Instead of the usual comedy article, normal bloggy thing, and then pictures, I have decided to do a two part article and then an announcement Friday. It’s more of a look into myself then an actual article. I have been performing stand-up for 10 years now and in that time I think about all the things that I have done wrong and the things I believe I did right. I will be completely honest with you in telling you where I believe I went wrong in my career so far. Wednesday’s article will be about where I think I went right.
Staying in Spokane too long: I think this is one of the bigger areas I messed up. Yes, I have a child here and I was going to college, but I could have found ways to make both of those things work. This is a double edged sword (I will explain in more detail Wednesday), but I think it has stunted my growth as a comedian. There is nothing wrong with being in a small comedy market as long as you have access to larger scenes which leads to…
I have played it to cautiously: When I first started comedy I was rearing to do anything. Then…something happened. I started taking more calculated risk and pretty soon I was in the spot I am now, not really advancing work wise as I once had. It took me about 8 years before I started venturing over to Seattle. That is way to long to try and branch out! That might be because…
I had no confidence in my abilities: I could rock a stage and still feel bad about it. I was not as engaging as other comedians that would walk up to people that could make things happen and…get things happening. I was so afraid of telling anyone that I could make people laugh. Maybe out of some weird superstition that if I said I was funny out loud it would go away. I would hide my abilities until I got on stage and could not longer feign ignorance. There is much more to comedy then just getting on stage and I am terrible at that. I didn’t have the strength to just look someone in the eyes and tell them that I am funny and I can get the job done. I thought my stand-up would tell them all they needed. I was wrong. This also hurts when you are trying to get booked and you have no confidence that a booker would want you that you don’t bother contacting them .
I am terrible at promoting: I have seen some comedians that are not really the hottest, but can get asses in seats. I could not. I have been headlining for awhile and I have still not been able to just promote a show correctly. Again, this comes from not having the confidence to just flat out let everyone know that I will entertain you for an hour and you will enjoy it. I didn’t know how to make an engaging flyer. I would get the word out way to late. All these things I had to learn the hard way. Now, I can get a decent turn out, but it is still lacking and I put that all on me.
Thinking too small: Because of my confidence issues, I look out at a crowd of 8 people and think that is what I deserve. No one deserves that. You should always try to go bigger and do more. That is how the successful ones became a success. They looked out at the 8 people and said, “I need to change this!” and they do. They work harder and push themselves and some actually end up on the other side successful. That is a trait that I lack.
This is not an exhaustive list, but an honest one. I feel like the only way you can improve is to honestly look at the things that are wrong and try your best to fix em. I have been trying to improve on a lot of these. I have been doing more shows in Seattle. I have gotten booked by more bookers then years past and I have started to promote my shows better. Some of these things take time. I can’t just become confident over night. That takes a lot of positive talk and self improvement. I hope this will help you do the same.