delanceyplace.com 09/11/06 - comedy

In today's excerpt - Scott Sedita comments on pain as the source of comedy. Sedita is neither a philosopher, a commentator nor a psychologist. Instead, he is a successful screenwriting and acting veteran of the sitcom industry and head of the Scott Sedita Acting Studios. His observations and advice are meant to enable industry professionals to obtain jobs and improve on their craft:

"Where does it all ultimately start? Well, comedy starts with pain. That's right, comedy comes from conflict, oppression, repression and persecution. It comes from unadulterated, horrific pain. And this pain is often played out through desperation. Good comedy is somebody desperately trying to overcome odds, make their dreams come true, see their big ideas succeed, find the perfect mate, etc. It's about a character's desperate attempts to get what they want. And what makes this even funnier is that they never get what they want. ...

"It is a fact that many of yesterday and today's top comedians and comedy writers come from generations of disenfranchised and persecuted people, be it for their cultural differences, beliefs, philosophies, whatever. The history of the world is made up of groups of people who have faced oppression at some point in time. And one way to deal with it is with a strong sense of humor. The idea is either 'you die or you laugh about it.' They could have chosen to be miserable and depressed about their situation—their individual and ancestral experiences (some have and continue to do so). But others choose to find the humor in their hardship. This can be said for any group of people that's faced generational oppression and persecution. Every race and culture has something painful in their ancestry that can be tapped for comedy.

"But our sense of humor doesn't come from our ancestral pain. It also comes from the pain we experience on a daily basis, going back to our childhoods. Our individual sense of humor comes from our environment, our upbringing and our personal experiences. All of these play a major factor in how we perceive life, death, family, society, ourselves ... all of those wonderful comedic topics."


author:

Scott Sedita

title:

The Eight Characters of Comedy

publisher:

Atides Publishing

date:

Copyright 2006 by Scott Sedita

pages:

3-4
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