After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You'll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.
I don’t go, “I’m gonna write a joke.” I just go through the world and see stuff. It’s like I exercised the part of my mind of noticing things, to the point where I’m now noticing things without even trying to notice them.
It comes to me. Part of my leaving the media on all day is a way of…my mind has trained itself to have a very sensitive system of radar about certain words, expressions, topics, and areas of discussion that come up. There are things that interest me more than others, and then there are things that jump out. There’s one thing I learned about the mind as a young man, when I quit school. I read a book - half of it, anyway - called Psycho-Cybernetics. The author said that the brain is a goal-seeking and problem-solving machine, and if you put into it the parameters of what it is you need or want or expect, and you feed it, it will do a lot of work without you even noticing. Because the brain doe...
Question: how do you organize and develop your material and various jokes? Do you have notebooks full of detailed notes and jokes, or do you just sketch them out and wing it on stage?
Answer: I believe in detailed notes and jokes, and also winging it onstage. But, not for your first open mic. For your first open mic, my advice to you would be to make sure you have what you're gonna do memorized, to the point that one of your friends can gently slap you across the face, and you'll still be able to get it out of your mouth.
Writing a script is different because you have to write from different perspectives other than your own. I had to write lines for my fictional wife, Leif, Artie [characters in his HBO show Crashing]... you have to imagine more than just your own opinions. A very good excercise just in general!
it all comes in seasons and waves. the best we can hope it when we are called on, we are in a creative season! and if we're not, sometimes that panic of a deadline is enough to snap me out of it. but it's all self love. if youre blocked, love youself anyway. it's a better strategy and will make it go away faster than being hard on yourself. take a nap! take a walk! take a drive! watch a movie! it's all writing. just in your subconscious
It's been a priceless experience with the people I've met in the writer's room, and that I learned how to write a script. It's just great to finally have something where I can actually write the lines. As you work your way up, you think to yourself (or lie to yourself) that you could write it better. And now I get to do that. It's been great.
plotting can be tough because you're never quite sure you're doing it right - it's usually kind of like an exploration. You try something, and figure out what it needs. For instance, one episode we were plotting last night, I felt like it was all things happening, and no emotional connection from our charaters. So we figured out what my own personal connection to the plot would be, and that actually helped us figure out the things that would happen more easily. It's also helpful if your characters can have opposite points of view about what's occuring.
To motivate, I would try to outline as much as you can before you ever start writing a line of dialogue. If you're having trouble plotting, ...
They were all fun for different reasons. Sometimes when writing the history of UCB or the times at SNL were fun, because they reminded me of all those stories, and I would start laughing thinking of all the ridiculous people I surrounded myself with. I was just texting with Fred Armisen, and telling him that i wrote nice things about him int he book, and he was very touched, and then I reminded him that his lawyers made me do it, and I said "His lawyers will sue you if you don't write nice things about him in your book."
i just started watching tons of pilots and reading pilot scripts. i also read a book called "save the cat" which is an excellent way to learn the math of writing tv and movies. i got note cards, a cork board, the whole thing! I'm a dork but i couldn't afford classes or anything on it. watch your favorite tv pilot, write out the math of it, and follow that template.
i felt compelled to share my mental health challenges to help take the shame and stigma off it, but i couldn't do it on stage-was just too insecure and nervous. i wanted to write the book that i wish had been available to me when i was suffering--self help books are usually very boring and i wanted to write a cool, funny one! i also wrote about getting my ear getting bitten off and almost getting arrested in guatemala which i couldn't really do while making eye contact with humans
The best thing you can do is write, write, write, and write. And read. A lot. And fail. The more you fail the better you'll get. At SNL you could have an amazing show and then just BOMB the following Wednesday at the table read. Stay tough. Don't compare yourself to other people. Just follow your path and have fun.