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The art of doing two things at once

In which I admit I’m not able to do two things at once. Something’s got to give. And I’m afraid that has to be the stand-up.

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Getting choppy with standup

Mr Fanning picked up my set and put on his ‘let me show you how it’s done‘ face. He started to read and within seconds I was shouting out. He was adding words here and there. Doing the thing my comedy teacher warned against.

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That was the year that was

Around about this time last year, I decided to scratch a personal itch – and that does indeed sound like something best discussed with a doctor. 2018 was to be different. It would be my year of saying yes. I reckoned without my Valentine’s Day discovery. Chances are, I’m not the first to find something untoward […]

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A new addiction

My emotions veered from sheer frustration through to the joy of nailing a performance – when the audience laughed (and at one point applauded a joke), I was stunned. I’ve asked those who came to support me and they confirmed what I already knew – I started out ropey, but found my feet and didn’t disgrace myself.

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My latest excuse for not writing

One of the first things I learned when I started to write remains the most effective. When done with a draft, put it away. Lay down your words to rest for at least a month. Two if you can. Three is better.

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Learning to write again – the world of standup comedy

It took years to reach a point where I believe my writing reflects ‘my voice’. There is a rhythm, and the words flow in a certain way. An attitude lives on the page. It wasn’t always so. I’ve made all the rookie mistakes … joined peer groups and reacted to each and every suggestion (writing […]

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The hardest thing about writing

I write. It’s my paying day job, the way I fill the downtime hours and I’ve upped the pressure by telling myself I have it in me to be funny. On a stage. In front of strangers. Writing isn’t tough. Making it any good is more like work, but again, not beyond reach. What has […]

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Cock gags and knuckling down to standup

I sat and listened to a standup comic tell jokes about his penis and wondered who hurt him. It was a night of new comedy, and I was there to be supportive. The hope at these shows is for gold to glisten … but this was as far away from funny as I’ve been in […]

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High anxiety

It’s been ‘one of those weeks’ – but it’s over now, and what have I decided?

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The language of stand-up

Mo Fanning looks at the language used when writing stand-up comedy and how this differes from creating a novel or short story.

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