of stepping into that part of you that already exists, the stage Goddess part that loves performing and loves attention. The Empress is ready for action, ready to share pearls of wisdom and entertain the audience. I love those quotes too. Great post thank you for the entertainment 😉

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    • Thanks 🙂 To be honest… I’m a mother of 4… the only time I get to finish a complete sentence without someone chipping in is when I’m on stage! 😀 Performance wise it feels less about attention and more about being very focused and present in the moment… it feels like an active meditation and I do get moments of zen like calm, which I find interesting… The attention part… I’m not so keen on… I very much like to watch an audience and catch their expressions and reactions… I’ve always been a big people watcher…

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