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Passed: The Basic Comedy Goal

This year has been a pretty exciting year for comedy. I’ve seen comedy peers receive late night spots, tour the country, headline in other cities, etc. Some of these people I have worked with, others I have met in passing.

Seeing all these things happen around me is just a reminder that if you put your heart and soul into your work, things will happen. It’s only a matter of time until someone takes notice.

There’s always a constant thought for every comedian of their ultimate goals with comedy. For some it’s to have an hour special on television, some want to headline clubs, others want their comedy to take them other avenues. The list goes on with the possibilities.

While it’s great to have these aspirations, there is one goal comics should shoot for: getting passed.

Getting passed is a basic necessity for comedians.

In this blog, I often discuss doing things for yourself to gain success. While that is a HUGE part of building a career, in some ways you do have to rely on others to help you forge a path to that career.

This is where the clubs come in and getting passed is something that has the potential to change the scope of your career. Not only does it mean you are paid for spots, it also means you have more opportunities than others to be seen whether it’s a professional club show or a specialty show. Being seen is what makes the difference and getting passed is the golden ticket to quality visibility.

In many senses, building a name with clubs is the most solid foundation a comedian can build to achieve bigger goals because those clubs often hold more opportunities than just the shows themselves.

Getting passed doesn’t mean just being a good comic.

Talent means a lot in this industry, but it isn’t everything.

I spoke with a pro comic at a show earlier this year. The comic is bi-coastal and working clubs all over the country. After a conversation about comedy I asked him how does one actually get passed at a club? He confirmed there are different ways; sometimes there’s auditions held at clubs, but real clubs start as a networking relationship. You may be performing for free for a while until someone says they’ll give you a shot to audition.

Whichever way you do it, you are in some way seen as good for business and have marketability to have people come see you. You as a comic have to be business savvy and this is what many comics lack unfortunately, but it’s a skill that can be learned.

Keep in mind that being passed doesn’t equate to a successful. I’ve met tons of comics that were working the club circuit at some point and things just died down over time. Getting passed is just another opportunity for you develop your plan and build upon so you can make your flame burn brighter.

Got questions or something to add? Comment below and tell us your thoughts!

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