What makes the difference between a good gig and a bad one?

There are times, whether during a gig or writing material when it all seems to flow, everything turns into funny. My brain takes wild leaps and lands safely on a punchline.

The first situation is what psychologists call “being in a flow state“. It’s something that happens in lots of different areas : sport, music, or mathematics. “Flow” happens when you are so immersed in something challenging that you tune out everything else. You enter a state of total focus where your creativity and ability to perform are at their highest.

Athletes, musicians and many others know this flow state in their work and try to recreate it when they need it. This is one reason why so many top performers have little superstitious rituals. These are ways of trying to trigger the flow state on demand.

Being in the flow state means being at your funniest. Guaranteeing that you will be at your funniest when you need to be, seems necessary to being really good at this stand up malarkey.

Is your funniest funny enough? That’s a worry for another day. I’m still along way from being the funniest I could be.

2 Responses to “Flow”
  1. Tim Roast says:

    In my experience flow is determined in a big way by the reaction you are getting to your set. So if the audience aren’t laughing at a joke it can affect you going forwards. If they are laughing at every word you are saying then it relaxes you and it seems that little bit easier to remember your next line.

    But maybe that is just me?

    • David Sharpe says:

      I agree. It’s much easier to relax when things are going well! But relaxing and letting things flow helps to make things go well. It’s a virtuous circle. It can probably help to recover a dying set as well but I’ve never managed to relax that much.

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