Continuing again from the last two posts on audience and culture, I have been discussing performing my show about traveling in India in other countries and for other audiences than my target demographic. Those who have not traveled, or who have no interest in spirituality/spiritual seeking find the shadow to be mildly amusing rather than laugh-out-loud-roll on the floor-hold-your-belly-because-your cheeks-are-hurting kind of funny. Women tend to enjoy it more than men. Older people sometimes more than younger ones. I also have performed the show in different countries. When I arrived to put it on in England, I realized there were a huge amount of references that I had no idea would be so so difficult to translate until I was on stage, telling the story.
So not only are there differences in audiences' senses of humor with time, culture, and language, there are also differences in values and perspective. Audiences want to relate to the person on stage. And they want to be challenged at the same time. For example, people who go to see Dennis Miller are generally wanting to hear someone who is angry about things and politically conservative. People who watch Jon Stewart are generally wanting to hear the truth. Of course I'm not biased.
ACTION: Go out and do a set in a totally different venue with a totally different audience than you normally do. Figure out how to adjust your set for their sensibilities without compromising what you have to say. Is it possible?
STAY TUNED: more tantalizing comedy secrets tomorrow! Also check out these series of How To's:
How to be a Comedian Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven
So You Want to Write a One Person Show Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven