When I came to visit my family and friends in Chicago, I would have never thought, in a million years, the amazing opportunity that would present itself to me. It’s enough just to see the people I love. But as someone that did not graduate college, to be sought out and asked to do something like this, well I’m speechless.
You see I have been invited by the Columbea College of Chicago to teach a course in Fake Laughing as part of their television communications and broadcasting curriculum. It seems that some years ago I was talking with one of the faculty, unbeknownst to me, at a party where I had just performed magic. And she was interested in how people perceived magicians and we got on the subject of what people ask considering it is most likely the first time they’ve met a magician in person. I joked about how you have to pretend it’s the first time you’ve ever heard “can you make my wife disappear?” or “can you make it warm out there?” I told the woman how you don’t want to insult anyone, they think it’s funny, so you have to do a little fake laugh.
She was so impressed by not only the sincerity of my fake laugh, that I then demonstrated for her, but the fact that I was so good at improvisation meant I could teach the young broadcasters about how to be ready for it, the snappy comebacks, and how they could make it feel “genuine” and “fresh.”
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to teach them how to do the fake laugh when they’re interacting with their fellow news personalities on the 4:30 broadcasts. How to find the memory of when someone said something funny to pretend that what the other guys are saying really appears funny to them. How to make it look like they are all having a ball, all joking and such good friends. And how to compile a list of comebacks for the weather person.
I’m very excited, it’s like I’m being validated for a talent that has taking me years to hone. And it really is true about the education you gain in the real world.