I mean, first of all, “good” and “not good” are entirely subjective, as easily exhibited any two fans of
Star Wars arguing over the various merits of the different movies in the franchise. Art ultimately isn’t
about color theory or harmonics or any of the technical aspects that (some) Artists study. It’s about you
and your act of creation.
So, the first thing you have to put aside is this notion that Art needs to be good.
I own an improv theater and teach people, regular people off the street, how to get up on stage in front of
an audience, and with no script or planning, create a funny scene. Sounds daunting, right? (It’s actually
not that hard.)
When I’m sitting with a new class of beginners — some of whom have never spoken in front of a big group of
people before, much less performed on stage — the very first thing that I tell them is this:
Don’t be funny.
How does that work? Isn’t the goal to be funny? Well, yes and no. Ultimately, yes, our audiences expect to
laugh. But we’re not stand-up comics, so what is it that we do that’s funny?
We mirror real life in an exaggerated way, which puts in relief the funny, weird, and outright ridiculous
ways in which humans behave every day. That’s funny.
The ‘no’ portion of the question “Isn’t the goal to be funny?” is this: the goal is to be authentic. We are
funny when we make a connection to the audience through characters, and relationships, and stories. They
laugh because they see themselves and the people they know in our scenes.
That moment when they laugh is not a joke that relies on mental or intellectual maneuvering. It is something
they just “get.” It’s a experiential connection. Transcendence.