a priori/a posteriori

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Stand-Up Philosophy

Hi. My name is Bryson.  And I started a new art form.

Wow. Okay.  So that's out there.  On the record.

This claim, of course, will require me to explain myself.  Which is good.  I'm excited to, really.  But I've been putting off this post for a long time.  Let's clear this hurdle, and then we'll go to work, trying to figure out all the details.

But for now, here's what's up:  

I started a new art form.  I've been working on it for a little over two years now.  In the last month or so, for the first time, I feel comfortable giving it a name.  

It's called "Stand-up Philosophy."

It's still a very new and fluid thing, of course.  But for anyone interested, these are the core concepts of the art form:

The Rules of Stand-up Philosophy

1.  The goal is not laughs.  The goal is growth.

2.  Everything that has ever happened before your set - does not matter.

3.  Everything that will ever happen after your set - does not matter.

4.  A conversation counts as a set.

5.  Never be ashamed.  Only try to understand why.

6.  Make your stand-up better to connect with people.

7.  Connect with people to make your stand-up better.

8.  Listen to your body before your mind.

9.  Rules do not actually exist.

Got it?  Cool.  No?  Not at all?  Also cool.  

Like I said, it's going to be a blast figuring this all out, in the coming days.  
Isn't it weird that the other 5 made posters with themselves on the far right?
Best-case scenario?  From now on, people will have a new option of how to express themselves.  At least a few more people will go through life knowing they aren't totally crazy. Or if they are, that they aren't alone. 

Worst-case scenario?  The current art form known as "stand-up comedy" gets debated and pushed forward - propelled by anyone who loves it enough to have a strong opinion about what it is or isn't, or what it "should be."  

That sure sounds like a win-win to me.

Either way, I'm thrilled with how I've spent the last two years of my life, and I'm very, very proud of the risks I've been taking.  I love myself, I love stand-up comedy, and if you happen to be reading this right now, I love you, too.

Bryson Turner, 
stand-up philosopher

Not on purpose. Just next to a window. Sometimes life is funny.


  1. Replies
    1. Yeah. Thank you. I send love back.

  2. Does Mel Brooks get at least a nod?

  3. Very cool. I think people call that Spoken Word. It's been around a while.

    You can probably find low cost resources in NYC to deal with your bi-polarism and delusions. Not sure about your arrogance.

  4. Very nice Bryson. I will not be surprised if you become a mega-successful stand-up philosopher. You are brilliant and I can't wait to see how far you go. Also, I thought of the name "Brysocrates." You don't have to thank me now. Also, that Jesus photo is incredible.

  5. Let’s see...

    Unknown: thanks! I hope it will be, too. : )

    Caroline: thanks!

    JFR: The ironic thing is I had never seen that movie until a bunch of people linked me to it after this post. So basically, I’ll happily give him royalities, yes.

    WnW: I don’t HAVE to thank you now. But I will. Brysocrates is awesome.

    bill: I love feedback, and I love criticism. Regardless of your motive, you gave this post enough time and focus to have an opinion on it and then write a comment - something only 1 out of every 100 people do. So I genuinely say thank you.

    I re-read the post, and I’m not sure I see what you’re seeing. Could you go into more detail? The delusions and arrogance, I can definitely see how it would come off that way. But the bi-polarism? Doesn’t that mean extreme mood swings, essentially? (I don’t know too much about the disease). I felt like the whole post was pretty consistently positive (again, I’ll give you arrogant and delusional).

    Also, saying it's “Spoken Word” is a legitimate point. I didn’t do a great job explaining what I was trying to accomplish with this post. What I’m doing onstage is without a doubt, 100 percent Spoken Word. So is all stand-up comedy that involves words being spoken, technically. My goal wasn’t so much to separate what I’ve been doing from other art forms. It was more trying to further specify what I’ve been doing.

    In that sense, I only “invented” a new art form in the same way that some dude “invented” the car radio. He didn’t invent the car, and he didn’t invent the radio. He just figured out a way to combine two things he liked. So yeah dude, this is Spoken Word. It’s also stand-up comedy. It’s also philosophy. And it’s also none of those things. It’s a combination of things, but it’s also its own, new thing.

    That may sound weird, but all I can tell you is it makes sense to me. If you disagree, this might not be for you. Which is totally cool. Thanks again for helping me see where the weaknesses in my explanation were. And if you see this at some point, let me know what made it come off bi-polar. That part I don’t get.

  6. First there was the Louis C.K. netflix marathon. Then tinkering on wikipedia, then a night of remembrance lost with Marc Maron. Suddenly the salient memory of a man with a microphone and the question of merit. How it's attributed unnecessarily, or maybe not? But in that melded mind called cluster fuck was a shining beacon of enamored glee. A singular mind that thrived on the contextual inhibitions of that moment and all moments, heretofore and thereafter, quite like it.

    1. Rita, I don't know who you are, but you're awesome.

  7. Well, it really isn't a new art form. While someone mentioned Mel Brooks, he had gotten the idea from history itself. As many ancient Greek philosophers would travel, and speak in town squares, halls, and colosseums (before being fed to lions) ;)