How to be funny without being too self-conscious
Erik Myers is a comedian, a writer, and an actor, but he’s also a filmmaker.
He has produced films for the National Geographic Channel, Fox Searchlight, and ABC, and he recently directed a documentary about the rise of hip-hop, called Bitch I’m Rapin’, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year.
In an interview with TIME, Myers talks about how he started to realize that being a comedian wasn’t just about acting, and how the idea of doing something for a living, with your own material, could be an exciting and fulfilling part of your creative process.
In this clip, you’ll hear the filmmaker discuss how to make your comedy stand out and how he’s been using the same tools to make his movies as well.
1 of 2 Next: The idea of being a comedy writer.
What did you learn about the medium of comedy when you started out?
I was very excited about this medium, and I was very nervous about it, because I always think of comedy as this kind of an old-fashioned, weird, dirty-old-fashioned form of writing.
I had this dream that I would be a writer.
I remember being in New York and going to a bookshop and reading the best-seller list, and being like, What’s that list?
And they were all about the best comedians of the past 50 years.
But it turns out that’s a lot of people, and it was a weird thing.
You’ve got a bunch of people who are all in their 40s and 50s, and they all have their own material.
They’re just writing about different stuff.
I was like, Well, this is a bit weird.
I’m going to do this, and that’s it.
It’s kind of like being a lawyer, where you’ve got this great lawyer and he’s like, You know what?
You’re not doing that.
You’re just making stuff up.
You don’t know what the hell you’re doing.
So you’ve kind of lost the sense of what the process is.
I think it’s a really exciting medium, but it also feels really strange.
It feels like it’s not the right way to approach the medium, or the right audience for that matter.
I felt like I had to get over that.
I think the only thing I learned from doing the comedy was that you really don’t have to be a comic to be able to write about something funny, or you can just write a funny thing.
And that was the first time I really realized how much I needed to make my stuff funny.
And you need to make something funny that is funny.
It takes time, and you have to spend time doing it.
I’ve been doing it for almost 40 years.
I did that for a long time, I just did it more than a few years ago.
But I think I’ve just learned to just write about it.
When I started doing it, it was almost like I just wanted to be like, This is how I do it.
But now, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about how to do it, and hopefully it’ll help other people to do the same.
I don’t want people to feel like, Oh, you have a bad joke.
If I have a funny joke, I’m doing a good joke.
That’s not how I work.
I work hard and put in the time.
I know how to write a joke, but I don.
You know, I can’t go in and write a bunch and expect it to work.
But the funny thing is, when I do get it wrong, it can turn into a big hit, and people are laughing at it.
And it’s kind a good thing that it’s something I’m proud of, because it really turns a lot into a kind of a great joke, which is why I’ve made a lot.
When people have that, it’s like it feels good.
So it’s really fun.
I don’t think you can really do it without making a good point.
That was the whole point of making Bitch, I think.
It was kind of this little book about a guy who just kind of got his act together.
It wasn’t a really big thing, and then he got a bit too serious and started doing a lot more of that.
But when he did that, that was when I really understood how important it is to have a really good joke, and what you need is to really take your time, to think about what you’re trying to say.
That is the way to do that.
If you think you’re going to make it funny, and all you can think about is, What am I going to say?
And then you don’t really have a sense of where you’re coming from.
And then that’s when the audience starts laughing.
And when they do laugh, it feels like a good comedy.
But you really have to make sure you’re