Stand-up comedy brings a joyful outlook on life (6C Kung Ka Yi, Belinda)


Topic: you recently attended a stand-up comedy show and you were impressed by the performance. Write an article for your school magazine describing the show, discussing the challenges such performers may face and how students at school can benefit from watching such a performance.

Stand-up comedy brings a joyful outlook on life

Recently, I was brought to a stand-up comedy show in City Hall by my friends. I went there with no expectations, except for a good laugh. However, as I left, I found myself to have a more joyful and humorous outlook on life.

The stand-up comedian who performed was Taylor Tomlinson, a girl who looks tiny and cute, alook that nobody would have guessed that she was a comedic gold.

The show began around the discussion of her family and her funny stories related to upbringing by her strict father, which I think most of the audience found relatable as shown by the hysterical laughter everybody gave after her dropping those jokes. However, what grasped my attention the most was how Taylor then move on to discuss her struggle with mental health, but, of course, presented in the form of comedy. She opened up to the audience with her own experience with being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and how the illness had affected her, especially at her teenage years. It might sound like this is really a hard topic, even rather a taboo to discuss in the Asian society, but in fact, she did manage to present the issue very light-heartedly,and honestly hilarious in my opinion. The joke which I remembered the most was how she said her therapist described her as a self-fulfilling prophet meaning that once she had a negative envision about certain things, she would subconsciously do things to sabotage herself to fulfil her own prophecy. Then she mentioned that her therapist also told her that famous singer Selena Gomez was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder to comfort her with her diagnosis. The punchline is, she then smirked with a wicked facial expression and said proudly, ‘Is Selena Gomez also a self-fulling prophet, then?’ The reason why the joke entertained and amazed me so much was that she can turn a seemingly depressing topic with a twist, and have fun out of it.

Other than that, she also did amazing crowd work as she interacted with her audience, and made impromptu jokes at the moment based on the audience reaction. For example, when a member of the audience’s phone rang, she asked us whether we had also heard the ringing. And she asked jokingly, “ Wouldn’t it it’s so funny if I’m talking about the importance of mental health when I just started having auditory hallucinations on the stage?’ This sarcastically comedic comment is not only witty, but also resolved the problem of the phone ringing in the show with no hard feelings.

In general, it was really a fun experience and Taylor has definitely done a good job. However, I believe that her performance brought out much more messages besides only a few laughs.

First of all, I have to say how impressed I am with how she interacted with her audience. A huge challenge stand-up comedians have to face is how they can still maintain their humour when they need to perform out of script. It is important that they keep the audience involved in their jokes by interacting with them, but the true problem is how they can think of a quick witted response without making the audience feel awkward or bored. This is definitely not an easy job. That is why I’m so surprised when Taylor was able to make an impactful reply during her performance in such a short time.

At the same time, I also believe that being a stand-up comedian requires one to overcome their shame or shyness. Most of the performers, like Taylor, get the inspiration from life experiences. Therefore, in order to present of those jokes, you need to reveal more or less personal details of your life to a group of strangers that you have not built a bond with yet. You need to be brave enough and open enough to share your stories confidently, and deliver those jokes to your audience. Not only do you have to fight face your fear of the stage, but you also have to overcome your fear of people judging you as a person.

This leads to the part where I think is the most important components of Taylor’s show, and also one I believe one can benefit from watching stand-up comedy performance. It is how we can learn from the performers’ life experiences.

In Taylor’s performance, although it seems very unserious and light-hearted, I actually learn a lot about issues related to mental health in the show. For instance, the self-fulfilling prophecy joke she made, in fact, made me realise how I also unconsciously stop myself from trying new things or attempting to improve myself just because I already believed that it was impossible beforehand. In addition, I’m also more educated about the importance of mental health after the show, how we should all care about our mind more often and put emphasis on the wellness of our spirit. What I’m saying is we can actually get educated on specific topics when we watch stand up comedy shows as they usually have a centre message behind all of the jokes, just like any other forms of entertainment, such as movies and books.

Also a more crucial element is that we can learn to take a more positive outlook on life, as we can see how the comedians are able to joke around tragic life events or misfortune that they have in life. What has happened has already happened, so why not create happiness from it? From Taylor’s performance, although she shared the difficulties of having mental health issues, she was able to view it as a special experience premium to herself, and even encouraged others and bring joy to others using her story. This kind of mindset and attitude should be taken by all of us, as we can just take our adversity last seriously and laugh through the uphill battles in life.

People said, ‘The core of comedy is tragedy.’ Yes, that may be true. However, on top of that, comedy also makes us realise tragedies is just an unavoidable part of our life, and it does not have to be such a dreadful thing as we as how we treat it usually. 

Therefore, go watch a stand up comedy show when you get nothing better to do! It may just change your outlook on your life.