White Paper – twofoursixohtwo

How To Make A Comedian

Content Description

  • Mental Illness in Comedians
  • The Link Between Comedy and Depression
  • Counterintuitiveness of Comedians
  • Are Comedians Really Depressed?
  • The Comedian Formula

Working Hypothesis 1

A troubled childhood plus a tragic backstory with some vulnerability added in is the key to  creating the best comedian, and the way to make the best comedian perfect is to exploit these traits to the ends of the Earth.

Working Hypothesis 2

Entertainment is a demanding, crushingly disappointing business to take part in, but through therapy and group discussion, the torment of comedians can now be expressed in a healthy way, and perhaps even inspire and create a better form of comedy without the risk of self-destruction.

Topics For Smaller Papers

  • Misconceptions of Mental Illness
    • What causes mental illness. Different types of mental illness and how they affect a person. How and why mental illness is not treated the same way as a physical illness of injury. How to educate those who are ignorant to the importance of treating mental health issues.
  • Suicide
    • The symptoms, signs, and aftermath of suicide for the victim and those closest to them. How to avoid and prevent this terrible thing and learning to cope when troubled people take their lives.
  • Performers and Mental Health
    • Do you have to be a little be crazy to be a performer? Probably. Everyone is a little nuts, performers are just better at using it to their advantage, or so it seems.
  • Substance Abuse
    • Why do performers and entertainers of all kinds turn to alcohol and drugs? Is there a connection between entertainment and substance abuse? Are these addictions rooted in the stress of performing, or something outside their trade?
  • Counterintuitiveness in Comedians
    • Those who have the ability to make us laugh and brighten our days are usually the ones who need it the most. While not every comedian is troubled, most, if not all, test for high levels of psychotic traits. They are complicated, as most people are, and are a mess of contradictions: happy/sad, introverted/extroverted, etc.

Current State

I have mixed feelings about my topic. While I am very passionate about entertainers and their struggles with mental illness, I feel like I narrowed the field so much that there isn’t enough diversity in my research. Most of the articles I found are talking about the same things, just reworded. I don’t want to change my subject, but I may look into expanding the pool to all performers as opposed to just comedians. If I can find more research on this specific field of individuals, I would like to continue with their stores, but in any case as long as the topic is entertainment in relation to mental health, I will be satisfied. That being said, I have found some interesting information about the biology of comedians and what makes them tick, in a sense, and hope to find more information on the various studies conducted on comedians. Along with that, there are a number of comedians I know and love that I had no idea were suffering from depression until I started researching, which made me all the more intrigued in the topic. This assignment did help me open up to new topics within my paper, and I plan to use these other topics to my advantage and broaden my research horizon. In the coming week, I want to look into these new topics, and hope to find information relevant to my paper.

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