Rich Prange: Using Story in Comedy (#91)

Photojournalism to Comedy with Rich Prange

Rich Prange is a stand-up comic in Phoenix, Arizona. He’s also an award-winning photojournalist. Which is why I know him. We worked together at a TV news station in Kalamazoo, Michigan years ago. And it’s been fun to watch his story unfold, to where he’s now performing his comedy on stages. Rich sees comedy as a storytelling art form much like music.

“People will say they saw a comedian and it’s the same as they saw in a video. That’s because it’s scripted. It’s like a concert. They aren’t just going off the top of their head. It’s a song they wrote.” - Rich Prange on comedy performances

Make it About Them

Whether you’re a reporter/photojournalist making the story all about your subject, or a comedian making your set all about your audience, Rich says make sure you’re not making it about you. That’s his key to storytelling.

“A good reporter makes it about the subject. So does a good storyteller.” - Rich Prange on story perspective

What To Do When You Bomb

It happens to the best of us storytellers. A joke bombs. A story misses the mark. Rich says when it happens to him, not if, he re-reads the room and tries again, even offering a little self-deprecating humor sometimes.

But then Rich shares advice he received from an opener at a show, who told him to embrace the moment and realize, it may not be so bad.

“You’re back there thinking ‘Man, I didn’t do as well as I wanted to.’ He said ‘Guys, you always did a good set. Don’t ever let the audience think that you didn’t do your best.’ What we feel inside doesn’t necessarily look as bad as what the audience saw.” - Rich Prange on success and failure

Connect with Rich:

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 The Storytellers Network with Dan Moyle publishes every Monday at 7 AM EST.

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