Tradecraft – with Karen Morgan

Explore the need for creative breaks and stepping away from a project, as Karen Morgan and Craig Constantine discuss the value of gaining fresh perspectives and reevaluating their work. They explore the world of stand-up comedy and beyond. Encouraging others to take the plunge, they emphasize the significance of initiating creative projects and letting go of technical worries.

In their engaging conversation, Karen and Craig explore various aspects of the stand-up comedy world. Touching on performance styles, Karen discusses her personal approach, revealing her preference for leaving the microphone in the stand. By doing so, she frees up her hands to incorporate gestures and act out certain elements of her stories, adding a visual component to her comedic performance.

You just have to talk into the microphone. You know, the rest of it is logistics and technology which you can figure out, but the part about talking in the microphone or interviewing people, you just gotta do it and then the technology kind of goes away.

~ Karen Morgan ~21’40”

They also discuss some of the challenges faced by new comics. Karen reflects on her own beginnings in stand-up comedy, recounting her participation in a comedy workshop twenty years ago. She fondly recalls how the instructor immediately pushed the students to stand up and talk into the microphone on the first night, instilling a sense of courage and determination. Drawing parallels to her own podcasting journey, Karen highlights the initial intimidation she felt towards the equipment and technical aspects. However, she emphasizes that ultimately, the most important part is simply talking into the microphone or conducting interviews, and the rest can be figured out along the way.

At some point, you need to take a little break, go for a walk, get some fresh air, then come back and you’ll see it differently or you’ll hear it differently. Sometimes after a show, I won’t listen to my stuff until the next day because I need a break from it. Like, ‘Oh, I can’t physically listen to this with a studious mind. Clearly, right now I’m too tired.’

~ Karen Morgan, ~23’15”

The conversation gets into the importance of taking breaks and gaining fresh perspectives. Karen draws parallels between her experiences in graphic design and comedy writing, explaining how stepping away from a creative project can bring new clarity. She emphasizes the importance of physically removing oneself from the work environment, taking a walk, or engaging in other activities before returning with a fresh mindset.

Craig adds to this notion by sharing his tendency to postpone listening to his recordings, recognizing that exhaustion can hinder the ability to evaluate and appreciate one’s own work objectively. This discussion highlights the importance of self-care and allowing oneself time and space to recharge, ensuring a more effective and insightful creative process.


Individuality in performance — The conversation highlights the diverse approaches that comedians take when performing stand-up comedy. This reminds us that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to comedy (or podcasting!), and performers have the freedom to develop their unique styles and methods to engage the audience.

The importance of mentorship — Karen mentions how she mentors a new comic who is just starting out in stand-up comedy. This emphasizes the value of mentorship and guidance in the comedy industry. Having an experienced comedian to offer advice, share insights, and provide support can be incredibly beneficial for newcomers, helping them navigate the challenges and refine their craft.

Taking breaks for a fresh perspective — Both Karen and Craig discuss the need to step away from their creative projects at times. They mention the importance of taking breaks, going for walks, or engaging in other activities to gain a fresh perspective and avoid getting too immersed in the details. This highlights the creative process and the significance of giving oneself space and time to recharge, allowing for new ideas and perspectives to emerge.

Resources – Karen Morgan’s main web site.

The video sketch of Every Generation Explained that we mention in the episode is on her videos page.

The Purple Bike – Karen’s podcast.

@KarenMorganComedy – Karen’s social media handle on Instagram etc.

(Written with help from Chat-GPT.)