How to Start Doing Stand up Comedy
Stand-up comedy is said to be one of the few performance arts that anyone can have a go
at. Sadly, many people who are deeply unfunny persist in their dream of being a successful
stand-up comedian for years, without either success or the realization that it will never
happen. These people are known as cloggers.
1. Write around five minutes of original material that you find funny, and that you
believe others will find funny too. Some find it useful to go and watch other stand-ups,
but remember that the more you see of how other people approach it, the less easy it is to
be original. Ask some friends about funny stories or jokes that they might have, then
stretch it a little, make it very interesting. Have you noticed that some comedians make
fun of the scariest most embarissing things that have happened to them? Well you can too!
There has to be at least a couple of scary moments that have occurred.
2. Find a comedy club where you can book in an open-spot. This may require some
patience as some clubs have a long waiting list of acts. If no clubs in town are ready for
you, look into schools, talent shows, anywhere that will have an audience. Always tell
jokes to anybody even if they are somewhat strangers to you.
For instance, let's say you run into this lady at the supermarket. You grab the same
can of peaches or something. Say sorry and try to tell a joke that related to that
situation, any joke that comes to mind. Just try to get a humorous vibe with everybody,
who knows? That might be a club owner who is looking for comedy acts. So, always keep a
positive funny attitude with anybody.
3. Rehearse. Learn your material inside-out. Practice saying it out loud. This may seem
uncomfortable at first, but it will help to hear your set spoken out loud. Most comedians
try to rehearse alone or with their manager or club owner. Try to stay away from asking
your friends to watch you rehearse because then it spills the beans and gives out your
comedy act. Practice makes perfect right? Well, perfect practice makes perfect so if you
are practicing with little perseverence you might as well not practice at all.
4. Make sure the audience can hear what you want them to hear when you're up on stage.
Listen to the MC and the other acts, and note how loud they are, and where they are
holding the microphone. No matter how crazy the audience goes, never yell. That will
totally get them out of the mood and maybe even hurt their ears!
5. Stick to your allotted time, this will really help you get more gigs. Many comics
use vibrating watches so that they know when their time is up without the annoyance of an
audible alarm going off.
6. Keep a book with the dates of your gigs, your set list, and how each bit went. The
cool thing about having a datebook is that if some club calls you and asks you to do a
comedy act with them you can say, "Oh, I'll have to check my datebook." Then they will be
like, "whoa they got a datebook, must be pretty sucesfull." See? Works every time, seriously.
7. Re-write anything that you think can be made funnier. Be really critical. If a bit
really doesn't work, re-write it or ditch it and write something that does. Repeat this process.
8. Ask for feedback from experienced acts. If you asked for it don't ignore it but
remember it is only an opinion. If what they suggest doesn’t feel right to you ask
yourself why, and use your own common sense to see if their suggestions would work for you.
9. Be prepared for hecklers. Some people will not find you funny, the big stars avoid
most audience critics due to ticket prices discourageing the casual dissenter, however
they still get soft-hecklers, those who want thier minute of fame. You, the aspiring
comic, will have to deal with both soft and die-hard hecklers. This may happen at any time
but it is most likely after one of your punch-lines has failed to entertain.