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Scents of Humor

Air Date: 10/21/2023

Scents of Humor

How much importance do we really place on using our five senses? Most of us know the value of smell, taste, sight, sound but how much do we rely on those senses with our acting? Better yet, can we use our five senses with our emotions? Take, for example, humor. Exactly how does funny smell? Sound’s crazy right? Well stick around because I will take on the important subject of your scents of humor (get it? Not sense but scents) on this episode of Casting Actors Cast!

I love being punny. I got it from my dad, I think. A skunk, a deer and a duck went out to dinner. When it came time to pay. The skunk didn't have a scent and the deer didn't have a buck, so they put the meal on the duck’s bill. I wear two different deodorants, one for each armpit. But that's just my two cents. Scents of Humor is just a fun way of talking about the serious subject of comedy. Now I realize that there is not a lot to find humorous these days, yet, having an understanding of how our acting can benefit from our sense of humor, we can create unique choices. Let’s look at what makes something funny.

1. Objective not subjective (banana peel point of view)

2. Exaggerated or heightened reality (situation comedy)

3. Unusual behavior (character does something that surprises)

4. Unexpected reactions from another to a situation/statement

5. Relatable circumstances that we identify with (self-deprecating)

How do we use any/all of these elements in our acting choices?

1. Find the serious in funny and the funny in serious

2. Apply the basic rules of joke telling; Setup/Delivery-Punch line

3. It’s either in the writing or character or both

4. Ask if the circumstance warrants your funny choices

5. Even the most deadly scene is more powerful when approached lightly

Why is a sense of humor important to develop and maintain?

1. Part of the human condition. We need an outlet for self expression

2. Provides depth of understanding and intelligence

3. Relatable/empathetic

4. Shifts the energy (gear change) in any situation

5. Contributes to the mood/personality of the character

Scents of Humor can be pleasant, dramatic, silly, insane or healthy. It can smell like bananas, bon fires, baby’s and bouquets. Growing your own sense of humor is yet another tool in your acting arsenal. Available for you to try out even when you have a “tryout.”

Jeffrey Dreisbach, Casting Partner, McCorkle Casting LTD-New York, NY

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