As I thinking about tonight's comedy class I wrote to a friend.
I have my third class tonight. The fact that it takes place in a room above a pub seems most appropriate to me--no esteemed halls of academe--especially as I can pop down for a drink half way. God, I need it.
It's a feeling of exposing yourself in a way that I've never done before. Giving papers etc, is play acting. There's the audience and already you know how you are going to play them. It's pure Goffman (the cooling the mark out bit...). It is fun: I know for many giving papers may not fall into the category of fun, but there comes a time when you think sod it I refuse to be nervous and anxious every time I do this. That creates a space for improv and surprise. But in standup it's immediate even though it's prepared and the audience reaction is also immediate. The last thing you want is a thoughtful critique of your material and performance (otherwise known as heckling).
Back to the material. And one thing the writing of this stuff is just as hard as the other kind of writing!