Most stand-comedians go into the business hoping to make it at some point. We don’t ever really “expect” to make it, but it’s always helpful to have that hope (kinda keeps us going).
I cross paths with many comics on the scene and it’s pretty obvious to me which comics will eventually “make it” and become notable industry talent in the coming years versus the ones who will always be hoping to be successful.
In reality we should all have the conversation of hypothetical success with ourselves. What if you do make it as a comic?
While becoming successful is an amazing feat to conquer and the positives far outnumber the negatives, you should really ask yourself if you are ready to face the common hardships that come with success: loneliness, guilt, and stress. You will have days where you feel guilty, lonely, and stressed for so many different reasons.
Sometimes the weight of the negatives can be enough to go insane, but that’s all up to you in how to handle yourself in this industry.
Here’s some key indicators to assess your readiness for industry success.
You have business savvy
Being business savvy is the most crucial factor in being able to handle success. Not only to attain it, but to maintain it.
It’s so sad when I see very talented comics on the scene that have no clue of how to be professional or have very little knowledge of the business.
Being business savvy has many elements like having a plan, knowing how to network, recognizing opportunities, etc. It’s not just one set skill and is more a combination of skills that make you a good business person.
Exhibiting good business savvy promotes longevity in a career. Just like Kevin Hart, who is a leading industry talent, it takes much more than just great talent to be able to navigate and handle the business.
You exhibit respect on all levels
Respect is another indicator for how someone will fare in handling success.
I have met many professional, big name comics. The one who stands out to me most in terms of respect is Judy Gold.
When I met Judy at the Village Underground with Jessica Kirson, it was really what happened off-stage that made the experience worthwhile. Judy was incredibly respectful to new comics that just wanted to gain insight to the business. She treated each person she interacted with like a person and there was no feeling that she was “above” anyone.
Too many times I have seen comics with just a small amount to no industry credibility think they’re better than others which exemplifies itself in ego-driven arrogance. Be careful of this path because everyone around you takes notice and you never know who will have the chance to determine your worthiness of an opportunity.
You approach everything with a clear mind
A clear mind really does much to help you manage the hardships of success on a personal level.
A clear mind for this business understands just that: it’s a business. You’re able to take ego and emotions (loneliness, guilt, and stress) out of it and understand that the industry will always be moving with or without you.
This doesn’t make you cold and emotionless. It just means you’re realistic and while we have hopes and dreams, they aren’t shrouded in unrealistic expectations and you find productive ways to deal with hardships that come your way.
Always keep in mind that everyone’s idea of success will be different. It is your job to handle what you deem as career success with the right outlook and continue building those qualities.
Are you ready to handle success if it comes your way? Comment below and tell us your thoughts!