Today we feature the final guest blog and video from New Orleans-based comedian CJ Hunt’s #CharacterADay series, a project of solo comedy videos that depicts a different fictional character:
Today features Mr. Kensington:
Created in the final week of the #CharacterADay Project, Mr. Kensington
is my favorite character I have ever made. Why? Because he reminds me of what’s important:
1.) Look for Boxes
On day 24 of my project, I saw a large box laying on the floor in my girlfriend’s apartment and thought:“Ooooo….I’ll make my character out of that!” I had no idea what I would do with the box; just that having a box would force me to do something. The next time you are asked to create work inside a set of limitations; remember that limits are fuel for the artist. Comedians are surrounded by artificial limitations: your tweet must fit into 140 characters; your set needs to be a tight 5 minutes, your sketch show can’t have foul language in it because there are children in the audience, goddammit! Children!! Limits give you a jumping off point. A reason to get to work instead of sitting around wasting time wondering about what you might make.
2.) Dig into the Dumb Stuff
There are jokes in this character sketch that are just so wonderfully embarrassingly dumb: the sloppily-drawn “day planner,” the “Leonardo report.” Sometimes you’ll create something that feels dumb or childish. Instead of avoiding this and reaching for art that feels more “legitimate,” I say dig into the dumb stuff. Those jokes – the ones that only seem funny to your weird brain – are the most unique. They are the most you.
3.) Have Fun
Making anything worthwhile is hard work. It’s full of sweat and doubt and minutiae. But, if you are lucky, you stumble across moments of play. Moments where the work feels suddenly and suspiciously easy. Moments where you feel like a kid again. Out of the 62 #CharacterADay videos I have filmed, I love this one most because it so clearly shows a comedian at play. He is not working to make something smart or worthy or impressive. He is just doing something fun and dumb, hoping others enjoy it as much as he does. Whatever you are making, remember what got you into it in the first place: fun. The immersive, inarticulable fun of a child playing with some dumb cardboard box left on the living room floor.