Write Everything Down
“Hal Sparks – Write Everything Down! Ain’t nothin to it but to do it!”
Ain’t nothing to it but to do it. Seinfeld once said if he were to teach a class on comedy he would gather everyone in a room and have a giant banner drop down that said “Do the work.” I only bring up other people’s quotes to supplment the information already supplied and hopefully add value to the main quote I’m writing about.
I had a conversation with someone today about how to get started in comedy. I said “Just do it.” I could sit here and tell you everything. You could read this whole book before you step on stage and you’ll certainly have maybe a leg up on someone who has no idea what they’re getting into. But it has no context around it.
I still go back and read the book every few days and read the entries and think about them because sometimes they don’t make sense right away. Until you put it in the context of your career, you will be like “why would I write everything down? That’s annoying.” I don’t write things down as much as I used to, and I hope to force myself back into that process.
My whole first year I kept a notebook and wrote every setlist and every joke concept down. Because I was writing so much and changing things. My 30 minute set list doesn’t change much nowadays but I’ve got notes in my phone of old jokes I don’t use anymore or that don’t fit. Sometimes months later you’ll get an idea of how to make a joke work better.
It’s absolutely shocking how bad our memories are, especially compared to how much we rely upon them. Write things down. Can you imagine how hard it would be to remember each piece of advice every headliner gave me if I didn’t have them write it down in a book? WRITE THINGS DOWN.