How to be a Comedian

Blogging on my birthday. Seems weird. But I am not hear to talk about what I will be doing for my Birthday. Actually what made me want to write this post was a conversation I had with my family the other night and a cousin of mine began telling how Michael McIntyre (a famous English comedian) spoke about an amusing incident in one of his shows which left us all laughing. This led me to think about comedy and how one uses comedy to be funny. That cousin of mine was impersonating McIntyre and in a way she had craftily taken on his role by re-telling the story. This made me think. After all, we all have a comedian inside us. So here I am to try to fathom what makes these funny people so…well funny.

1. Situational Comedy

We have all heard of the word ‘Sit-Com’. A stand up comedian tries to illustrate exactly that. They can pick a certain incident in their life or of another person’s life and completely rip that situation to shreds by taking a laugh out of it. If you notice, most comedians state things within a story. There is normally a background to their actual point of humour, making the incident very situational. Hmm…not so much of a hard task for the common man?

2. Gestures

When my cousin told us the story, we all agreed that McIntyre is extremely savvy with his head bobbing. It wasn’t hard for my cousin to impersonate that same gesture to bring in the comic timing to the story. And as I analysed it further, I gathered that most comedians implement this useful tool in order to make their act seem more comical. Imagine a comedian who stood in one position all the time and only uttered words. He would probably not have a job for too long! The thing with people is that they want raw entertainment, so the sillier and wackier the antics are of the comedian, the funnier they find him or her. Lets all become clowns then.

3. Having the knack of being a racist and getting away with it.

This one’s a classic and I apologise if I am generalising but would you happen to remember a certain ‘The Apprentice UK: You’re fired’ incident where Dara O’Brian, the host of the show passed a seemingly racist remark after showing a video clipping about an audience poll, on who should be the winner. If you have not I’ll explain. The people being interviewed were from all races (naturally since the UK is a multi cultural and multi ethnic country) and there came a little asian boy who excitedly quipped on who he wanted to be the apprentice whilst being cute and hilarious. Once over, O’Brian managed to pass a remarkably racist comment, potentially carrying characteristics of being offensive, but easily ignored when he uttered ‘that Indian kid’. Unless he knew the ethnic origins of all the people being interviewed how would he have known? Okay so it was a joke, and was meant to be humorous, therefore it was allowed. Thus if you’re good at being a racist, you’re probably a really funny person!

4. Word play

A good comedian has the power of words and the talent of structuring sentences in order to be witty. More importantly the ability to form sentences and use the correct words on the spot, meaning; improvisation. This brings me on to my next and final point.

5. Delivery

A comedian must have the confidence to deliver a perfect speech in order to engage the audience. Without this confidence, the delivery will lack, and a perfectly funny story in your mind, will come through as being rather dull and boring. Your over-enthusiasm can also be an over kill at times. I’ll be honest I’m pathetic at telling a good joke. Sadly the way I feel it, I cannot say it! Watching me attempt is apparently amusing though..

So there you have it. Do you have what it takes to be a successful comedian? I hope this is a concise explanation of how you can win the hearts of people, through your comedian inside you!

The art of giving Charity

I had a sudden surge of memory, remembering the time when my Dad told me a story about this inspiring lady who opened a small shack in a run down road, providing food on a daily basis for the poverty-stricken people that hover the streets of Pakistan. It is without a doubt not possible that she could have managed to feed every single person living in destitution, however what struck me most was this innocent thought she must have had in mind. To give a free service, and to be able to fill the stomachs of at least a few people, with wholesome and longed for food. She must have begun her journey with the aim of eradicating hunger.

It is human nature to expect the absolute best when having a goal. A motivated goal. A drive to succeed. We apply this motivation in many aspects of life; for academic studying, whilst aiming for a high flying career and whilst decorating your house for the show of others. Yet charity and giving is something we leave behind in the busy race for the perfect life.

Charity is a service. As simple as smiling to a pedestrian whom you have given way to cross is charity. I remember one time I was coming back home from University for my holidays, I reached Euston Station and hopped on to the escalator absentmindedly. Little did I know that a few moments later I would see a trolley toppling down the stairs and crashing on to me! Needless to say I got hurt, more emotionally than physically. In the meanwhile that I rubbed my leg to ease the pain, the lady who owned the luggage, trotted up to me, picked up her luggage, and swiftly walked away, without as much as acknowledging me, let alone say sorry. Much like the other day when my brother and I got stuck in the car whilst we waited for our parents to come out of Sainsburys (which I must say was highly embarrassing as it locked itself automatically) and the alarm recurrently went off, deafening my brother and having me in a flit of tears! The onlookers just watched in amusement, increasing both our anxiety. It was a sight to see,  and it came to show that no one comes to help in a time of need. It was not that we wanted help, but their curious faces were making us more conscious of our surroundings.

If charity in the form of a kind gesture is scarce, then how would one expect charity in the form of giving financially. How many times have you come across an advertisement about countries struck my famine, dirty water and diseases. How much do you do? Probably stop what you are eating at that moment, or change the channel. Strangely poverty has not diminished over time, but is on a new high. If I can get inspired by one campaign on the net or on TV, and go over to a charity shop and donate whatever I can, I am doing a little, and that little would go a long way if everyone were to do that. Furthermore these kinds of acts are needed, in order to influence others. That lady working strenuously for the sake of those in need is a symbol of exemplary people out there in this world.

Stonehaven: A place of reckoning

Today I had the pleasant opportunity of witnessing the beauty and peace of Stonehaven, a small town neighbouring Aberdeen in Scotland. In all honesty I had no absolute clue as to where we were going, but I was lured in the plan by my parents as they promised my brother and I dinner at this well known seafood restaurant in the quaint town! I am also a sucker of historic findings so I looked forward to checking out the Dunnottar Castle.

We drove straight to where the captivating castle in ruins is situated, on a rocky hilltop about three kilometres south of Stonehaven itself, and overlooking the magnificent sea. The location is perfect for all those ace hikers who love a walk, as there is a lot of exploring to do aside from the Castle itself, with the beautiful sea shore where many a people go to sit and enjoy pensive time alone or in the company of others. Once arriving I felt at ease with nature; the buzzing bees,the wind soothing my face, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore and the rustling of leaves. It was also an educational trip in order to understand the importance of such a Castle. So whilst enjoying the calmness of my character due to all the surrounding nature, I walked along the different angles of the Castle and ruined chambers to get a gist of what life must have been like.

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The castle has a long history, and the most notable tenure of the Castle was that of George Keith, the 5th Earl Marishal who put to good use the Castle and made it somewhat into a community of life. There was the added security of it being on a cliff which meant the inhabitants had the upper hand in case of an unexpected enemy attack. Life was buzzing in the Castle. Food was plentiful, with fresh fish from the sea and meat by the nearby Angus farm. Trade was also extremely prevalent as they were near the sea and ships easily brought back silks and spices. With all this information packed in my head I let loose my imagination which is always a nice pass time! The Castle was amongst the most trusted and sought after places to be, primarily because of its locale, therefore when Oliver Cromwell scouted to obtain the crown jewels of Scotland from Edinburgh, they were cleverly snuck away to Dunnottar Castle for safekeeping. It was not before 8 months that Cromwell was successful in besieging the Castle, that a bloody battle began, much to the surprise that the Jewels were hidden away by a loyal maid servant of the Castle and thus never got in the hands of Cromwell. This comes to show two interesting aspects of Dunnottar Castle; the terrific security that came as a result of the position of the Castle, which proved an impediment to the path of attackers, and the brilliant loyalty of the workers. All which made the Castle a unique place in itself!

After that fascinating experience my family and I headed out to Stonehaven town centre for a tour around the seaside town and dinner of course! We drove to the pier and walked around to see a very relaxed atmosphere. The weather was on our side and allowed us to have a far more superior experience, where the sun was brighter than most days! Dinner was exquisite at The Tolbooth, a well-known riverside seafood restaurant of Stonehaven that is visited by people around the globe and one of the many attractions of Scotland! I enjoyed the day’s special monkfish whilst my parents both ordered the sea bass, all fresh out of the sea! It was definitely a delight especially since I absolutely adore seafood, having just come back from Italy where I luckily had the opportunity to live and experience life for six months. The opportunity to sit by an amazing view of the pier was one the few highlights of our impromptu visit. Luckily we were given a table because most tables were reserved! One thing to mention especially is that if you do go to The Tolbooth the bread they serve before the meal arrives is delicious! They also have complimentary seafood starters, which were lovely!

Once the stomachs were pleasantly loaded up we walked around the bay and came across many interesting aspects of the town. There was a bench close by which was dedicated to an Artist that loved Stonehaven which was nice to see because it meant the town is much loved. We walked along the bay walk which had an almost photographic quality; it was that appealing. It was incredibly peaceful and the sea glistened from the reflection of the Sun. We arrived at the promenade and came across some beach side shops and restaurants, and had ice cream at a wonderful family run shop called Aunty Betty’s. The ice cream was light and tasteful, and the people were extremely friendly. The Sun was setting and it became a little chilly, so we sat and had ice cream in the car which was amusing because as we looked side to side we saw many families perched in their cars, having Aunty Betty’s ice cream!

Eight months ago I did not know I would get to see Scottish countryside at its best, but I came, and have grown extremely fond of Aberdeenshire for its fantastic seaside life. The eating out, the places to see, are all aspects you cannot miss about these Scottish highlands. If you are on a lookout for a Scottish holiday, I recommend you pay a visit to Aberdeenshire for the magnificent surroundings and nature to play with. I certainly enjoyed myself, and though I will be saying goodbye to Scotland for now, as I leave back to England in some days, I will come back to visit these places again, as they are a sight for sore eyes!