“Only Americans can combine those two”, said a visitor last weekend after the show of the American singer-songwriter Elliott Murphy. It was a great show. He knows how to combine great music and humor. And somehow the music gets better too by adding humor.
But is it true, that only Americans can do it? What’s the secret? Humor obviously helps you as artist to connect to the audience, to involve them. And yes, there are huge cultural differences regarding humor. Is it possible to share your sense of humor in foreign countries? Or can only Americans do so, for we all know American humor from TV series, films etc.?
I tried to analyze the show from last weekend. Yes, I think that it’s easier for Americans to add humor. It’s certainly easier for them than for Germans. I can know it, I grew up in Germany 😉
I think the secret lies in two things. First you have to start with taking yourself less serious, to start with making jokes about yourself. The artist last weekend started the show with a joke about himself, even before he started singing. The second part is practice. Every artist knows, that you have to practice your music. But why not practice to involve humor in the show? Practice the to involve the audience by rehearsing it, just as you rehearse the songs.
And than I remembered a Dutch band I saw two weeks ago in a theater, Jodymoon. They also knew how to combine music and humor, and started with joking about themselves. And I’m quite sure that they also thought about it and rehearsed it. So it’s not only an American thing. It’s just about having the right mindset, I think.