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Be a Great Stand-Up: Teach Yourself [Paperback]

Logan Murray
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
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Book Description

25 Jun 2010

Is this the right book for me?

Logan Murray has successfully taught the techniques of stand-up comedy to thousands, and in this book he distills his years of experience into the essential skills for a great and enjoyable performance. He will help you find your own creative streak and your funny side, build the confidence to deliver, and explain the finer details of stagecraft, from dealing with hecklers to coping with props. There is a full guide to the practicalities, from finding gigs to securing an agent, with plenty of valuable hints, tips and advice. Drawing on Logan's years of teaching and his own successful stand-up career, with top tips from some of the most well-known people in the business, it is guaranteed to bring a smile to both your face and that of your future audience.

Be a Great Stand-up includes:

Part one - Theory

Chapter 1: Where do jokes come from?

Chapter 2: Building a joke

Chapter 3: Comedy ground rules

Chapter 4: What sort of comic are you?

Part two - Practical sessions

Chapter 5: Unlocking your creativity

Chapter 6: Emotional exaggeration

Chapter 7: Creating material

Chapter 8: Stagecraft

Chapter 9: Microphone technique

Chapter 10: Hecklers and crowd control

Chapter 11: What other comics think

Chapter 12: Business

Chapter 13: Your first gig

Chapter 14: The future

Learn effortlessly with a new easy-to-read page design and interactive features:

Not got much time?

One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started.

Author insights

Lots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience.

Test yourself

Tests in the book and online to keep track of your progress.

Extend your knowledge

Extra online articles to give you a richer understanding of the subject.

Five things to remember

Quick refreshers to help you remember the key facts.

Try this

Innovative exercises illustrate what you've learnt and how to use it.


Frequently Bought Together

Be a Great Stand-Up: Teach Yourself + The Serious Guide to Joke Writing: How To Say Something Funny About Anything + The Secrets to Writing Great Comedy (Teach Yourself)
Price For All Three: 32.17

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Teach Yourself (25 Jun 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1444107267
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444107265
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Logan Murray has been a working comedian since 1984. He has no idea how he wrote his book and puts it down to too much chocolate.
Over the years, he has performed in every conceivable venue and has written for T.V. and radio. He has appeared in variety shows, sit-coms, documentaries, panel shows and game shows.
When he is not performing as himself, he performs as the monstrously bitter tired old showbiz hack Ronnie Rigsby who has a showbiz career of live dates and T.V. and radio appearances to rival his own!
Logan Murray was also one half of the infamous 90s double act 'Bib and Bob' with Jerry Sadowitz. They have appeared all over the country, including a West End run at the Criterion Theatre, (the police were called twice and the critics lauded it as the best bad taste show ever).
He has directed the stage shows of award-winning comedians, lectured at Middlesex University and teaches comedy at the B.B.C.
Logan Murray regularly holds highly acclaimed courses in London and is acknowledged as one of the best comedy tutors in the U.K.
He has recently been asked to write another book about comedy and is mildly terrified at the prospect.
He can be found at www.loganmurray.com


Product Description

Review

"The author's love for his job shines through...it has inspired me to pencil a date in my diary for my own return to stand-up after a ten-year hiatus." (- www.channel4.com/4laughs)

"With advice from several comics and tips on how the business end of comedy works, anyone who reads it will feel empowered, full of confidence that they can take to the stage." (- www.chortle.co.uk)

Stand-up is such a visual and oral medium, how could you possibly gain anything other than very basic advice from a self-help book? Logan Murray has succeeded. The highly experienced stand-up and comedy course tutor, has written a very useful guide to starting out as a stand-up comedian. (- LaughRiot.co.uk)

Book Description

From one of the UK's most acclaimed and successful tutors of stand-up comedy comes this guide to understanding, developing and, most importantly, delivering a great comedy routine.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've ever read on stand-up 20 May 2009
Format:Paperback
I own at least 8 books on stand-up comedy, and I only bought this one because I just arrived in London and considered doing Logan Murray's course.

Well, after only reading some random parts of the book I knew that this is by far the best and most helpful book on stand-up comedy I have ever read. It covers lots of areas other established books don't even touch; there is golden advice on every page, and unlike with many of the other books you know after reading only a few lines that here is somebody who has actually done stand-up successfully instead of just writing about it.
For anybody who thinks about trying their hand at stand-up: buy this book!

Having said that, I don't want to slag all off the other books, but too many of them tell you too many things you already know or that are simply about 20 years out of date. If you would like to complement this book with others, I'd recommend Jay Sankey's "Zen and the art of stand-up comedy" for a very interesting look at the performance side of stand-up, and Greg Dean's "Step by Step to Stand-up Comedy" mainly for its interesting and helpful approach to the dreadfully tricky topic of rehearsing for stand-up comedy. And since Greg Dean covers the important (though in some ways dated) set-up/punchline stuff (that everybody who's ever told a joke probably knows, to be honest) you probably don't need any of the others, either.

But for me, Logan Murray's book is absolute top dog among these three and I will definitely do his course even though I've been on stage before.

Ah yeah, none of the books will of course save you from actually going on stage over and over and over again and dying on your arse every now and then.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars comedy toolkit 23 July 2009
Format:Paperback
I have bought a number of stand-up comedy books, done a few gigs (failed to beat the frog, gonged off at the comedy store) and even took a part time course. If I'd had this book to start with I would have progressed further a lot quicker. This is a very practical manual which will have you writing your own material very soon. It helps you decide which type of comic you want to be, and shows you how to play to your strengths. It's a good book at a good price, and in my view should be top of your list.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A goldmine for the beginner! 15 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd done two open mic spots before getting this and let's just say they didn't go fantastically!
With the help of this book I have managed to write some fantastic new material. All of which I managed to mine out of my own head thanks to the techniques I picked up form this book. I would recommend this to anyone who has suffered with the dreaded writers block, as it offers all kinds of writing ideas that will get your creative juices flowing again.

While there are a lot of useful exercises for the individual working alone, there are twice as many for those working in groups (No use to me but great if you're working with other trainee comedians!). Even so, there's plenty for the lone writer to get stuck into, including a complete set building workshop.

This book follows the standard format of the Teach Yourself range which is easy to follow and packed with handy tips and words of wisdom from other comedians. Taking you from the history of stand-up through comedy theory, joke theory & routine building right up to stagecraft and the all important business side.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I say the best all-inclusive starter guide *money* can buy, having said that bartering or exchanging love or other goods might find you a better guide.

This is a fantastic book - giving you a good guide of basic how to do everything on stage - from mic usage to pausing and working the room - as well as excellent stuff on how to generate material and ways to come up with different ways of doing the joke. Oh, and afterthought everything.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Actually works 14 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are plenty of crap books out there written by unfunny hacks, but after reading this and then taking one of the guy's courses, I can honestly say it was the best book I ever bought. Not that he's trying to come on like Dostoevsky but its massively practical and finally kicked me into comedy, with the material and confidence his games instil in you. Please don't buy it though because comedy is full and I don't want any more competition.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Logan Murray loves stand-up comedy, he loves the whole concept of it, he's made his living at it for over 20 years and he loves teaching it. All this comes across in this inspiring book. It's packed with advice for the new comic and is a complete guide to becoming a stand-up. It has loads of impro exercises that are particularly good for groups but there's quite a few writing exercises you can do on your own. These really get your creative juices flowing. I teach comedy myself and this is the book my student's like best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic, practical and interesting 29 May 2010
Format:Paperback
This is the best book on the market I have read. I have used the ideas to improve my performance (after dinner speaking), and would recommend the book to anyone interested in reading about, thinking about and especially doing something about getting better as a stand-up/comedy performer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets you thinking and gets you creative 17 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback
An excellent step up from Greg Deans stand up book. This book certainly gets you thinking and broadens your view of what is funny. It doesnt concentrate on joke formats but instead exercises to get you working within those formats and creating material. Advice at the end from working stand ups gives a true reflection of the pros and cons and some useful advice.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Procrastination Buster
Brilliant book! Full of useful tips and games. It's the only thing that's every managed to cure my procrastination when it comes to writing stand up.
Published 9 days ago by Aaron Levene
5.0 out of 5 stars ... any of them without the information contained in this great book -...
Five gigs in I can honestly say I wouldn't have done any of them without the information contained in this great book - from helping me develop material to sitting in the car... Read more
Published 11 days ago by N A Mellors
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have!
A brilliantly clear tool to help you start to understand the true science and art behind stand-up. A must for anyone wanting to start out in Comedy but equally useful for... Read more
Published 12 days ago by helen orton
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book for wannabe stand up comics!
This is a brilliant book for those who have an interest in or have ever thought about doing standup comedy. Read more
Published 22 days ago by J. K. Mealing
5.0 out of 5 stars Do it!
Great great book.
Read a paragraph and you know you're listening to someone speaking form experience. Read more
Published 22 days ago by jacob cuddihy
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is bloody brilliant.
For me, the thing that sets this book out from alternatives is that it is brilliantly written and is by someone who has been doing comedy for (20? Read more
Published 22 days ago by SusanS
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It's okay but I bought it as a gift for someone else
Published 23 days ago by Sam E
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and encouraging
Brilliant! A great primer on comedy writing and performance. I didn't buy it with any aspirations of being a stand-up, more just as a general tool to use in daily life. Read more
Published 1 month ago by StuartM
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book instructive, deals with most points.
A great book that deals with most points your going to need for a career in stand up comedy, doesn't cover everything but pretty comprehensive.
Published 3 months ago by Mike Hines
5.0 out of 5 stars Be A Great Stand Up - Logan Murray
An excellent book and constant companion. I can be quite narrow minded when trying to be creative, but the exercises in the book have helped drive me into hitherto unknown... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Clownandy
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