"I got even more excited when I learned that humor arises in working the gap between one’s primary social persona and the self it aims to conceal..."
I didn't know it was possible, but I fell more deeply in love with comedy while teaching Marj's class in Boulder last winter. I referred to a joke as beautiful. Marj said, "Not beautiful. It's elegant." She demonstrated the parallel between good comedy and poetry: intentional language, or "le mot juste." Below is Marj's first time performing on the comedy stage. I love how she combines a serious, almost severe demeanor with a wry, self-mocking viewpoint. Girl's got gravitas.
Click here for her video.
Stand Up: The Workshop surprisingly expanded me as a writer overall and as a human being. I knew this was the right comedic expression for me (vs. improv) when I learned, in the first class, that effective standup-comedy writing requires no extra words—a major feature in good poem- and essay-writing too, my primary creative pursuits.
I got even more excited when I learned that humor arises in working the gap between one’s primary social persona and the self it aims to conceal, which gave me permission to accept my not-so-congenial self, the one who is an acerbic straight-talker in her pragmatic observations of the world. Having acquired a writing genre that not only elicits new ways of saying (and allows suppressed ways of saying) but demands new (or reclaimed) ways of seeing, I’ve been more deliberately applying my comedic lens and voice—incisive, dry, understated—to my other writing. Even better, I’ve been walking around the world in a more humorously alert state of being.
Marj Hahne took the workshop to fulfill part of the Outside Experience requirement of her graduate school programulfill part of her requirement for Outside Experience in her graduate school program. She's a freelance editor, writer and writing teacher. She’s performed and taught poetry at over 100 venues around the country, as well as been featured on public radio and television. Her poetry, prose, and critical reviews have appeared in literary journals, anthologies, and several art exhibits, and she's an MFA candidate in the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. She's also founder/director of The Avocado Sisterhood, a membership organization for women and girl writers. Find out more at www.MarjHahne.com www.TheAvocadoSisterhood.com