In my personal experience with performance and theatre, I have found that a number of my friends and colleagues are faced with the issues no one quite likes to talk about: Mental Health. From depression, anxiety, and bipolar tendencies, a large percentage of performers are affected by these terrible illnesses, especially comedians. Stand-Up Comics, some of the funniest people on the planet, scored higher than the average person for extreme characteristics associated with mental illness and psychosis. In my paper, I will explore the formula of the comedic personality, why comics portray themselves as they do, and ultimately answer the question, “Do you have to be sad to be funny?”.
Background: Wayne Brady talks about the struggles of various comedians, namely Robin Williams, and discussed why mental health awareness is important to all.
How I Intend to Use It: I would like to use this article to bring forth the discussion on mental health through those that are affected heavily by the issue.
Background: Several current comedians tell the “price” of being a comedian, and the toll it takes on performers of the past and present day.
How I Intend to Use It: This article will help me show that being a comedian isn’t all fun and games, that these performers face plenty of hardships and risk in their line of work.
Background: This article covers the science of the comedic personality and whether or not suffering is essential for a comedian to perform.
How I Intend to Use It: This article proposes a hypothetical counterargument, and will help me determine wether or not there is a specific set of traits required to be a comedian.
Background: Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada talks about his in-house therapy program for Laugh Factory performers, and why he feels this type of open discussion is necessary.
How I Intend to Use It: This article will provide insight into the parts of the community actively combatting the problem, as well as bringing forth why seeking help is important.
Background: This article covers the research done by Oxford University into the mind of the comedian, showing through their studies why comedians act as they do.
How I Intend to Use It: This is the article I will use to find statistics and scientific support to back my idea.