The One Skill Every Comic Should Learn
As comics, we tend to have a plethora of thoughts and ideas that run through our head every minute of the day. If you’re like me, those thoughts can wake you up in the middle of the night and you can’t get back to sleep.
These thoughts and ideas may be comedy related or they might be something else. This is common for most creative people; at the very least, you’re rarely ever bored. God knows how often I just play thoughts in my head to get through a boring event.
With all this constant energy in our minds, I often find one thing to be very shocking: how much self-awareness most comics lack.
Self-awareness is something that is learned as we grow in this industry and is a necessary skill for navigating your path.
Here are my thoughts.
Self-awareness helps you build your brand.
I talk a lot about branding in this blog and at times it can sound like a broken record, but branding really is the key to becoming a successful comic. Self-awareness is a skill that helps you build your brand.
When you are self-aware as comic, you know how you write and perform, what you want to write about, and who you appeal to with your comedy. You also understand why you are writing and performing the way you do. It all links back to your brand.
For example, since I started comedy, I went back and forth with many ideas on how I wanted to write and portray myself as a comic. I thought a lot of the times because I am gay that I had to write in a way that was stereotypical to what is often portrayed in media for comics. Over time, I realized that just wasn’t me and while I respect comics that commit to that route, it doesn’t fit with my brand. The same goes for politics. It just doesn’t work for my brand and has never really interested me to discuss on stage.
When you are self-aware, you are more honest with yourself and it plays a critical role in your overall comedy, thus contributing to your brand development.
You know what opportunities to choose when you’re self-aware.
At the beginning of comedy, it is okay to jump at every opportunity that comes our way. Stage time is stage time and whatever show you’re cast on or whatever podcast, sketch, etc. that comes your way is something that can help you with exposure. No one is expecting you to know your brand immediately starting out and figuring out which opportunities work for you is mostly a trial and error approach. However, as you become more self-aware and mature as a comic, certain opportunities are going to hold more value than others. The bringer show is probably one of the best examples as an opportunity a new comic might jump at versus a comic that is more self-aware and seasoned in their brand. Also, if you don’t think you need to do (or don’t want to do something), then don’t do it, especially if it won’t further you in your career.
Being self-aware motivates you to do what makes sense as opposed to just doing everything and hoping something gets you somewhere. When you focus on what makes sense, you negate from wasting time.
Moral of this article: figure out who you are and what you represent. It will save you so much time and energy knowing yourself versus thinking you know yourself and just wandering around aimlessly on the scene and going nowhere.
Got questions or something to add? Comment below and tell us your thoughts!