Every day I cross paths with comics on the scene.
Some of these comics are in their first year of comedy. Others are three years, five years and way beyond.
All of us have different stories and different goals with what we are trying to achieve as stand-ups. Maybe you’re just trying to gain confidence in your writing and performance? You’re vying for that late night credit? Or you are trying to get representation so you can officially become a “pro?”
It’s great to have goals in comedy, but one thing I constantly see on the scene is a severe lack of planning to make those goals tangible. This lack of planning causes comics to wander about aimlessly on the scene feeling like they are getting nowhere.
Developing a plan is often what makes the difference for who “makes it” and who goes unnoticed.
Planning each phase puts you on a clearer path
No one is expecting you to have all the answers to achieving your goals in comedy, but knowing what you want to do for a certain stage is a great place to start.
Hell, even if the first couple of years in comedy is just focusing on “getting good,” that’s something, but just ensure you know how to achieve that. Maybe with “getting good” you force yourself to write more each day or progressively get up on stage more each week. These tactics are simple, but can do much in setting you on a path to development as a comic.
After you attain certain goals, you can broaden your outlook to do more significant things with your comedy.
Planning helps others understand what you want to achieve
In business, perception is everything and comedy is no different. As we grow in comedy, our plans have to change to fit each stage to make others aware of what we want to do professionally.
As the industry becomes more saturated with comics on the scene, we can no longer rely on the notion that we’ll “get discovered” or someone will see us and want to give an opportunity. Those are rare chance occurrences that only happen for a few lucky people (I know...HATE THEM); you never want to leave your career up to chance.
Let’s say you are trying to get an agent to represent you. You have over an hours worth of material, have done many festivals, road gigs, feature spots at clubs, and some corporate and college gigs. Seems like that should be enough to entice them to represent you and you should be walking out that door in minutes with a deal, right? WRONG.
If you go into an agent’s office and just talk about your credits and don’t have some type of plan of action outlined for what you are trying to achieve and want to do over a period of time, your prospective agent may see you as too big of a risk.
It’s not their job to figure what you’d be good for or what you should do. It’s up to you to know what you want to do and doing research so they can somehow meet you halfway to help you further structure your plan and help you attack it with their industry knowledge.
Developing a plan for a career in comedy is not easy, but it’s also not impossible. It takes knowing what we want for ourselves and having the confidence to put that plan into motion.
Got thoughts or something to add? Comment below and let us know what you think!