But what about the psychological impact of writing our own comedies? I recently embarked on this new territory in my own life and found it to have immense therapeutic impacts, different from those of watching the comedy of others.
DO TRY THIS AT HOME! So my question is, what currently is going on your life that you find hard to digest, metaphorically speaking? Is it a boss, a co-worker, a friend, a family member, a public figure, wars abroad. Now look at this situation as the bizarreness it really it - perhaps from the perspective of an alien with Spock-like logic, and Buddha-like wisdom. What do you see? Think about shows you have seen that have perhaps parodied a similar idea - for examples, the Simpsons family with an incredibly trouble making youngster and a goofy spaced out Dad.
Now take out a pen and paper and express this vision.
- It could be a character bible, where you give these people in your life silly names or symbolic names (for example, a yelling boss could be named Mr. Barkley) and describe their personality that in real life is stressful, but in a cartoon could be totally funny.
- It could be drawings of these people in cartoon form, that brings a funny light to them. Maybe Mr. Barkley has a dog like face.
- It could be a little comic strip like the one I posted below, but you could make it longer of course.
- NOTE: since often we are dealing with traumas, that simply don't feel funny at all, another option is to turn the character into a non-human form - whether an animal or imaginary creature. It may not be hilarious at first, but it creates that distance that can take the charge out of the feeling.
Whatever you do, have fun and see how this process changes your feelings about the situation or person. Does it take the sting or charge out of it? Does it make you realize this situation is probably a lot more common than you think? Does it shed another layer of understanding?
I'd love to hear your experiences with this! Please comment below!
Example of Cartoon Therapy in Action
Interesting personal note - it was a colleague at work who shared the Dilbert character Mordac, "the Preventer of Information Services", in order to defuse a co-worker's stress about the ridiculous inefficiency of our IT department. It really helped not take it so seriously!