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School Of Laughs

Welcome to the School of Laughs podcast. I am your host, Rik Roberts.

My goal is to help you get bigger, better, and more bookable as a comedian. Use the search tool at to find episodes on your favorites topics within comedy.  Be sure to subscribe and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Jan 11, 2017

Are you interested in screenwriting? Do you want to learn a few tactics on making crowd work, er, work? Then today you are in great luck! Comedian, screenwriter and former crowd warm-up Robert G. Lee joins us for a deep dive in both topics.

Robert G. Lee started dabbling in comedy in college. Afraid to go it alone at that time, he performed with others and in sketches. He had an opportunity to become the crowd warm up act for a sitcom and jumped on it. Over the years, he has performed that demanding (and sometimes fulfilling) task over 1,500 times. So yes, he does have some tips on how to take a roomful of strangers and unite them into one cohesive, audience.

From that experience, he began to ask for opportunities to perform small roles on some of the shows. As an extension of that connection with the sitcom folks, he also made his way into the writer's room. It was there he found he had a gift for writing. Although, the gift wasn't always welcomed. That resistance actually became a gift as he took all of his experiences and began to write his first film "Can I Get A Witness Protection".

Robert graciously walks us through the process of making that first film. All the way from gathering the funds, location, and actors to the post shoot prices, editing and distribution of the film.

We spend a significant amount of time diving into the structure of crafting a successful screenplay. This process, "The Theology of Story" can also be applied to your stand-up, a sitcom, or one man show.

The podcast covers a lot of ground on both crowd work and screenwriting. Specifically:

  • How Robert got his "break" as a crowd warm up act before he was a stand-up
  • Crowd work tips learned from first hand experience
  • The different audiences on set of the Golden Girls, Perfect Strangers and Wings
  • Why you make fun of the head of a gang
  • How he took what he learned from warm-up sets and applied them to stand-up shows
  • Why it is important to recognize your strengths and go with them
  • Writing sitcom scripts
  • Screenwriting approaches
  • How he raised $200,000 to fund his film which was shot in 16 days
  • Why the post production can take more than three years to complete
  • Dealing with SAG, WGA and DGA in the film making process
  • The formula of Balance-Unbalance-Quest-Crisis-New Balance in movies and LIFE
  • What is a mid-point pinch and why it is necessary in story

and much, much more.

TO learn more about Robert G. Lee visit him at on Twitter, his IMBD PAGE and visit to learn how you can help fund his projects.


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