To all our When in Manila followers. Are you the joker of the table? Do you always make people laugh with your wit and hilarious gestures? If so, have you ever considered the life of comedy? Finally, here’s an interesting opportunity for you to live your nightmare and face a daunting group of people who will judge you. If they like you, they will laugh at your face. If not, you might want to consider getting into a life of crime instead.
Comedy Cartel has just concluded its 5th leg of Laugh and Stack event. Laugh and Stack is a comedy competition amongst amateur comedians usually held at Relik in Fort Bonifacio and Plantation at C. Palanca in Makati. The idea behind Laugh and Stack is to bring in 10 to 13 amateur comedians to try their skills for 5 minutes. The winner is determined by 30% votes from the audience, 30% votes from fellow comedians, and 40% votes from the professional comedians.
The growing trend in the Philippines for point-of-view comedy has brought forth a new breed of comedians that have been longing to perform and show their skills in a traditionally different comedy environment. We have started to see more people who are aware of famous international comedians that are also looking for something similar in the Philippines. Comedy Cartel was the pioneer of introducing point of view comedy to the Philippines and is steadily growing its fans and followers.
While comedy seems like a fun hobby, it is not all as glorious as it looks. I tried to do some stand up for charity events and talent shows 2 years ago, and started to realize that while I am openly confident to talk in front, comedy gives me stage fright.
Making people laugh means we have to make sure people find the jokes funny, and that they get the jokes. Many jokes that was thought to be harmless can also be offensive to those who are sensitive so we had to understand what type of jokes the public is looking for.
Comedy, in its form, is tough. Making people laugh is my greatest reward. Whenever I meet people who are very happy with my jokes, who laughed out loud during my performance, my day is made. I like to cheer people up. I know everyone has had a tough week and laughter is that therapy indeed worth sharing.
Along the way, I have made some new friends amongst the different comedians, everyone from the famous Tim Tayag to my fellow amateur comedians, they all shine with their talent for making people laugh and react to the acts they perform. Below are some of the comedians I have interviewed and their responses.
So, You Want To Become A Comedian?
Joel Rosh “Chip” Balbuena
The main motivation for me standing on stage and doing jokes first started in high school where I would just clown around in front of the class and my teachers. For me, there was no better feeling in the world than making them laugh and thats when I decided to one day hit the stage if the opportunity comes. It was also a challenge for me to see if I can make total strangers laugh as hard as my friends would.
The toughest challenge with comedy is coming up with fresh new material that works. With all the jokes that has been circulated its truly a challenge to think of jokes that has never been heard or told before. But taking up that challenge taught me to be more witty and creative in the way I come upand write new material. But whether you kill or bomb, nothing beats the thrill and rush of performing standup comedy.
Why did you decide to become a comedian? I figured going up onstage be a good, cheap way to cure stage fright. It didn’t. The fear is still there but the anxiety has been replaced by thrill.
What are the challenges? It’s not all fun and games though. For somebody my age, somebody who’s already starting out a family of his own, people really tend to question the time and effort you put into your craft. It’s hard to convince people that you can be funny and a fully functioning member of society.
What are the rewards? But then again, that moment when you’re doing great and you’re down to your last punchline. When all the eyes in the room are fixed on you – from the half-drunk woman upfront to the bartender at the back – and they all have wanting expressions, it’s like you have this big present that’s just one tug away from being unwrapped. That moment of pause is just priceless.
What is your advice for aspiring comedians?Crowds love sincerity. The closer your jokes are to your heart, the funnier you’ll sound.
It started back in 1983. My friend’s older brother got a VHS tape of Eddie Murphy’s Delirious; we watched it repeatedly and acted out the bits for our school friends. The bits were filthy but we didn’t care. We risked getting a mouth full of dish soap so we could entertain.
Since then, I’ve been an uber comedy nerd. I watch and listen to all I can; the greats like Rodney Dangerfield to comedians just getting their break like Lachlan Patterson. Because of my deep respect for the art of stand up comedy, I felt compelled to get on stage so I can better appreciate the best in the business. Really, I feel like an Elvis impersonator except I’ve traded the sequined jumpsuit for an ill fitted sports coat and tennis shoes.
Henry Helmuth Jr.
I love to be a comedian because i want to inspire my audiences’ outlook in life into always being happy and positive. It is hard to be a comedian though, because you have to make a routine that will make the audience laugh and you have to make them feel that you are a really funny guy. The best part of being a comedian is when your perform and hear them laughing at your jokes. To be a comedian, you need to have some kind of likeable attitude.
Why did you want to become a comedian? As a young kid I noticed that I have this talent in making friends laugh, and I love telling funny stories which I got from my Dad. as the years pass I find it rewarding, I don’t have much wealth to share but I get this satisfaction in making other people laugh; seeing them smile is my ideal I would wish to be remembered as the guy who shared his happiness to others.
What are the challenges? The biggest challenge is to make people laugh, to me its finding and setting up the best joke for the crowd you have on hand, there are times that I have already prepared a set of jokes but when I saw the crowd I told my self the jokes I have will not be perfect for this type of people so by then you need to improvise or prepare two types of sets.
What is your advice? To my fellow comedians, comedy is not only through the mind it also needs to be coming from the heart. I saw a lot of them holding pieces of paper during their sets being used as guides. If you know your jokes by heart all you will need is to stand and talk and i’m sure not only the viewers will have fun, it will include you.
Is performing a fun experience? Yes and no. Yes, if you enjoy having stage fright. But is comedy rewarding? Indeed it is. It is an addiction we stand up comedians cannot seem to escape from and have no plans to.
Try it out, contact Comedy Cartel by visiting https://www.facebook.com/comedycartel and try out for open mic. You wouldn’t know how it feels until you tried it. Same thing goes for jumping off a cliff and punching a lion on the nose.
You may also like the above page and support Comedy Cartel by attending our events. It will be fun, mostly, and we promise that we do not make fun of our audiences.
2013 President of JCI Fort Bonifacio Taguig City
Author of the book Evolution of Insanity
Columnist, Writer, Environmentalist
Environmental Head - Manhattan Green Solutions
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Entrepreneur, terrible singer, reckless driver