Back to Workshop Previews | "Upstage Vs. Downstage" (6:14) | "Body Positions" & "Crosses, Turns" (35:39) | Stage Movement: Description | Stage Movement: Registration
Examples: Richard Jeni | Richard Pryor

Warning: adult language and physical humor!


Close up of Richard Pryor
Richard Pryor

Information on common stage directions and how to mark them on your script.
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the programming behind this web page might not work on your device.
This seems to be an issue with Apple mobile devices but it does work on Apple desktop & laptop computers.
Click the speaker icon to hear the test read aloud:

Screen shot of stage direction flash cards.


Of "Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of all Time," Richard Pryor placed #1.


Warning: if blue language offends you, you can still learn a lot about microphone technique by playing the Richard Pryor clip [see below] with the sound off.

More than any other stand-up comic, Pryor uses the entire stage and displays seamless microphone technique.

Starting after Pryor's banter with the annoying audience member taking his photo, from the section (2:17-8:35 = 6 minutes, 18 seconds) watch how Pryor expertly switches which hand is holding the mic, gracefully using other body and head movements to mask his "stage cheats," breaks the upstage-hand-holding-the-microphone rule when his torso twisted (upper body position is opposite to his foot placement), right hand to indicate the placement of the policeman's holster, leading unconventionally with his right hand holding the microphone when illustrating boxing moves with his left hand, incorporates sound effects with mic (hitting himself in the head to make punching noises), etc.
Simply masterful!
Many comics, most notably Richard Jeni, decided to become stand-up comics themselves after watching this 78 minute concert video. Jeni's use of the stage reflects Pryor's expertise. Odd that so few comics have done their professional stage movement homework when the master's example is so easily available. You can greatly benefit from a conscious study of the entire "Richard Pryor: Live in Concert" (1979) video. Get it, and learn a lot. Return to it often for inspiration.
(Available from Netflix.com in DVD version only.)
1) Start playing this sample youtube clip, then drag the playhead to the (2:14) mark in the timecode:


From "Richard Pryor: Live in Concert" (1979) (6:18)
2) Alternately, you can click this link which will open another browser window on the youtube.com web site with this video clip already cued to (2:14) into the timecode. After watching the (6:18) video, simply close that youtube browser window to return to this page. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmZm2HBMtTQ&t=2m14

Richard Pryor - "Jungle Animals" (03:03)
This video might not play on Apple mobile devices.
But it does play on Apple desktop and laptop computers.


Last updated: Sunday, 4-13-14, 1:48 pm PST
Back to Workshop Previews | "Upstage Vs. Downstage" (6:14) | "Body Positions" & "Crosses, Turns" (35:39) | Stage Movement: Description | Stage Movement: Registration
Examples: Richard Jeni | Richard Pryor