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Astronomically Fun: Learning Comedy Techniques from Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson
Hello, jokesters and aspiring comedians! Have you ever thought that an astrophysicist could help boost your stand-up comedy or online comedy improv skills? Surprising as it might seem, we can learn a lot from astrophysicist and science communicator, Neil deGrasse Tyson. He has the uncanny ability to make even the most complicated science concepts absolutely riveting. Today, let’s explore how he does that and how you can use similar techniques in your stand-up comedy classes or online comedy improv sessions!
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Key Learning Points:
- The Power of Voice: Neil deGrasse Tyson’s voice is a great example of how a beautiful, silky, smooth baritone can captivate listeners. Even if you’re not naturally gifted with a baritone, you can train your voice to have a deeper and more resonate tone. This comes from breathing deep and contracting the diaphragm as you speak.
- Use of Silence: Tyson effectively uses silence to create tension and make people hang on to his every word. This tool can be employed effectively in your comedy routines to create suspense and hold your audience’s attention.
- Vocal Range and Style: Tyson’s vocal range is expansive. He shouts, he whispers, he emphasizes certain syllables, and speeds up and slows down his speech. This variety makes his speech intriguing and can make your comedy routines more dynamic and engaging.
- Speed and Rhythm: The speed and rhythm of speech greatly influence how it is perceived. Tyson varies his speed and rhythm, sometimes even disregarding traditional punctuation. For comedians, using this technique can keep the audience’s attention and make punchlines more impactful.
- Breathiness and Punctuated Syllables: Using a breathy quality or punctuated syllables can add another layer to your comedy delivery, making it more compelling.
- Experiment with Styles: Don’t be mono-anything! Mono speed, mono rhythm, or mono style can bore your audience. Play around with different elements of your delivery to discover a unique style that captivates your audience.
Remember, copying Tyson’s style won’t make you a successful comedian. Instead, observe how he uses each of these elements and apply them in your own unique way. Imagine these techniques as colors on a palette. Your style is determined by how you mix those colors.
We’ve included some links to vocal exercises and the original video for further learning. Additionally, we offer content on speaking with confidence and other essential skills for stand-up comedy and online comedy improv classes.
Whether you’re new to the comedy scene or a seasoned pro, we hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post and picked up a few pointers to make your routines out-of-this-world! As always, your feedback is much appreciated, so feel free to leave comments below.
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|Jane Joan Costagliola