Comedy is a dog-eat-dog world. To the regular person, comedy looks like a fun time because the regular person gets to be the one that laughs for ninety minutes and ultimately feel better about themselves and leave. However, for the comedians, it is a different story and many of us can attest this world is dark and depressing and everyone is out for themselves. We’re all just trying to survive this scene to hopefully get ahead and actually be something. There’s going to be A L
The first years of comedy are always the toughest. As a new comic, you (for the most part) are really just trying to figure out what the hell you are doing so you figure out your voice as a stand-up. The first three years of a consistent grind is generally the time you are considered a newbie on the scene and we try to do all we can to get out of that mode and into the actual comedian mode. Whether you’re new or a bit more seasoned, it is interesting to reflect back and asses
As a producer for Comedians on the Loose, there are certain things I am asked on a continual basis: “How do I get on your show?” “How do you book such strong talent?” “What do you look for in a comedian?” The reality of it is these questions center around one thing which is getting a spot in the future. I don’t blame or look down on a comic for asking about the booking process, but as I have shared information and received a plethora of booking submissions, one common theme i
As long as I have been in comedy (five years to be exact), there seems to be this never-ending debate among aspiring comedians when it comes to building your craft: repetition versus variation. What do I mean by “repetition versus variation?” It’s when we go to open mics to practice material (assuming you have material) and choose a strategy of doing the same set or a different set each time; I’ll often hear comedians on the scene complain about when they see a fellow comedia
For performance, a stand-up has to achieve many things to truly “nail it.” From what I have seen from open mics to pro shows, three major elements have to be felt: A natural rhythm Commitment to the material A sense of freshness Basically, the set is performed in a way that is true to your style and the jokes make the audience feel like you’re performing that material for the first time and that you really believe in what you are saying. It sounds and in many ways looks easy
A career as a comedian is something we all desire. Few of us end up getting there, some only stay on the scene level, and many others disappear from comedy altogether. I recently started a 60-mics challenge (I will cover that later in the year) and only just two weeks into the challenge, something clicked in me: accountability. Accountability is a huge part of building your own career as a stand-up: you have to write your jokes, you have to perform the jokes, and you ultimate
The stage is a comedian’s shining moment.
When we perform, it’s about our craft and showing our truest selves so that (hopefully) the audience will love us and our material. It’s our time to connect and influence so we can extend our level of impact as an artist. However, comics often think it starts and ENDS there and that they don’t have to do anything off-stage in order to keep that reach going. BIG MISTAKE. The stage is just a small part of the equation and even with a g
Since moving to NYC and diving into comedy in 2014, summer has always felt like a trying and somewhat tumultuous time for me. This summer was no different.
Aside from doing stand-up comedy, producing shows in New York and Philly, writing this blog, working a full-time job, and trying to have some semblance of a life, I decided to take on the challenge of a half-marathon.
I’m still not completely sure why I did this, but at its basis I do enjoy a good challenge. A half-mar
Comedy has changed drastically in the past ten to twenty years. Not only has our topics and how we discuss them changed, but even the way we present our own comedy to the public has taken a drastic turn.
This follows the trend of instantaneous content thanks to mediums like YouTube, Instagram, etc. When we only used to have maybe four comedy specials a year to watch, late-night comics were seen on a minimal basis, and you could really only find comics in the clubs, we now ha
There’s something in comedy that is brought up constantly, but never really understood until we’re years into our craft. It’s our energy. Energy is something that is personal to us as comedians and it’s typically generalized into three areas: high energy, low area, or somewhere in between. Why is it so important to be cognizant of our energy? Here’s why. Energy affects our overall comedy style. Every comedian has their own different style of comedy, but if you really break it
Success. It’s something we as comedians all strive for and desire. Everyone’s idea of success is different from one comic to the next and changes as time passes. Maybe your idea of success is late-night television? Working the clubs? Or an hour special? Whatever you think success is, there is no doubt it’s a positive. Or is it? There is the other side that I have seen in many comedians both on the scene and those who are actually carving out a name in the industry; it’s the f
For comics, being booked frequently is a basic goal. We WANT that stage time. It’s an opportunity to be seen, potentially increase our following, and show what we represent as a comedian. While there is a desire for opportunities, there is a frequent trend of unreliability. What exactly do I mean by unreliability? It’s comics receiving opportunities that they either flake out on completely or they treat it with such a blasé attitude. While some may not care at the moment, suc
I recently came across an article from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation discussing comedy and whether it can successfully be taught in a classroom setting. David Granirer of Langara College in Vancouver believes whole-heartedly that stand-up comedy is something that can be taught and bases his theory off of “technique and formulas” and claims people “build confidence” in his class or “reframe their past experiences in a more positive light.” Now, I’m all for using stand-
Comedy is one of the most difficult art forms to make successful. It’s difficult to gain success, it’s difficult to make look easy, etc.
To the general consumer, comedy is often an escape to get away from your own problems. For performers, it’s a totally different story. We have to dive into our issues on that stage in order to be authentic and connect with the audience. One thing that has always been on my mind is just that: the inherent struggle associated with stand-up co
There’s a constant question every novice and even seasoned talent will ask themselves: how do I get better as a stand up comedian? The default answer from most sources is typically to “get up on stage.”
Sure, stage time is important, but when you’ve hit a rut that you feel you can’t get out of, finding and doing stage time can be agonizing if you feel it’s not going anywhere.
We can fool ourselves into thinking we’re doing something good, but that’ll eventually catch up to
I recently revisited a 2018 article from Vulture discussing the rise of “clapter” comedy. If you aren’t familiar with “clapter” comedy it’s when a comedian makes a “joke (often a social or political statement) with the purpose to make the audience applaud and agree instead of laugh. Some common statements you’ll hear may be “so Trump sucks,” “men are terrible,” etc. It can often depend on the type of room you’re working.
I’ve even heard some say “so rape is bad..” Yeah, wh
Standing out is a big part of having an edge over other comics in the industry. It’s what separates the pros from the amateurs and really is the deciding factor of how far you’ll make it as a comedian. It can take years to make yourself stand out and is ultimately up to you to take the reigns and become noticed. Standing out is not an easy feat and it’s common for many comics to fall into the rut of being boring, not even realizing it. Here are my thoughts. Boring comics don’
Writing is no joke. It’s a difficult process that can take years to hone.
Writing is more than just putting pen to paper (or typing in your Google Docs) and jotting down words. It’s about finding your voice and ensuring you convey your points eloquently.
For comics, it’s even more difficult because we have a strategic goal with our writing: making people laugh. Doing that involves writing in a way that fits our personal style and covering topics that make sense for our bra