QUEST’s Very Own Comedian, David Kravitz
David Kravitz is a big personality in the QUEST community. He is one of the first to introduce himself to new members. He is fun to have in the QUEST lab and is always cracking jokes – so much so that he will do them on stage. David is a stand-up comedian and has performed at campus events and various clubs. I wanted to learn more about his comedy so I asked him a few questions about his stand-up.
By the way David is performing at the Bier Baron on Tuesday, show starts at 8:15
A little bit about David:
David Kravitz (cohort 19) is a senior Information Systems major and Creative Writing minor. He is an outgoing member of QUEST and a frequenter of the QUEST lab. David hails from Texas and is proud of his Jewish roots.
Nicole: How did you get into Stand Up Comedy?
David: When I was younger, I had people tell me that I should do stand up, and I would always say the same thing – it’s totally different, not my style of humor, etc.
In October 2012 I saw a video of an old friend of mine doing stand up and I thought to myself “if she can do it, so can I!” And that’s when I decided to do stand up. For the next month I wrote down everything I thought of, and then in November I performed on campus with Off the Wall Comedy. After screwing up my first several jokes, I managed to get some genuine laughs, and that has given me confidence moving forward.
Nicole: What would you say is the most important quality to putting on a good routine (aside from being funny)?
David: If there’s one thing stand up comedy is about besides being funny, it’s being confident. And being yourself. So two things really. Seriously though, it’s not just about the guts it takes to get on stage, it’s about believing in your material and your ability to perform it. Which is easier to do as you become more comfortable with the bit as it develops more, but it’s still terrifying performing something new for the first time when it’s just something I thought of out of the blue. The audience picks up on your vibes, so it’s crucial to display confidence and be comfortable with who you are on stage.
Nicole: How have you developed as a comedian?
Practice practice practice. This summer I started performing every week, twice a week at two different clubs, which is a lot more frequently than performing maybe 1-2 times a month on campus when the opportunity was available. There’s no substitute for real stage time, and I’ve had bits transform and improve tremendously from getting into a rhythm and improv-ing around the heart of the joke on stage.
Nicole: Talk about your process for writing material. Do you sit down and focus or does it come to you throughout the day?
David: I never sit down and write ideas from scratch, though it’s something I’d like to learn how to do. Most of my ideas come from odd thoughts I have throughout the day, or come straight out of conversations where I’ll spontaneously say something funny. Those instances are kind of a preserved improv, with the goal of recreating the context, and those bits are typically stronger because they’re more natural and I’ve already done them, in a sense. Over the summer I stopped rehearsing and just went on stage knowing the heart of the joke, and just improv-ing around it, and I’ve had bits that come out of that process really strong, or totally flop.
I am very strict about only using my own original material. I don’t let other people give me joke ideas. Especially not my pun-laden father.
Nicole: How has your experience doing Stand Up improved your skills in other areas?
David: Obviously it’s improved my overall presentation skills, both in terms of developing a structure for communicating complex ideas and then executing them, but beyond that it doesn’t really carry over to many other skill areas. It has certainly become part of my identity, which is always something to be mindful of. Socially, it totally explains my behavior. Meeting new people is a lot easier when I explain, “I’m a comedian, don’t take me seriously.”