A Jewish Girl Named Tex – Photo by Russ Weatherford
A song publisher once advised me to write story songs. He said that some of our favorite songs tell stories. Audiences enjoy them, and they’re hard to get!
I love stories, comedy, and writing challenges! I also believe that if you can do something a bit unusual, you have a real advantage, so I was excited about taking a class in comedy songwriting at my favorite songwriting/performance camps (www.Summersongs.com ), and Posi Music Festival at Empowerma.com in Orlando, Florida).
I wound up writing and performing my song “A Jewish Girl Named Tex” in many venues, including Summersongs concerts and New York City cabarets. Please enjoy the video, and read on for a few thoughts about writing story songs and comedy.
Video: “A Jewish Girl Named Tex”
1. What makes a great story?
One of the most important elements is a central character with a strong “want”. Also, when a sympathetic character is unfairly mistreated and/or headed for trouble, we worry and want to know what comes next. In “A Jewish Girl Named Tex” the main character is abandoned by her parents, confused about her identity, and looking for love. Sympathetic? You bet!) The other important character – the impulsive mother – gets used and dumped by a no-goodnik, but she’s still “hopin’ for romance.” What happens? The song takes you on a journey that answers these questions.
2. What makes something funny?
Question #1 doesn’t sound funny – but it is, because comedy is rooted in pain – as long as it’s framed as comedy pain and uses comic writing/performing techniques. How do you do that?
To answer that question (plus questions about comic combos like Brooklyn girls and cowboys, song structure, rhyme, punch lines, audience participation, etc) , we need more than a short blog. I invite all writers/performers (amateur and expert) to contact me for workshops in New York City, Online via Email, and at Summersongs.com and Posi Music Festival.
I also invite you to hear me sing romantic songs & parodies in New York City and songwriting camps like Summersongs!
Do What You Love – and Be Part of a Community:
I love writing and performing songs. What do you love? Can you find a way to connect (via camps, conferences, meet-up groups, clubs, professional associations, etc.) that supports who you are. Chances are you’ll find more than feedback on your skills – you’ll find friends and community.
(Editor/Photographer: Jay Berman, Videography: Jim Vern)
Susan (“Dr. Sue”) Horowitz, Ph.D.
Book: “Queens of Comedy”
(Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers,
Phyllis Diller, and more!) www.smashwords.com/books/view/219367
Musical: “SssWitch”: www.ssswitch.net