It was a Wednesday. There we were in a meeting room with our ECD, ready to talk her through an idea.
With a healthy balance of enthusiasm and tentativeness, we revealed we wanted to set a challenge to all of VaynerMedia London’s creatives: to perform a stand up comedy act. Her initial reaction was: “Bloody hell!” And rightly so. It’s not every day two of your team want to make everyone in your department stand in front of a mic and make a crowd of strangers laugh.
We set this challenge to our fellow creatives because we believe humour has the power to bring us together in so many ways.
So, why do it?
Some may think we must be stand-up devotees to want to bring something like this to the table. But the reality is that we’re not aspiring comedians. We have no desire to take the Apollo by storm with our crazy life stories or our hilarious takes on the mundane. We set this challenge to our fellow creatives because we believe humour has the power to bring us together in so many ways.
Above: As daunting as it can be, stand-up can also be incredibly rewarding.
We speak from experience. As part of a Creative Writing degree at university, one of us was lucky enough to be given a similar task for a comedy-focused unit. We were all made to write and perform a 10-minute set to our fellow students and lecturers, all recorded and put (against our will) on YouTube after the fact.
Despite being one of the most daunting experiences ever, it was also one of the most rewarding.
Yet, despite being one of the most daunting experiences ever, it was also one of the most rewarding. Making a room full of people laugh was not only the ultimate confidence boost, but everyone who took part became so much closer as a result.
So, we wanted to do the same thing for our creative department. While an unnerving prospect for many, a shared experience of learning to craft a stand-up act together, perfecting our jokes and performing them in front of one another had the potential to bring both the experienced and the newbies together in a more meaningful way than our average day-to-day work.
Bravely finding the humour in your vulnerability or struggles, and being courageous enough to share this with your team, not only offers a deeper insight into your personality and sense of humour, but the act of braving the stage together would be a memorable experience for all.
Above: Laughter is a powerful thing.
Beyond this newfound affinity, it doesn’t just bring you closer to your peers – well executed comedy can create common ground with the most distant strangers. Comedy has this magical knack of taking seemingly contrasting aspects of everyday life then being able to show – through a unique perspective – how they’re connected in a new, hilarious way. And this is what allows the joker on stage to vibe with their audience, as well as the audience members to vibe with each other.
What’s more, comedy literally improves your mental health. The act of laughing reduces our stress, relaxes us and provides a fresh perspective on our lives. So, knowing you've done this for your audience is nothing short of wonderful.
Whether you’re an introverted extrovert or stammer at the thought of public speaking, we highly encourage you to give stand up a try.
Above all, the true power of laughter lies in reminding us to have fun once in a while. In a world that can often feel divided and overwhelming, regular doses of humour are needed more than ever. Whether you’re a Gen Z creative crafting a funky social media post, or a working-mum consuming that content, laughter is and always will be the most powerful tool for connecting people.
Talent of all ages can benefit from the wonders of writing and performing comedy. Whether you’re an introverted extrovert or stammer at the thought of public speaking, we highly encourage you to give stand up a try, even as a one off. If a couple of rookies like us can have a crack at it, so can you.