This spring, I’m recording an hour of comedy. So, I’m working on that hour a little bit every time I’m on stage. The goal is to have a fully formed outline for the material by the end of this month.
A few years back, I worked with Christopher Titus for a weekend, and he was just at the early stages of writing that year’s hour of material. Titus is one of my comedy favorites. His hours work as both stand-up, and a one man show you’d see in a theater. Watching him work the material that weekend, scripting out each line, cutting every word he could spare, and jumping on his laptop immediately after each set to note the crowd’s reaction to certain parts over others, was extremely helpful.
So obviously, I’m stealing his method.
The other thing I got out of that weekend was a lot of good advice about being myself onstage, and writing about what interests/motivates me.
“Don’t let what other people tell you a crowd wants determine the material you do. This is only funny if it’s really you.”
I like this material and it’s coming together nicely. It mostly centers on the fact that I am the product of two teenage parents, who each went on to have children with other partners, but never again with each other. My mom met my dad when I was one, married him, and went on to have two more sons. My biological father has six, I think, other children by different women. I’m each of their oldest child.
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The phrase “oldest child” is a double entendre. When my mom introduces me as “my oldest child,” it’s a term of endearment. It shows the person she’s introducing me to who I am. It also shows them how much more she loves me than she loves either of my brothers.
But she’d also probably introduce me as “the oldest child I’ve ever seen” because of my tendency to type things like the previous paragraph. She wouldn’t be wrong.
Chris Cyr is a writer and nationally touring stand-up comedian from St. Louis, Missouri. His album, “Adult Child of Children” will be released on Helium Records in September 2022.