First of all, I want to apologize for not providing more updates sooner. I am not that busy. I am just that lazy. Ok now onto the subject at hand! This post will probably be a 2 parter as I gather notes for the second part. I wanted to talk about the reality of being a comic especially for those of you living in smaller areas of the country. This may not pertain to much to those living in or around larger cities, but you may be able to gleam something of use from this.
One of the biggest reality checks you get when becoming a comedian is that what you think will happen over night probably will not. I don’t know how many comics that approach me asking how I got paid to do comedy. What I want to say is, “I worked my ass off and went to places that I probably should not have.” See when you come from a point of innocence when it comes to comedy, you think that all you have to do is show up to an open mic a couple of times and then you are good to go. That is not the case. Hardly ever. Now, that is not to say it can’t happen. I got paid to do comedy after about 6 months of doing it. The thing is that it was a friend of mine who put the show on and also I was living, eating and breathing comedy. I was doing all I could to get as much stage time as possible. If you are only doing this weekly at an open mic where you are getting 3 minutes, it is a lot harder to get a grasp on what is and isn’t working. When I first started doing comedy I was able to get up and do 20 minutes because there were only 5 comics showing up. If you are willing to get 20 minutes of time on stage a week and are writing that much then it can work…
Unless you have a job or other responsibility. I was getting out of the military, so I had a little bit of money and a whole lot of time. I did not have 3 kids at the house or working 2 jobs. You may not be able to get out that much because of these things and that will put a damper on how fast you advance in the comedy world.
Comics all like to think that once we get on a stage in Whoknowswhere, USA that there is a comedy booker that is just looking for people to give them work. That is not the case. I have sent my promo package to more clubs than I can count and I get a response back from about 10 percent of them. I rarely get work from just doing my thing on stage. I get more work from knowing other comics. That is why those festivals are so grand. You can go there and just mingle with comics and get potential work. Don’t wait for bookers to come to you, you have to go to them.
I will be back in a little bit with part two of this!