A few years ago, I signed up for a standup class and loved it. After that, I joined a group that practices comedy together. I’ve learned to use my own standup routine to examine my life and my decisions, and to try to better understand human nature in general.
The more I practice and think about standup, the more similarities I find between comedy and my social science research. As an experimenter, I use my powers of observation to try to identify explanations for confusing human behaviors (such as why we brag, how we make friends, why we lie). I then test my theories with in-depth experiments.
As a standup comedian, I also look around me and notice behaviors that seem odd, interesting, or bizarre. I then try to describe them in a humorous way that highlights just how strange the behavior (including my own) really is. So far, the topics I’ve been confronting in my comedy have included relationships, work-place interactions, immigrant experiences, self-promotion, self-doubt, our failures, our need for approval, and overconfidence.
I hope to post some videos of my act soon.