A lot of comedians think that the best way to stand out is to just be funny. All you have to do is write material, work it out week after week, and someday…you will be able to host! Here is the thing that a lot of comedians just can’t understand: That is not the way to stand out in your scene. I will tell you what does and why?
You may be saying, “Well, Harry, handsome mofo you, why isn’t being funny the best way to stand out? That is my job, right?” Your job is to be funny, but being funny is just a part of being a comedian. You have to think about all the stuff that a comedian does before and after they get on a stage and be funny. You have to get to the show, on time. You have to perform your time, not going over or under. If you are gonna be on stage, you should probably not be up there so high that you forget your material, or go after people in the audience. When you are off stage, it is probably not a good idea to touch the wait staff (unless they consent of course).
If you want to stand out, you have to do what the others around you are not willing to do. For example, in Spokane, we have a major comedy club and some independent shows. If you show up to the open mics and show yourself not be a douchebag, it is not that hard to rise to the top of the scene and start working at the club, where you can be sharing the stage with some huge names. Because in almost every scene I have witness, there are the same groups of people. You have the entitled people that think that they should get work because they have stuck it out. You have the comedy fans that are more into the idea of comedy then actually creating and performing their own stuff. Then you have just lazy comedians that will not show up to open mics, and when they do they are still performing the same jokes. It is not that hard to rise above these guys. While they are sitting around wondering why no one is booking them, you are making face time with all the other comedians that are trying their best to, just like you, stand out and be noticed by the people that are booking shows.
People always look at me and assume I get work because I make people laugh. That is so far from the truth. At first it was because I was available, and that I could go to places at a moments notice. Later, bookers turned to me because I was dependable. I got to the venue on time and was nice to the staff. When the manager of the room sees that, they will book you again. Now, if you suck, you will get some work, but after awhile it will be harder, but the idea here is to get your foot in the door with a lot of these bookers and promoters by being dependable. Bookers need people to fill time. Yeah they want a great show, but if the funniest person on the planet only shows up 50% of the time, then there is no show.
Look comedy is still hard, if you have read any of this blog you know that, the thing is to make sure that you are setting yourself up for success, and that means getting out and being seen and not being a horrible garbage person.