Breaking her script down into comedic elements, my client, the very funny and droll Carla Birkhofer, observed, “What we’re doing here is like Shakespeare.” We shared a chuckle of recognition because of our shared Shakespearean backgrounds as actors, having parsed his sentences for rhythm and meaning.
We then realized that her monologue needed to be updated so as not to throw the listener off into some outdated reference, as opposed to staying in tune with the magic Carla’s so capable of creating with her acting.
We changed the outdated line, “…be the first person in Blockbuster to rent ‘Yes Man’…” to “…first person at Best Buy to buy “Dumb and Dumber2.” See the echo of the words and hear the rhythm? Hear the plosive consonants “t” “d” “b”? The Patterns of Three?
We also changed the line, “…bumper sticker that says, “You toucha my car, I breaka your face” to “Honk if you love boobs!” There is no Italian reference within the monologue for the listener to refer back to (that’s called a “callback” or an “echo”), so we changed it to something shorter (Brevity is the soul of wit) and more generic so the listener can stay in touch with the character’s feelings rather than being diverted into something that wasn’t relevant to the monologue’s intention. Yes, the “toucha” and “breaka” are funny because they are operative/unusual words with a callback of the ‘a’, but “Honk” has the “k” plosive sound and the “boobs” are what I call the “TeeHee Factor.” (There is still a modicum of decency left in our society, isn’t there? Where there are certain words or references to which we shouldn’t speak in polite company? Those are the TeeHee Factors.)
If you’d like help with your monologues, understanding script analysis, and why we laugh, contact me at Maggie@YourSitComCoach.com. I’d love to help you. It really gives me so much delight to do so. Happy Sunday to you!
#Actors #Comedians #ScriptAnalysis #WhyWeLaugh #ComedyLesson