Now that BattleCOM is a monthly English occurrence at The Comedy Nest, GladiaCOM is soon to launch for French and the Ottawa ComicCon will feature some BattleCOM, I guess it’s time to let people know what to expect when / if they participate in one.
Battle/Gladia-COM is a new form of comedy show. Basically you have two performers onstage trying to out do each other for the audiences approval (and the ability to move up). This article will serve as a primer for those who are participating their first time, or acts looking to critically examine the material they’re creating for a BattleCOM. We’ll cover common misconceptions, writing strategy, tactics and presentation.
The Geek Battle of Comedy Shows
FACTS ARE JOKES
First misconception is that BattleCOM is a debate show – it’s not. The primary purpose is not to defeat your opponents’ choices but to be more entertaining while arguing yours. To that end, facts are irrelevant.
Where facts are important is knowing your audience. The majority of people who come out to a BattleCOM (be it a Nerd Show, a Sports Show or a Dirty Show version) are there because they’re familiar with the subject matter. Being blatantly wrong or misinformed on some major fact could potentially alienate you to the audience, or cause a significant enough disconnect for them to not catch the funny. Given the brevity of your time to impress the audience, a misstep could be your final step.
ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD
“Sure the show is fast paced, but I can pop out a couple of SSP (setup setup punchline) jokes when I have the mic.” Wrong. The goal is to get the audience laugh as quickly and as often as you can – in under 90 seconds (approximately).
“I have to explain my point of view.” No. Have faith in your audience. Your choice is presented when you’re introduced, assume knowledge from the crowd. In other words, don’t bore them / waste time explaining what is obvious.
Enter the arena with confidence, and speed. Don’t wait for your full name, and your full choice to be declared before heading to the stage. Grab the stage, and the audience’s attention by being dynamic in your entrance.
“I need to establish myself / my character each time I have the mic.” Don’t underestimate your audience – establish yourself during the reverse curtain call and thumbnail everything if you feel the need to establish yourself.
So the primary misconceptions deal with the Battlers approach and how much time can be wasted onstage. (That answer is “none”.)
CHOICE OF VIEW
Before you can even start writing, you need to choose your point of view for the various Battle Fields. Once the topic is revealed, there is a race to get your choices to the Battle Marshal (moderator) – you don’t want to write too much then find out someone else has taken the point of view (pov) you planned on. These should factor into your choice:
Unexpected. It’s good to keep the other Battlers on their toes
Source: Paul ash Comedy