It was a magical evening – it started with me bringing a dress that didn’t suit the theme due to a miscommunication. I didn’t have an outfit so I wasn’t sure what to do. Then I happened to look in the convenience store next door and find the dress I’m wearing on sale for $10! I lucked out. I put on the dress which was a little big, so we pinned it… and I got help with my hair. I’m thinking about doing a beehive a lot more often now. I was pretty psyched with how high we got my beehive to go with only a few minutes to put it up and spray it. I’m posting a picture here.
Information about what comedian Erikka Innes is getting up to.
Our production designer Wendie Goode Dox came up with the design and everyone pitched in to build the set. I sewed the columns – they are made from brightly colored silk sewn around small exercise hoops. Wendie suggested we try this to get the shape. There are lights at the base of each column to give an illuminated effect. Sky Adams and the stage manager nailed the flats together. The stage manager added the silvery curtain in the back, and Pierce Cook worked on the lighting. A fun piece of trivia – the couch apparently used to belong to Burt Reynolds! Haha!
The unicorn is actually too big inflated to fit in a car. Wendie had to go to a gas station to blow it up, and then walk down the street carrying the unicorn back to the theatre.
We have a lot of editing to do, so the special will hopefully be out in the first half of 2017.
I applied for a comedy grant. Quoting from the website: “The Martin Grant was established by Steve Hofstetter and Next Round Entertainment in order to identify and reward up and coming stand-up comedians. It was inspired by Hofstetter’s work on Laughs, and the loss of his father. Read the full story here.
The grant was named in honor of Hofstetter’s father, Martin. The grant will be awarded in order to aid a talented comedian with rent, car payments, or anything else that will help them focus on developing their art. A panel of some of the most influential television executives, comedy club owners, talent agents, and managers will view applications and eventually decide a winner.
The grant is funded thanks to Reddit.com and their wonderful store. A unique comedy tee was designed exclusively by Inkventive, and 100% of all proceeds from sales are used to fund the grant.”
Today was exciting, because I found out I was accepted as a finalist! Woohoo!
I’m appearing on Laughs TV on Fox! Can’t wait! Check me out Friday night. You can figure out if you get the channels that air it here: Laughs TV.
It’s my first TV credit. 🙂 Well, besides that one time the camera panned over me while I waited in line to audition for LCS.
Anyway, here is a still from the show. Thanks to Steve Hofstetter and his team for picking my clip!
Here’s a rough draft of a joke that’s going to be on my 3rd album! W00t!
Hey Nerd Legion,
This week I have a bunch of great shows for you to check out:
6/3 – 8:00 p.m. Revenge of the Late Night Underground Comedy, Universal Bar & Grill, North Hollywood
6/6 – 7:30 p.m. Hosting for Thomas Dale of Chelsea Lately, YooHoo Room, Flappers, Burbank
6/6 – 11:30 p.m. Late Night No Blender Bar Show, Flappers, Burbank
6/7 – 8:00 p.m. Hosting for Grant Cotter, Flappers Claremont
6/7 – 10:00 p.m. Hosting for Grant Cotter, Flappers Claremont
6/8 – 7:00 p.m. Hosting for Grant Cotter, Flappers Claremont
6/8 – 9:00 p.m. Hosting for Grant Cotter, Flappers Claremont
Hey Nerd Legion!
Excited to announce that my album dropped yesterday AND I was interviewed about it and comedy by Guyspeed! Jackie Mancini wrote a fantastic article about me. You can follow her on twitter – @jackiemancini
Here is a link to the article! http://guyspeed.com/erikka-innes-smells-like-teen-spirit/
Check it out if you get a chance.
Here’s a piece I’ve posted about before called “Shivers at Midnight.” It’s about a pathetic guy who wants to be a werewolf so he can kill his terrible girlfriend. It was first published in the Antipodean SF. They usually only take Australian writers, but were kind enough to include me as well!
It’s archived here: SHIVERS AT MIDNIGHT
And I’m just going to post the story here as well:
“Wait,” the shackled werewolf whimpered. “You don’t understand. It’s not like what you think. It’s a terrible curse! I — “.
Samuel cut his pleading short by punching a needle into his neck. The werewolf screamed.
“Now, your fiendish powers will be mine!” Samuel cackled as he drained a blood sample, removed the needle, and plunged it into his own arm. “I can feel the power coursing through my veins already!” Laughing wildly, Samuel tore from the apartment, everything forgotten now except his newfound joy at becoming a werewolf.
The little man chained to the wall sighed. Awkwardly, he transformed, slipping his shackles. He padded out through the open door of his apartment into the moonlight to retrieve the evening news.
In his car, Samuel sped along a dark, wooded road. He was almost at the trailhead where his girlfriend was supposed to meet him.
Samuel’s phone rang.
“Where are you?” Samantha screeched.
“Nearly there, dear, for 11:45 as planned.”
“Oh. Alright. I thought you were going to be late again.”
“Wouldn’t miss tonight for the world,” Samuel said.
Samuel disconnected the call and grinned. Yes. Tonight, he would deal with Samantha. He’d broken up with her at least seventeen times, but she always came back — like a stubborn wart. But not tonight. Because tonight, Samuel would transform into a werewolf, tear Samantha to shreds, and eat her.
“Let’s see her come back from that,” Samuel giggled. He wondered if girlfriend tasted anything like steak. He licked his lips in anticipation and almost missed the turn for the trailhead. Damn. It wouldn’t do to be late. He’d read about werewolves. His first transformation was involuntary, and would happen around midnight.
Samuel brought his car to a screeching stop at the trailhead at 11:46.
Samantha tapped her watch as Samuel approached. “Just as I thought,” she said, “late.”
Samuel ground his teeth. “But not too late to show you a wonderful surprise!”
Samantha’s face softened. “I think I know what it is.”
He winced. The idiotic woman thought he was going to propose. Samuel made an attempt to give her an adoring look. Just a few more minutes now. “Let’s hurry,” he said.
“Samuel! My shoes!” her voice was shrill.
Samuel took a moment to examine Samantha’s outfit. She’d picked heels and a miniskirt for a walk in the woods. He grinned. A silver lining. She wouldn’t be outrunning him in those.
“No trouble,” Samuel said and hoisted her off the ground.
Samantha squirmed in his arms and whined, “I hope we’re not going far. How far in do we need to go to be romantic anyway?”
A strange hush fell over the woods.
Samuel yelped. He dropped Samantha and fell to the ground, writhing, his lips skinned back into a fierce snarl. Within seconds Samuel morphed into a chihuahua with glowing red eyes.
“What —,” said Samantha with a wide-eyed grin, “Samuel! You knew I didn’t approve of you becoming a werewolf and you’ve found a lovely compromise! You’re just adorable.”
Samantha scooped him into her purse. “You’re the perfect size for a supernatural being.”
Samuel snuffled and growled. He licked Samantha’s hand and howled — forever doomed to transform into a Werehuahua on the night of a full moon.
I’ve heard people say you can’t learn how to be funny. I don’t actually agree with this. You can learn to be funny, but if you aren’t naturally funny, it will be a lot harder. Mostly that’s because someone who naturally likes making their friends laugh just has more practice than someone who’s never tried it. Also, as with any art form, some people are better at it than others.
Beyond that, jokes have a mechanical component that can be taught. Very generally, a joke has two parts to it, the set up and the punchline. The set up leads the listener to make an assumption about the outcome. The punchline shatters the listener’s assumption and replaces it with another equally applicable idea that matches with the set up.
I’ll use a joke I wrote as an example:
“Dating is difficult for me because I would really like to be a virgin when I settle down. That’s why I’m saving my butt for marriage.”
The set up of the joke is “Dating is difficult for me because I would really like to be a virgin when I settle down.” This statement leads listeners to believe that my goal is to live a very chaste life until I am married. The punchline, “That’s why I’m saving my butt for marriage,” shatters this assumption because it suggests I’m not very chaste at all.
In general, the bigger the surprise on the punchline, the better. The rule of thumb is the punchline should still be something the audience can believe or substitute for their initial assumptions.
If you are new to comedy and want to work on writing, creating one liners that use this formula is a good way to start. Over time, the formula becomes less obvious, but is often still in play. Sometimes, you don’t need to include a misdirect in a joke, you can rely on common knowledge. Using another joke I wrote as an example:
“Hey feminists, 70% of a penny for your thoughts?”
This joke relies on a couple of things. First, this joke assumes the audience knows that the stereotype for feminists is that they can be uptight about being teased. You would assume you would tread lightly around people who represent this stereotype, and instead I’ve done the opposite by saying something rude. The second shattering of assumptions here is by changing an old saying “A penny for your thoughts.” People expect to hear that, and instead hear “70% of a penny for your thoughts.” The comment is also a commentary on how women are paid less than men, so at the end, it’s ironic rather than actually insulting to feminists. However, I don’t have to explain feminists or the saying “a penny for your thoughts” because the crowd is already familiar with these things, so the set up is very short… in this example it’s “Hey feminists.”
The more jokes you write and perform, the less the basic joke structure will show over time. It will become more ingrained, and with some people it disappears completely, and it seems like they are just having a funny conversation with you.
If you do use one liners in an act and tend to be more structure oriented about what you do, minimum you want 4 laughs per minute, with 5 being ideal, and anything more than that being AWESOME.
It is also important to note that this is not the only formula for telling jokes. Some things are funny because someone has good timing, or because they are familiar. Also, while most comedians strive to come up with punchlines that an audience doesn’t see coming, sometimes jokes where you can see what’s coming are funny just because of the anticipation.