The pursuit of the ideal Humorous Interpretation piece is an endeavor you either dread or anticipate. Dread if you are directionless; anticipate if the adventure has some guidance. This does not particularly mean that you have names of titles and authors to research–though, in all honesty this does help alleviate anxiety! Preparation can come from understanding what type of Humorous Interpretation to search for. This sounds base, but knowing what sort of piece is best suited for you actually eliminates fruitless seeking. As you head to the library, bookstore, or Internet here are some questions you should ask of yourself and the piece:
What type of humor do you like? Everyone has a comedic preference and acceptable spectrum of what is funny. Monty Python might be the comedy Holy Grail to some, while be distasteful and idiotic to others. Performing a Humorous Interpretation that you do not find funny will not only show your disdain for the work, but also lack humor because you will not be going for the jokes! So why bother even looking at pieces of disinterest? Know what you like and searching for pieces with similar types of humor (a quick Internet search can give you some ideas) will lead you to a HI quicker than a blind search.
Any authors or titles you enjoy? If you are aware of some authors or titles that you know you enjoy it is in your best interest to research more of those authors’ work and see if anything else (LESS KNOWN) is hilarious and capable of being turned into an HI. You should also try to find what other authors people who share similar tastes like (go to Amazon, type in an author’s name, go to a product, and look at the “what others bought” section). This will give you a larger pool of work to sleuth through.
What abilities do you have? Are you great at voices? Can you contort yourself Jim Carey style into new characters? Maybe your deadpan delivery is exquisite? Whatever you excel in is what you should look for in a potential script. Your Humorous Interpretation needs to highlight your skills. It makes you look great but also allows the script to be performed at its best. You and the script should work together to deliver a spectacular performance.
What are you comfortable doing? If there is anything in the piece that leaves you feeling iffy then this piece is not meant for you. If you EVER feel uncomfortable with a script then your insecurity will cause cracks in your performance. Humorous Interpretations that lack confidence result in half-done gags and the audience sensing your reserve. Thus, knowing a Humorous Interpretation built around dark comedy would leave you questioning the content you know to avoid even reading dark comedies on your piece searching.
Is this challenging? Choosing a Humorous Interpretation because it’s easy is a poor quality to describe something you will be devoting part of your life to. Your HI reflects who you are, so show audiences that you like to take risks and push yourself to excel. Plus, you want to have a place to work towards during the season. If you already mastered your piece midway through the season you will become bored and your performance zeal will slip. Also, as you become stagnant others will continue to grow and surpass you.
Is this safe? A safe Humorous Interpretation is a bland Humorous Interpretation. You do not want to choose something that is overly vulgar or shocking just to be shocking, but having a piece that has a few risks and challenges will drive you as a performer–and take your audience off-guard in a good way!
Can this be cut? If a piece cannot be cut to fit time (or to fit the basic storytelling structure: Exposition (introduction of characters, setting, etc.) –> CONFLICT and Rising Action (the issue is discovered and problems arise due to the conflict) –> Climax (the height of conflict and highest tension; everything is unleashed!) –> Falling Action (things begin to settle down and a solution is sought) –> Dénouement (the resolution/conclusion; things come to an end happily or not).) then it is not worth a second glance. File it away for a work in progress if you absolutely love it, but do find a piece than can be cut and usable now.
Do you love it? No matter how much of a universal appeal you wish to find for your Humorous Interpretation, the bottom line is you have to love it. Don’t alienate your audience, BUT DO NOT SELECT A PIECE SOLELY TO PACIFY THEM! Find something you find delightfully funny and go from there. Use your team as a test group if you are unsure of your selection.
These questions will help in your race to find an HI piece. Humorous Interpretation is such a subjective event to select work for; everyone’s definition of funny is different. But this can not phase you. Know what you are good at, what you enjoy, and what will inspire you throughout the season. As long as you stay within some bounds of social acceptance, this attitude of finding a piece best suited for your desires and needs will most likely result in a Humorous Interpretation perfect piece match.