October 31, 2013

Failed Comics Make Great Storytellers...

Failed comedians make some of the best storytellers. I know personally because I never succeeded as a
comic and in my opinion, I am a great, if not one of the best storytellers around. I feel most any comedian that didn’t find success in comedy (but did alright) and felt they could be great “if only", can also feel they are one of the greatest storytellers around. I truly believe this and I believe in you.

Let me break it down.

As a comedian you love to take the stage, take chances, be vulnerable and pleasing the audience pleases you. But for some reason, maybe you were just not great at it; you couldn’t seem to make it work. All the ingredients, none of the desired results.

Welcome to storytelling

I have been in the storytelling scene, community, whatever the fuck you wanna call it for a few years now and produce my own shows within that scene and under that genre. And the things I have noticed that can serve a lot of comedians looking to try something different, something more “long form” where vulnerability, failure, and silence (for sometimes long moments) are welcomed and rewarded is storytelling.

The storytelling community, not perfect in any sense of the word (I have met a lot of assholes there too), is a great place to open it up and really let it flow. First off, none of this 5-minute sets shit forgets those days. You will get the time you need! Next, The audiences are accepting and supportive, they’re not looking to challenge you to strike their funny bone every 30 seconds. You just need to be honest, open and sincere and they will love you. You will notice these are the same elements that will make a great performer on any stage in any art form, but on the storytelling stage something about is indescribably easier, and it all seems to feel more natural.

Monte with co-producer Michael Sanchez
You are not forced to have anything “set up” to warrant a reaction, no need to memorize your lifeexperiences, you just need to move through the story is all and everything naturally falls into place. I have been in plays, done stand-up, improvised, been in movies, on TV, on the radio, etc. I have the experience and I know that storytelling is something that should be taken seriously as an art form and it is worth trying. Also, it has offered the most welcoming environment I have encountered as a performer. And it feels the most real. Because for me and most every human on the planet, storytelling is how I have learned, taught, made friends, etc. So now as an art form, it just seems so right.

I am not saying this is, can be, or will be the golden chalice for you, although after re-reading all the shit I just wrote it sure seems like I am, but it can be a great start in a new direction. Being rewarded for silence, no folded arms in the audience, no hecklers, no “make me laugh” vibe from the crowd. Just a place to grow and explore the shit that is in your head and needs to get out that may not have a single laugh.

This is what storytelling is to me, a failed comic. Don’t be turned off to it, get turned on by it.

Monte LaMonte
Monte is a storyteller, "Failed Comic",  and producer. You can catch Monte at his monthly storytelling showcase "I Shit You Not", which co-produces with Michael Sanchez.