School Of Laughs
School Of Laughs
Rik Roberts
From the aspiring comedian to the part time pro this is the podcast you've been looking for! This podcast is full of honest insight and useful information on the journey from the open mic to the sweet paying corporate gig. Shows range in format from "comedy campfires" where we swap out the fire for a mic and get to the key questions from aspiring comics to in-depth interviews with professional comedians, booking agents, managers and club owners. Led by 23 yr comedy veteran Rik Roberts (www.RikRoberts.com) as part of his School of Laughs (www.SchoolofLaughs.com) workshop series.
THE END OF AN ERA [EP. 255]
Today we wrap up the long-running (6 1/2 years) School of Laughs podcast! It started in July of 2014 and has run the course of over 255 episodes. If you have a question about stand-up comedy we have covered it on this podcast.  So as we wrap, where do you go from here? Today we talk about clearing off your schedule for upcoming goals. You can't add something new unless you subtract something from your list of tasks. What will those things be for you?  Lastly, what is your 5-10 year plan? Have you thought about how to get where you need to be to make those plans happen? We talk about a few things to consider when pursuing stand-up comedy as a career.  It's been a fun run. Thanks for listening. I hope you continue to share past episodes with your friends. Revisit topics as they become relevant for you.  (c)(p) 2022 School of Laughs Podcast www.SchoolOfLaughs.com www.RikRoberts.com  1-888-895-8549
Jan 1, 2022
19 min
GOALS TRACKER WORKSHEET EPISODE [EP. 254]
Today we focus on the year ahead. What are you trying to accomplish moving forward? Yes, it's the annual goals tracker worksheet episode! You can download the Goals Tracker Worksheet .pdf by clicking HERE. Thanks to the Patreon sponsor for this episode John Smith. We'll cover how to set attainable goals in bite-sized pieces. Specifically, we get into goals about: Writing comedy Writing with others Performing on stage Performing Virtual Creating Virtual Solutions Updating Websites E-mail Newsletter Lists Networking Ideas Cultivating your Social Media following and much, much, more! This goals tracker worksheet is one of my go-to for really understanding if I made any progress in the previous year or not. It also helps me pinpoint what I can do better and where I should spend my time. It will do the same for you. (C)(P) SCHOOL OF LAUGHS WWW.SCHOOLOFLAUGHS.COM  
Dec 14, 2021
32 min
MARKETING TIPS FOR COMICS WITH TRACY DeGRAFF  [EP. 253]
Sharing marketing tips for comics is the one and wonderful Tracy DeGraff. After penning her first book, "Laugh Anyway Mom", Tracy took classes at The Second City in Chicago hoping to take her stories to the comedy stage. Today, she joins us to share insights on what has worked (along with a few things that didn't) on her way to creating her one woman show. She emphasizes the need to pave your own P.R. way in order to sell tickets, bring awareness, and earn money as a comedian or speaker. Thanks to our PATREON sponsor for this episode MAX WINFREY! MARKETING TIPS FOR COMICS SHOW NOTES Specifically, we talk about: Her journey from writer to stand-up comedian/speaker Testing her book title and getting insightful feedback The difference between stand-up and storytelling Trading off her expertise to learn stand-up Taking classes at The Second City Why she chose to self-publish The difficulty in finding her ideal audience to test comedy Why it took awhile for her to utilize her journalism and PR degree How to get featured in local newspapers Why newspapers need content Providing everything needed to publish your story 3 Keys to getting published! How to "reverse-engineer" your shows for maximum return Producing her next video special How to determine an ad budget for your own show Capturing e-mail addresses and how to use them afterwards The benefits of using MAILCHIMP to create email campaigns Providing something to bookers so they remember you and much more. Visit her website: https://tracydegraaf.com (c)(p) School Of Laughs.com www.SchoolOfLaughs.com    
Nov 30, 2021
32 min
17 SHOWS IN 27 DAYS - LESSONS LEARNED [EP. 252]
I just wrapped up 17 shows in 27 days. I am still learning how to be a comedian, speaker, facilitator, and actor. On top of that, I have to book travel and get myself to and from the gigs. Today I am going to share with you a lesson learned from each of the events. During the run, my shows consisted of two of my speeches, my stand-up, personal appearances, and as audience warm-up. It requires a lot of versatility and resilience. Sometimes I think those qualities are more important than talent. Probably not, but they help! Nevertheless, this episode is chock full of comedy lessons learned during the 17 events performed. Thanks to our PATREON sponsor for this episode JOHN PETERS! COMEDY LESSONS LEARNED - SHOW NOTES Specifically, I'll talk about: What Barney Fife, Realtors, and a Mexican Restaurant have in common A unique soundproof booth for doing a zoom interview How an outreach event turned into a virtual solo show Why being overprepared comes in handy A lesson in generosity Standing your ground to protect your health and restfulness Working in new material How a former NFL player gave me a set-up for a new joke What to do when a health official coughs all over your microphone Being appreciative of your friends and family Remembering to loosen up and "add the flavor" Making a wish and top golf Rolling the dice on an Uber in Atlantic City The accent in Boston I wasn't expecting Establishing off-stage relationships with clients and CEO's How refreshing it is to work with other comics Knowing your crowd and when to slow down How gender jokes can still work and much more. Folks mentioned in this episode include: Dan Swartout [Episode 092] Let Your Style Develop John Branyan [Episode 116] Three New Premises Andrew Rudick David Pendleton Chris Cohen === NEVER MISS A PODCAST OR POST If you enjoy this PODCAST please subscribe in iTunes or STITCHER and leave a comment and ranking. Better yet, subscribe to the monthly School of Laughs “Insider Tips” email and get exclusive information delivered right to your inbox. It’s fast, free, useful, and fun. Just email: SchoolOfLaughs@gmail.com and put “insider tip sheet” in the subject header. I’ll make sure you get the official tip sheet and I promise to keep your email anonymous and spam-free.
Nov 15, 2021
1 hr 1 min
COMEDY WIN-WIN OPPORTUNITIES WITH CHESTER GOAD [EP. 251]
Today I am discussing comedy win-win opportunities with Chester Goad. I met Chester a few years ago at the BIG PODCAST conference with David Hooper. We've been in the loop ever since. During the past 18 months, we've spent many hours on coaching calls. Sometimes it is spent developing material, or creating a game plan. And always, trying to find win-win opportunities to develop his stage time and material. Chester is also a writer and actor. A podcast host (Film Fresh and Leader Byte). Learn more and contact Chester Goad at https://www.chesterg.com. COMEDY WIN-WIN OPPORTUNITIES WITH CHESTER GOAD SHOW NOTES Specifically, we talk about: cutting your teeth on shows where patrons don't expect to see a comedian providing value to a venue instead of asking for stage time writing about what you know connecting with the audience through local material networking in a real way with other comics the value of encouragement sometimes the payoff comes later than you expect Gutty's Comedy Club The Clean Comedy Challenge What Chester knows about BIGFOOT and much more. === NEVER MISS A PODCAST OR POST If you enjoy this PODCAST please subscribe in iTunes or STITCHER and leave a comment and ranking. Better yet, subscribe to the monthly School of Laughs “Insider Tips” email and get exclusive information delivered right to your inbox. It’s fast, free, useful, and fun. Just email: SchoolOfLaughs@gmail.com and put “insider tip sheet” in the subject header. I’ll make sure you get the official tip sheet and I promise to keep your email anonymous and spam-free.
Oct 31, 2021
34 min
CREATING A COMEDY CD with BRIAN KOHATSU [EP. 250]
Have you thought about CREATING A COMEDY CD? Brian Kohatsu joins us today to talk about a project that had been on his list for roughly 5 years. Coivd gave him time to finally knock it out and he knocked it out of the park! I'll play a few clips from his project "Secret Asian Man" and dig into the process for making the CD happen. CREATING A COMEDY CD SHOW NOTES Specifically, we talk about: making the project personal by including friends and family the need for a plan, schedule, and focus incorporating impressions into the album how he has a knack for impersonating the laughs of famous people using his personal skills and talent to save money and studio fees recording at home while the family is around and much more. Learn more about Brian and purchase his project at www.BrianKohatsu.com === NEVER MISS A PODCAST OR POST If you enjoy this PODCAST please subscribe in iTunes or STITCHER and leave a comment and ranking. Better yet, subscribe to the monthly School of Laughs “Insider Tips” email and get exclusive information delivered right to your inbox. It’s fast, free, useful, and fun. Just email: SchoolOfLaughs@gmail.com and put “insider tip sheet” in the subject header. I’ll make sure you get the official tip sheet and I promise to keep your email anonymous and spam-free.
Oct 14, 2021
30 min
FREQUENTLY ASKED COMEDY QUESTIONS [EP. 249]
Do you struggle with memorizing your jokes? Have you ever had problems with your voice during a show? What are the pros and cons of using props or musical instruments on stage? In this “after-school special” recorded with students from the writing class in Nashville, we discuss several techniques to help you tie your jokes together. We talk about how to save your failing voice. We go into detail about the many negatives of lugging extra things with you onstage. Also, we discuss some of the benefits of using those guitars and props. LISTEN NOW: Overall, this is a wide-ranging, fast-paced episode with great questions from these students. Listen and you’ll discover: How a friend of mine memorizes 90 minutes of material using his house. How you can connect my show together with tag lines. What my “hourglass” approach to comedy is. Why I was told to “lose the guitar” – and why I’m glad I didn’t! What happened when Carrot Top lost his props in a fire at the club. Why do some comedy club managers hate dealing with props of any kind onstage? and much more. === NEVER MISS A PODCAST OR POST If you enjoy this PODCAST please subscribe in iTunes or STITCHER and leave a comment and ranking. Better yet, subscribe to the monthly School of Laughs “Insider Tips” email and get exclusive information delivered right to your inbox. It’s fast, free, useful, and fun. Just email: SchoolOfLaughs@gmail.com and put “insider tip sheet” in the subject header. I’ll make sure you get the official tip sheet and I promise to keep your email anonymous and spam-free.
Oct 1, 2021
41 min
GETTING STARTED with CHRIS RUPPE [EP. 248]
Chris Ruppe is our guest on this episode, and he is also our Patreon sponsor. I first met Chris at a Christian Comedy Association conference. Since then he has developed material and started to think about going full time into comedy. Along those lines, Chris had some specific questions about making that move. If you are considering making comedy a full-time job, this episode is a musty listen. CHRIS RUPPE SHOW NOTES Specifically, we talk about: How he got started promoting shows before being a comedian Jokes he’s working on now Tips on finding an “extra gear” to copse your show on Writing his closing bits A fun way to find out who you talk about in your show Paul Gilmartin’s “Sister Joan” poem Tips on when to go full time in comedy How do you navigate secular shows as a Christian comedian? Do you think it is okay to collaborate as a comedian? Tips on getting booked. And much, much more. (c)(p) 2021 Rik Roberts School of Laughs www.SchoolOfLaughs.com
Sep 16, 2021
41 min
LONG LIVE JEANNE ROBERTSON [EP. 247]
[This encore presentation of my interview with Jeanne Robertson is in honor of the late Speaker & Huomrists passing. Prayers and condolences for all those who were close to her. ] An interview with a rock star - Jeanne Robertson! In July of 2017, I had a great time talking with Jeanne. We discuss a career that started in the late ’60s and has carried her into the 2020s. You don’t last that 58 years in show business unless you are jaw-dropping funny. Jeanne Robertson absolutely is! Jeanne arrived on my radar in 2015 when I heard her routines on Laugh USA (SiriusXM Satellite radio). I had never crossed paths with her at a comedy club and kept wondering “Where did this hilarious lady come from?” It turns out she comes from North Carolina and entered comedy through the speaking circuit. She’s quick to tell you she is a humorist – not a stand-up comedian. But don’t let that fool you. Her stories are full of laughs all the way to the huge surprise payoff. With over 344,000 YouTube Subscribers and over 100 MILLION views, Jeanne grew more popular than ever. After getting to know her for years through her routines, I finally got the chance to meet up with Jeanne at a session on humor at the National Speaker’s Association conference in Orlando, FL. Jeanne Robertson Show Notes Specifically, we talk about: Connecting through the National Speakers Association Her upcoming show at the Ryman Auditorium Watching Carol Burnett live and getting to meet her Weaving a little audience participation into her shows Going from the Miss North Carolina Pageant to the speaking circuit Working in a message for her corporate audiences Embracing the internet and catapulting her career Getting help from Al McCree to go digital on iTunes The difference between being a speaker and a concert entertainer What to expect at a comedy club vs hearing a humorist Updating and improving material that continues to grow The origin of “Left Brain” stories based on her husband Jerry Giving the audience permission to laugh The process and steps she uses to develop stories The Genie Journal and how it helps accumulate stories How not talking about yourself can generate material And a whole lot more! Want to learn more about Jeanne Robertson Jeanne’s official website http://www.jeannerobertson.com “Don’t Send A Man To The Grocery Store” on YOUTUBE
Aug 31, 2021
39 min
BOUNCING BACK, BO BURNHAM & BITS [EP 246]
In today's episode, Jonnie W. & Brian Bates join me. We discuss how the comedy scene is bouncing back, the latest Bo Burnham special, and how changing one line in a joke can take it to newer and sometimes better places. This episode is sponsored by Patreon supporter Jeremy Lee. If you would like to support the podcast please visit www.SchoolOfLaughs.com/Patreon. Specifically, we talk about: Are the audiences masked, stressed, or back to normal The vaccinated and the unvaccinated are all attending How the Delta Variant is causing disruption Venues and artists requiring audience members to be vaccinated to attend Bo Burnham's comedy special and how revealing it is (underwear alert) Our favorite parts of the special How technology has changed our cultural norm Why keeping new jokes conversational can lead to moments of discovery How a horrible audience can reveal your best material Are the first few minutes of your show super important or completely disposable? How Foxworthy and Leno treat their audiences WWW.SCHOOLOFLAUGHS.COM
Aug 14, 2021
43 min
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