How to Become a Successful (standup) Comedian

How to Become a Successful (standup) Comedian

Are you the kind of person who likes to tell stories in front of other people, laugh a lot and make friends easily? Then, you could probably think of a career as a standup comedian. Being a comedian is an act of bravery, because, basically, what you do is stand in front of an unknown audience and admit your flaws and mistakes as a human being. It takes a lot of courage and self-irony to be able to connect with a large group of strangers and simply tell the uncomfortable truth in front of them.

How to Become a Successful Standup Comedian

Being a standup comedian is a beautiful and empowering thing, but, although it may look easy, it actually requires a lot of inspiration and…yes, work.  If you want to be successful, you must develop a recognizable style, and that involves writing your own material. Of course there are lots of comedians who steal other people’s jokes, but writing your own set is the best thing to do.  Most comedians find inspiraton for their acts in the small things that happen to all of us in day to day life. This is why, to make sure you don’t forget the details of the situations that might later turn into a nice joke, you can keep a journal with you where you put down all funny things that you come across.

Always Be Energetic

Being fun involves lots of energy. Perhaps you noticed that most comedians appear on stage running. Even if you have a laid back style, you still need some degree of energy to make people laugh. You won’t be funny if you look tired or stressed out, so, as a comedian, you need to take good care of yourself. Make sure you eat and sleep well and exercise regularly.

Networking is Key

Just like the other actors, standup comedians need to go our there and meet new people, exchange experience with other comics and form connections. This way, not only will you improve your act, but you will also get to know the right people in the business (promoters and owners), who will probably invite you to pubs and clubs to perform.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job…Yet

We’ve already established that being a comedian is not an easy job. It requires lots of training to polish your skills, physical effort and determination to pursue your dream. Also, it may not be very financially rewarding until you have become very famous. So, if you are just a beginner and you are not booked very often,  you may just consider acting a side job or a hobby. It is advisable not to quit your job until you have reached a certain degree of financial stability.  

Even if you don’t succeed right away, don’t despair. There will be nights when no one is laughing at your jokes, and probably every comedian has gone through this.  Allow yourself to fail. Take a good laugh, get back on track and book another show.