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Get Started in Standup Comedy

Some Ideas on Becoming a Successful Comedian!

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Introduction
Stand-up comedy is a different brand of comedy. There is usually a live audience and the comedian (stand-up comic !ill tal" to them directly. They use a microphone and stand up the entire or at least for most of the sho!. The performances only last a short time and the comedian !ill tell stories to ma"e people laugh. These are called one-liners and short #o"es. They are usually doing the sho! by themselves (monologue . The comedians usually perform their sho!s in comedy clubs$ colleges or theaters. They !ill do their sho!s !herever they can. There are some places !here open mic sho!s are held !here even if you are not a comedian$ you can go ahead and give it a try. This is a !ay that many amateurs start out and ma"e their !ay to the big time in comedy. %ou !ill find that !ith many beginning performances you !ill notice the red bric" bac"ground. &oing stand-up is not easy because of ho! the audience may react to the #o"es. The comedian !ill e'pect them to laugh( ho!ever$ that !ill not al!ays be the case. The comedian has to !or" hard in order to get the audience to respond favorably. If their #o"es are not funny$ they !ill get hec"led by the audience. They !ill have to eventually overcome that hurdle. The comedian has to !or" on ma"ing people laugh$ or they can hang up their career. They are usually !earing many hats once they start in stand-up comedy. The comedian also !or"s as a !riter$ editor$ producer and promoter !hen they are first starting out. Sometimes it can ta"e several years before they get a follo!ing !ith an audience. It can really be lonely during this time !hen they are trying to brea" out of their shell.

How To Develop A Style Of Comedy


)ven though their road to stardom may be difficult in the beginning$ once they start getting a captive and responsive audience$ they are on their !ay to their re!ard. Starting out$ they have to use their brain and thin" about !hat could ma"e an audience laugh. Comedians constantly have to t!ea" and find tune their material until they get to a point !here people are responsive to them. )ven then$ there !ill be times !here they have to thin" about !hat they say. Thin" about !hat style of comedy !ill fit you. *o! do you spea"+ ,re you full of life and animation+ -r are you stiff and #ust stand there trying to tell #o"es+ &o you have any funny stories from your childhood that could ma"e good fodder for the audience+ .hen you "no! !hat you !ant to do$ you !ill be able to create a brand. /ind comedians that perform in the same !ay that you do. The best !ay to advance is to visit different comedy clubs and loo" at !hat professional comedians are doing. 0oo" and listen at ho! they spea"$ tell stories and deliver punch lines. Some comedians !ill tal" fast$ !hile others !ill tal" slo!. Some !ill spea" soft$ !hile others !ill spea" loud. It depends on their personality as to ho! they deliver. Get involved on a personal level. 0oo" for things in your life that you li"e and disli"e. Thin" about things or incidents that ma"e you happy or unhappy. Comedians need to be able to connect !ith their audience on a personal level. /ree your mind and !rite !hat comes to you. There are different styles of #o"es that you can practice !ith1 -bservations 2 this is !hen you are noticing silly incidents or other things that happen everyday. 3imic"ing 2 this is !hen you are trying to sound li"e someone else. Comparison 4o"es 2 comparing yourself to someone else$ ac"no!ledging differences. 0ist 4o"es 2 the first t!o parts are similar and the third part is opposite of the first t!o. &on5t forget the punch line !hen you are trying to !oo your audience !ith humor. , punch line is the last portion of a #o"e or comedic s"etch !here there is a phrase or a fe! !ords that the comedian !ill use to ma"e the audience laugh. If you ta"e too long to perform the punch line$ the audience may become disinterested.

.ith stand-up comedy$ you must practice your comedy routine. %ou may first !ant to practice it in front of people that you don5t "no!. %ou are loo"ing for an honest opinion$ !hether it5s good or bad. &oing it in front of people that you "no! may be tric"y. , lot of times they don5t !ant to hurt your feelings$ so you may not get an honest opinion from them. %ou !ant to "no! if your material is any good. If it is not$ you !ill !ant to t!ea" it to !here you !ill get people to respond favorably. .or" the comedy clubs and !herever else you can try out your material. Comedy clubs are a great place to start your career. Continue to get a feel of !hat you can do in order to capture the delight of your audience. 3a"e sure that your comedic routines are original and that they have not been lifted from other comedians. &oing stand-up comedy is not easy. Bac" in the day !hen you could get your buddies to laugh at your #o"es$ it !as o". Bac" then$ people could easily thin" of you as a comedian. *o!ever$ !hen you are performing in front of a live audience$ it is a different story.

Beginning Steps
6ractice !riting your material and create #o"es. 3a"e sure that you include punch lines that you thin" the audience !ould laugh at. The #o"e !ill bomb if you don5t have the right comebac". 0earn to !rite your routines. 0et the #o"es come from various topics. -nce you get !hat you !ant$ practice$ practice$ and practice. If you still feel rusty$ ta"e a class in stand-up comedy and get some more instruction. Since you are #ust starting out$ find venues !here you can be the opening act for a comedian !ho is more polished. The local scene is your best choice for getting your foot in the door. Tal" !ith people !ho are in the "no! and !ould be !illing to recommend you as you get more polished in your delivery routines. Believe it or not$ there are professional comedians that are !illing to ta"e a chance on you or they !ill ma"e recommendations for you. Get a manager or an agent once you start to get consistent gigs. The best time to contact them is !hen they are in to!n and they can come to see one of your sho!s. Continuously telling #o"es is one of the "eys to a long-lasting stand-up comedy career. If you can5t do that$ then you5re in trouble. It5s not easy starting out in stand-up comedy. *o!ever$ once you !eed out the bad stuff$ you can ma"e your !ay li"e the rest of the !ell-"no!n comedians have.

How To Find Your Comedic Voice


%ou !ill need to find your voice for comedy before you get out there and tac"le that brutal !orld called an audience. %ou !ill have to get your thoughts do!n on paper and do some !riting. 7se a noteboo" !ith lined paper (preferably letter-si8e paper or smaller and !rite do!n !hatever thought you have. ,nything that is uni9ue to you or your family !ould 9ualify. &on:t use scenarios that are private in nature. %our friends and relatives may not li"e you after that. Go to some comedy sho!s and study professional comedians. %ou !on:t see the same routine$ but it:s a good idea to vie! them to get some insight on !hat you !ant to do. Get to "no! some of them so that you can get your foot in the door. .or" on some stand-up comedy material for yourself. See !hat you can find in yourself that could be !or"able as a great comedy piece. 7se situations that you feel have a lot of feeling and meaning. .hen you have enough to last for a !hile$ then find an open mic session. Bring your noteboo" in the event you need a refresher. *it up the audience !ith some #o"es and ma"e yourself visible as much as you can. .hile you:re out$ if you see something that could be a premise for future comedy material$ then ta"e notes of your observations and findings.

How to

rite St!nd "p #o$es

If you can do stand-up$ then you:re on your !ay. This can ta"e you further$ learning to !rite scripts and s"etches. Being able to master all three of these can provide you !ith an advantage that others don:t have. 7sing a noteboo"$ !rite do!n meaningful situations that have been a part of your life. 3a"e categories out of the sub#ects that you !rite do!n. 4otting do!n notes is fine( you don:t have to !rite complete sentences. Sometimes notes and phrases can help you better. 4o"es for stand-up comedy re9uire emotion. If you have things that drive you cra8y or that you don:t li"e$ you can ma"e that into fodder for some #o"es. .rite do!n different !ays that you can ma"e these scenarios amusing enough that the audience be responsive to you and get some good laughs. Be sure to implement the amusement in the #o"e and combine it !ith the emotional part. 3a"e the #o"e come to life by acting it out. %ou can do this !ith part of or the entire #o"e. The audience !ill recogni8e that you are getting into character and !ill be more attentive. .hen you get some solid #o"es$ use a camera to record them. 6lay them bac" to see ho! you sound and act. %ou may have to edit them or change some of the !ording of your #o"es. If you need help$ get another !riter to help you criti9ue your #o"es and stand-up routines. &on5t ma"e up stuff !hen you are !riting. %our everyday e'periences can be your best material.

How To %olis& Your St!nd'"p (outine


6eople love to hear you tell #o"es. %our friends and family rave about ho! much you can ma"e people laugh. They seem to thin" that stand-up comedy is your true calling. ;o! you need to find out ho! funny you really are and !hat you can do to ta"e advantage of this gift. .atch some of the professional comedians on television. Study ho! they do their routines and tell their stories. If you are a born storyteller$ then you can start off by doing that. -r if you are the type that is very observant$ than you may !ant to get into that subgenre. )ven !hen you hit the big time$ you should not rest on your laurels. There !ill al!ays be ne! material that you can study from. Get some family and friends together and sho! your stuff. ,s" them to give you their thoughts on your performance. &on:t hesitate to tell them to be truthful. It can be difficult !ith someone that you:re familiar !ith because they don5t !ant to hurt your feelings if they thin" you suc" and need to improve. &on:t forget to ta"e notes. <evie! your notes to sort out strengths and !ea"nesses. Compare those notes !ith your actions on video and see !hat comes closest or is right on point !ith the character that you perform. .hatever you do the most and the best of$ is !hat you should start out !ith. 6ractice your stand-up acts in front of a mirror. Stic" !ith !hat you do best and remove anything that is not part or should not be part of the act. =eep the same character and style of comedy throughout. %ou !ant the audience to get used to your style of ma"ing them laugh. &on5t stop practicing. The more you practice$ the more you get better !ith your routine. 6racticing is the only !ay you !ill get your stand-up act the !ay it should be. Go to different venues and !atch ho! the audience accepts you. )very performance should be videotaped. 0oo" at them after!ards and see if you find any fla!s that can be removed from future stand-up acts. &on:t be someone that you are not. %our acts need to be original and natural. &on:t force yourself to ma"e changes that could disappoint your audience.

Don)t *uit Your D!y #o+,,,Yet


Since you !ould still be an amateur for a !hile$ it !ill ta"e more than a minute to start ma"ing some serious dough !ith your stand-up comedy acts. If you have a regular >?-hr !ee" #ob$ by all means$ don5t 9uit it #ust yet. 7nless you have a lot of money saved up for a !hile$ it is foolish to turn in your resignation right then. )ven after you start getting regular gigs that pay$ it may not be sufficient to put food on the table and pay your bills. If you !or" a day #ob$ that can be to your advantage. &on:t schedule your evenings or !ee"end for anything else. %ou can get more comedy gigs$ including open mics and being able to !atch other comedy sho!s. %ou !ill !ant to suc" up everything that you can once you are starting out. -nce you get in the groove$ you !ill be so busy focusing on your comedic routines !ith !riting$ performing s"etches$ etc. Where You Should Perform -nce you start$ you "no! to use your material on strangers and eventually friends and family. -nce you are ready to do live performances$ get !ith some seasoned comedians that !ould be !illing to give you a fe! nuggets. ;ot everyone is freehearted$ so you may have to go through several of them in order to get the assistance you need. -ne of the first places you should perform is an open mic. -pen mics are usually held a boo"stores$ coffee shops and bars. )ven though these !ould be non-paying events$ you could build up your base. &oing this !ould provide you !ith the e'perience you !ould need once it:s time for you to go out on the road to perform for larger audience.

How To Find Open -ics


,s a budding stand-up comedian$ you may start out by getting resistance from local comedy clubs in your area. In the interim$ you should give open mics a try. By no means should you stop trying for the clubs$ but in the meantime$ open mics !ould provide you a platform you !ould not other!ise have. *o!ever$ if there are no open mic events near you$ prepare your o!n open mic event. 0oo" around in your local area to find a venue that has space for performing. The space should be open and !here your audience !ill be able to see you. Contact the o!ner to see if having an open mic night !ould be feasible. -n their slo! nights$ they could allo! you to have it. 6lus$ it may be able to bring in some customers for their business. Spread the !ord about your open mic performance. *ave others spread the !ord as !ell. That is the !ay you !ill generate an audience. .ord of mouth still is and al!ays !ill be the best form of communication !hen it comes to something li"e this. %ou can also advertise at other places$ provided they permit you to do so. The more of an audience you have$ the more confident you !ill feel. )ven if you don:t have a large cro!d$ don:t allo! that to get you do!n. It may not be an easy tas" trying to get people to pay for your open mic gig. Because you !ould still be an amateur$ people are reluctant for handing over cash to people they have never heard before. 6lus$ if you !ere to bomb$ they !ould be mad and as" for refunds. So it may not be a good idea to charge until you are more !ell "no!n. .ith an open mic$ you !ould get more practice from performing in front of others that have never seen you before. %ou !ill also get e'perience in !or"ing !ith the o!ners of the club or !herever you decide to have it. This can help you !hen you are ready to move on and you need contacts.

-!r$eting Yourself And Boo$ing .igs


&oing stand-up comedy is not easy. There are a lot of people that have plenty of comedic talent. This means that there is more competition because of so many people !ho are vying to get to the top. This means you must be prepared and don:t be in a rush to get to the ne't level. In the beginning$ have at least four pages of material !ritten out for you to perform. It should last for at least five minutes. Get very ac9uainted !ith your material and study it. 7se strangers to get criti9ues and sometimes friends and family. If you are falling short on some things$ then practice some more until you have mastered them. If your audience is barely laughing$ or not at all$ re!rite you material so that it !ill be humorous. -nce you start getting laughs$ you "no! that you are going some!here. 6erform at amateur nights. 3ost of the time$ the establishment !ill tape your performance. If you are really good$ they may as" you to come bac" often or recommend you to another comedy club. Communicate !ith other comedians. Some of them are more established and can help you ma"e some connections. If they really li"e you they may add you to their sho! or get you in some!here else. Be a master or mistress of ceremonies at other comedy events. .hile being an 3C$ you !ill be responsible for the introduction of other comedians and be able to some of your !ritten material. Create your resume and a demo reel. This !ill go to managers and talent agents. If they li"e !hat they see$ they !ill !or" to boo" you !ith gigs that pay. 3a"e sure that every sho! is videotaped. -nce you have some videotaped segments$ the managers and agents may be interested. In order to really get noticed$ you may have to relocate to ma#or metropolitan cities$ such as Chicago and 0os ,ngeles. These are some of the best locations to do your stand-up performances and to ac9uire and agent and@or manager. To further mar"et yourself$ you can create a /aceboo" or 3ySpace page$ or you can do both. 0et people "no! of your craft$ and soon you !ill have lots of people supporting you and telling others about you. Include some audios and videos of your performances. %ou !ill also need to include contact information for prospective managers and agents to contact you. These are some of the important !ays that you have to use in order to mar"et yourself and get noticed. 3ar"eting yourself on the internet can help your talent to go viral in no time flat.

How You S&ould Dress


Should you as an aspiring stand-up comedian be concerned about ho! you dress+ %our material is ready$ you "no! !hat you are going to do$ so !hat about your attire+ %ou may be thin"ing that your material for the sho! should be more important than !hat you !ear. %ou may also be thin"ing if people really en#oy your sho!$ they !on5t care about ho! you are dressed. )ven though you can dress ho! you !ant$ it5s better if you are dressed the part. .hen you do that$ it !ill help you loo" more presentable. %ou !ant to impress the audience not only !ith your comedic talent$ but you !ant them to ta"e you seriously. So$ leave the street clothes at home. If you are performing a gig that is not the same as you$ try !earing a dress or a suit. ,t least you !ould be universal. &itch the cra8y !igs and apparel !ith loud colors and colors that don5t match. It5s important that you are performing to ma"e your audience laugh. So dress appropriately and it !ill get your farther than you ever thought before. The audience !ill loo" at ho! you5re dressed and determine !hether or not you are serious about your craft.

How To (el!/ Before Your Comedy %erform!nce


3essing up on a comedy performance is no fun. %ou !ill hear boos and a lot of dissatisfied people !anting to leave and !anting to get their money bac". *ere are some tips that you can use to prevent you from flubbing up and feeling rela'ed before you perform1 Invite family and friends for moral support. %ou need to see faces that are familiar to you and you !ill be able to rela' "no!ing that people are supporting your efforts. This can help you not be nervous and that you !ill pull this off. %ou have to be prepared before you ta"e the stage and perform the sho!. Before you start$ ta"e some deep breaths. 0oo" at your notes before going onstage to "eep the material going in your mind. %ou may !ant to drin" some !ater to "eep you refreshed. %ou may !ant to pace bac" and forth so that your nerves can stay calm. &o a fe! stretching e'ercises to "eep you rela'ed. %ou5ll probably !ant to repeat these at least once before the sho!. Then go out there and do your best. &on5t !orry and try not to be nervous. There may be a time !hen you #ust don5t get over to the audienceAit happens to the best of all stand-up comedians$ especially !hen you first get started. The vibe might not be good for that evening. )ven !ith that$ don5t act li"e it5s the end of the !orld. %our audience can have bad days as !ell. &on5t give up because your performance did not turn out the !ay you !ould have li"ed it to. Chec" out your routine and see !here you need to regroup. There may be some things that you need to brush up on. -nce you see !here you need to ma"e ad#ustments$ ma"e them and "eep going. %ou5ll find that the ne't performance !on5t be the sameAin fact$ it should be better than the one that you had before. %ou !ill also have more confidence and come out s!inging.

%erforming Tips
*ere are additional tips and reminders that you can do in order to get yourself on the road to being a professional stand-up comedian1 3a"e videos of your performances. %ou !ant to be able to go bac" and loo" at ho! it turned out. There may be some things that you didn5t li"e and may have to ma"e some ad#ustments. .ere you moving too much+ .ere you tal"ing too slo! or too fast+ &id you tal" too loud+ It may ta"e you several vie!ings to determine ho! you can polish it up. Go to the clubs. If you are not ready for the comedy clubs yet$ start at places that host open mic nights. *o!ever$ in order to better your craft$ go to other comedy clubs to see ho! other stand-up comedians perform. %ou !ill be able to observe and ta"e notes. )ventually$ you !ill be able to connect !ith some club o!ners once they get familiar !ith seeing your face in their place. %ou !ill also be able to get !ith other stand-up comedians. *ave a noteboo" handy !hen you are performing. %ou may end up getting ideas for your stand-up routine at the last minute. If you don5t have a noteboo"$ then you !on5t be able to "eep your thoughts. ,s soon as it hits$ !rite it do!n if you haven5t ta"en the stage yet. &on5t drag your feet on getting out there in front of an audience. The more you put yourself out there$ the more you !ill be able to perform. In turn$ you !ill be able to learn the ropes of stand-up comedy performances. It5s better to get more chances to perform because you !ill get more e'posure. If you mess up$ "eep going. &on5t thin" that each time you perform your standup routine that the audience !ill fall in love !ith you. Sorry$ but that is not the case. %ou !ill e'perience !hat is feels li"e for people not to laugh at your #o"es because they feel that they are not funny.

%ou !ill see the loo"s on their face that tell you your sho! !as a !aste of time and they !ant a refund. ,ll you can do is move for!ard$ loo" at !hat !or"ed and !hat didn5t. %ou !ill !or" even harder to get it right the ne't time. -ne thing that can get you a label that you don5t !antAstealing other5s comedian5s materials. &on5t even thin" about doing it in any !ay$ shape$ form or fashion. )ven if you are using the material !ith different !ords$ leave it alone. %our career !ill be null and void and you !ill have bitten the dust very 9uic"ly.

.hen a promoter or club manager gives you a time slot$ stay !ithin that time frame. %ou !ould be overstepping your bounds and ta"ing advantage of !hat !as given to you. That !ould be considered rude$ inconsiderate and unprofessional to go over your time limit. There may be other acts after yours and they have to get on !hen it5s their time. )ven if the audience is not responding$ that is no reason to ta"e more time then you5re supposed to have. <est assured you have probably blo!n your chance at performing at their venue in the future.

Be nice to your audience. %ou !ant them to be receptive to you and laugh at your material. There5s no need to be insulting. 4ust because some other comedians do it$ does not mean you have to be the status 9uo. In fact$ you should !ant to be different so that people !ill notice. 6lus$ if you did say something out of turn$ you don5t "no! ho! some members of the audience !ould ta"e it. They may get humiliated or mad and !al" out. That5s not something you !ant to see at your sho!.

&on5t focus on imitating other comedians. %ou need to be different than the others and stand out. The audience !ants to see the real you$ not trying to be someone else. %ou !ant the audience to see ho! funny you can be by using your o!n material. Be the real thing and not something fa"e. 4ust because you have ne! material does not mean that you thro! out the old stuff. There may be times !hen you !ill need to pull it out and use it. If your ne! material is not !or"ing$ go bac" to some of the old material that you have. This can help you get out of a #am. If you need more ideas on ho! to !rite stand-up #o"es$ get an instruction manual that !ill provide you !ith ideas on ho! you can !rite material that !ill ma"e people laugh. Thin" about your personality !hen you are !riting. .hat is your attitude li"e+ *o! do you feel !hen you are about to perform+ .rite some #o"es on things that you "no! about or some observations that you5ve seen. Create a small segment and do a performance !hile you5re alone. %ou can even videotape it to see ho! you loo" and sound. There may be things that you !ill need to eliminate once you have heard the tape. =eep !riting more #o"es. .rite as many as you can. ,s you continue to !rite$ you !ill become more comfortable !ith creating your o!n material. It !ill eventually get easier for you. Sometimes you !ill have plenty of #o"es to create and !rite. -ther days you may not be as fortunate.

,s you are !or"ing on your material$ be confident enough that it !ill be good enough for your upcoming audience. Convert your material into a conversation. 6olish up your material and put the finishing touches on it. Go over it several times to ma"e sure it sounds and loo"s right. %ou can stand up !hen you are performing. %ou can either hold the microphone in your hand or leave it in the stand. Some stand-up comedians !ill hold it in their hand if it5s their first time in order to ma"e themselves feel comfortable. There are some comedians !ho !ill sit do!n on a stool !hile they are performing. .hen you are performing$ pronounce your !ords so that the audience can understand !hat you are saying. %our voice should carry so that the entire room can hear you. 0oo" at the cro!d as you are performing. %ou have to be confident in !hat you5re doing. The audience !ill "no! !hether or not that confidence is sho!ing as you perform.

,s you finish your performance$ the audience !ill more than li"ely applaud$ especially if it !as really funny. -r you may receive a fe! hec"les. ;evertheless$ you need to than" them for coming out. They too" the time out of their schedule to pay and see you perform. 0et them "no! that you really appreciate them. This !ill "eep them coming bac". ,udiences li"e to "no! !hen they are appreciated.

&on5t be in a hurry to leave after you are finished. It5s only proper and fitting that you stay for the other performances that come after you. There !ere probably some that stayed for yours$ so you should also e'tend that same courtesy. Besides$ you might be able to pic" up some pointers !hile !atching the performance.

.hen creating #o"es$ type them on your computer as !ell as !riting them. %ou may be sitting there and a thought comes across. Instead of loo"ing for a pen and noteboo"$ type it on a blan" document and save it as a file. %ou may have some #o"es that you don5t thin" are up to par. *o!ever$ it5s a good idea to try them on for si8e any!ay. %ou never "no! ho! your audience !ill react.

In addition to videotaping your material$ you can also use an mpB player. There may be times !hen you can5t loo" at your video. ,t least you !ould be able to listen to yourself do stand-up #o"es. %ou !ill be able to hear ho! you sound. %ou can also try using material from the ne!s of the day and spin it into some #o"es. Some of the more common sub#ects are celebrities$ athletes and politicians.

Serious Tips For St!nd'"p Comedi!ns


,s a stand-up comedian$ you !ill not al!ays do things right. -f course$ no one is perfect either. ,t the same time$ here are some tips that you can use that !ill "eep you out of harm5s !ay and "eep you !or"ing in the stand-up comedy business. %ou should not laugh at your o!n #o"es. &uring your performance$ if there are people in the audience that try to distract you$ stay calm and "eep trying to perform. )ventually if they "eep doing it$ they !ill be as"ed to leave by management. If you are performing at an open mic night$ it should be !ith performances that are similar to yours. It !ould be embarrassing to perform on a night !here others are doing poetry and other readings not related to comedy. Believe it or not$ there are people in the audience that !ill !rite do!n your #o"es in hopes of using them. =eep an eye out for people li"e that !hile you are performing. &on5t overdo a #o"e. 6erform it !ithin the appropriate time frame. It can get old and stale if you "eep going on !ith it and the audience !ill get irritated. &on5t bash fello! stand-up comedians. =eep your opinions to yourself. If you have something to share$ allo! them to as" you. If they don5t$ then don5t push the issue. This !ill not get you any love from your peers. Being offensive is a no-no. %ou are there to ma"e them laugh. They don5t !ant to hear about things that are vile and get them upset. )'press yourself in a !ay that people !ould appreciate it. 4ust be yourself !hen you do it. &on5t tal" so loud !here you can bust the eardrums of the people in the audience. =eep the volume to an acceptable level. Tone your voice do!n and ad#ust the microphone if you have to.

&uring your performance$ "eep a good attitude$ no matter !hat. )ven !hen the audience doesn5t laugh at your #o"es$ "eep a smile on your face. &on5t become a substance abuser. This !ill not help you !hen you are performing on stage. It !ill not help you !hen you are trying to create ne! material. In fact$ you !on5t be able to thin" straight !hen you are in this 8one. ,l!ays be sober !hen you are performing in front of an audience. It !eighs more on an audience on ho! they receive your performance rather than focusing on you. %ou are there to ma"e them laugh. If you are not delivering$ they are not going to laugh at your #o"es. %ou are there to entertain them$ not to entertain yourself. Be friendly at all times and don5t offend others$ especially your fello! stand-up comedians. %ou never "no! !hen you !ill need a favor from them one day. If you have more enemies than friends$ you could be messed up. ;o one !ould !ant to do anything for you. &on5t be conceited because you have a fe! gigs under your belt. There are people out there !ho are professionals that "no! ho! to carry themselves accordingly. They "no! that if they don5t$ that they could be out of a #ob. ,cting stuc" up !ill force someone to put you bac" in your place from !hence you started. &on5t ma"e fun of other people. &on5t hurt their feelings intentionally. %ou are there to perform$ not to ridicule anyone. 6eople in the audience !ill ta"e offense to that and !al" out. %our fan base may start to decrease. .hen you perform$ don5t force yourself to create a #o"e !here you have no idea !hether it5s going to be funny or not. Stay !ith your normal flo! and perform the !ay you normally do. If you have to$ create some ne! material days before you are on to perform again. %ou have to pro#ect an image that is positively portraying you as a stand-up comedian. %ou !ant your audience to "no! that you are friendly and are loo"ing to help them have a good time !hile you are performing. Try not to do anything that !ill turn your audience a!ay from you. It5s o" to be clean cut so that your audience !ill "no! you are funny$ but serious about your craft. &on5t go overboard !hen you are performing and telling #o"es. )ven though free speech is out there$ sometimes !e have to use caution as not to offend others.

3a"e your #o"es so that people can get the #est of !hat you are tal"ing about. %ou don5t !ant them leaving the venue sha"ing their heads in !onder. If you perform one-liners$ ma"e sure that they are good ones. ;ot every stand-up comedian is able to do this$ but if you are$ more po!er to you. They can be your ram in the bush !hen you need additional material to perform. Be careful about the sub#ect matter in !hich you use the one-liners. &oing story #o"es re9uire stand-up comedians to be real about the sub#ect or at least do it as though it could be the real deal. %ou should not ma"e up or lie about !hat you are tal"ing about. .hen doing #o"es that consist of 9uestion and ans!er combos$ they should relate to the current climate in your life. ,nything else !ould be a !aste of time. Be yourself and be natural. ,nything else the audience !ould pic" up on it right a!ay.

How St!nd'"p Comedi!ns C!n .et Into TV or Film


There are many stand-up comedians !ho have become successful and famous. Their success has led them to do television sitcoms based on their life. .hen you get an agent and start to get noticed$ you can start really ma"ing a name for yourself. Stand-up comedians !ill use their emotions from !hen they !ere gro!ing up to integrate it !ith !hat they have today. ,ny past e'periences are a great place to start and use as material. If you !ere a substance abuser or you !ere abandoned as a child$ you can use those things to get it started. )ven though those e'periences !ere considered painful$ someho! you can ta"e them and ma"e a #o"e out of them. Get involved in a variety of small acting gigs. &o some e'tra film !or" or audition for a part !here you do little spea"ing. If the appeal is there$ you can audition to get your o!n radio sho!. Start !riting material as though you already had your o!n sho!. %ou may !ant to do some additional stand-up performances to get a larger audience. See if you can get some of the "ey players and decision ma"ers to come and see you perform. If not them$ see if you can get their representative to come out and ta"e a loo". Their representatives are an e'tension of them. Be mindful that you may have to go through many e'ecutives and political plays to get !hat you !ant. )veryone is not going to be receptive because they feel they "no! !hat audiences !ant to see. *o!ever$ as long as you "eep putting your name out there$ someone !ill say yes. &on5t give up on your sitcom dream. The minute you !ant to give up is !hen someone !ill contact you and say C%es$ !e5ll give you a chanceD. )ven !hen you get a television sitcom$ you can also branch out into film. 3ovie directors are al!ays loo"ing for comedians !ho can deliver good punch lines to ma"e the movie a hit. In fact$ some of the movies are so good$ they end up doing se9uels. ;ever give up on your dream of being a successful stand-up comedian on television or in movies. That5s ho! some of the other famous comedians got started$ !ith a hope$ a dream$ perseverance and finally a sitcom on television. -nce you get your sitcom$ create characters that are similar to you and ho! you gre! up. This is easier because you !ill be able to relate. -nce you have established that$ eventually$ you !ill !ant to evolve into other things.

%ou !ill reali8e that the person that you !ere in your stand-up routines !ill not al!ays be the same person. %ou !ill have to ma"e changes and maybe do sub#ects that you thought you !ould never have to deal !ith for television. Be grateful that you have been given a chance to move to the ne't level.

Conclusion
Being a stand-up comedian is not easy. *o!ever$ if you en#oy doing it$ your craft can turn into a lot more than #ust doing performances in comedy clubs and other venues. %ou have to be diligent !ith your craft$ and others !ill see your sincerity in your performances. Stand-up comedians must have a lot of passion and love for !hat they do$ because they "no! it is not easy to perform in front of an audience and try to ma"e them laugh. %ou are not doing to al!ays hit the bull5s eye !hen telling #o"es to them. Some may li"e them !hile others !on5t. &on5t get discouraged at the haters and the hec"lers because they are out there. %ou have to "eep at it$ because you never "no! !ho could be out in the audience at any given time. That person may #ust be the one !ho can ta"e your career to another level.