How Standup Comedian Learns to Be a Better Storyteller – Matt Ruby

Erik: How are you becoming a better storyteller? Matt: I think maybe just being able to have
a narrative arc to things but making sure there are punch lines along the way is something
that I’m getting better at. I used to be able to write jokes that were
funny or I could tell a story that wasn’t funny but was interesting or had a point or
something like that. Now I think I’m getting somewhat better at
being able to tell something with a narrative arc but still getting those laughs along the
way of you know, trying to make sure that, yes, there is a point and this is an interesting
but you’re a comedian. Are people laughing? And making sure that happens all along the
way. And sometimes it’s a laugh that feels different
in a way too, it’s like when you’ve got a point to what you’re saying. If it feels more like worthwhile, like they’re
almost on your side because people want things to have a point. They like when there’s — people love stories,
they like, you know, narrative. I think it’s just, you know, sometimes it
is just a question of knowing how much tension you can build or how long you can go without
there being a laugh and then punctuating it. It’s almost like a paragraph break or something,
where it’s like, okay, I need to have something that make people laugh here because I can’t
just talk for a minute with no laughs happening ’cause then I’m not a comedian, I’m a storyteller,
which not that there’s anything wrong with that but I wanna be a comedian.

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