In this industry, you run into a lot of people, personalities, etc.
Some of these people are great talents, savvy business people, and have a level of wisdom when it comes to being in the industry; such qualities are definitely an indicator of how far one will go in their career.
But then there’s the flipside to that coin, where there are certain people you always have to ask “why are they even in comedy?” They’re exhausting to deal with or seem to just be taking up space. They have a skewed take on what the industry really is and just make it more difficult for those actually trying to succeed.
If you experience these certain situations, then you probably shouldn’t be in comedy.
You can’t handle rejection or criticism.
Rejection and criticism are a reality in ANY industry, but as comedians, it’s even more apparent and more jarring. Stand-up comedians are the one type of entertainer where it’s all us: our raw thoughts and emotions. Actors can hide behind a script or character, singers and musicians hide behind the lyrics or melody, dancers don’t even have to speak. Stand-ups are completely exposed and we often have to be uncomfortable and talk about things that are so open to ridicule just make audiences laugh.
Naturally, rejection and criticism are never going to feel good, but it’s how you handle it that makes a difference.
For example, I have comics send me requests for casting with Comedians on the Loose; honestly, I have had to reject the majority of these requests and give criticism regarding my reasoning. Some understand, but the majority take it poorly.
My reasoning for rejecting someone is never callous as it ALWAYS boils down to a comic not being ready for the stage. Most comics don’t want to believe they aren’t ready and then flip their tone because their ego tells them a different story.
If rejection or criticism is enough to ignite an ego trip, then you don’t belong. You’re going to experience so much more of it whether you’re an open mic level comic or a pro comic.
No one gets every opportunity and no one is entitled to every opportunity.
You’re expecting a handout.
The expectation of a handout is something that irritates me in particular...primarily because it builds a false sense of merit.
This often happens when a person has many friends in comedy. Maybe these people run a bar show or have a small show at a club that the comic is lucky enough to get spots. Even I have experienced this with certain “friends” where they expect because they’re friendly with me that I’ll just put them up (not the case). The thing with COTL is that we DO NOT practice casting based on friendship. Yeah, I might like someone as a person, but that doesn’t mean their talent is up to par.
Other instances of handouts may be based on superficial things like race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. If you feel entitled to opportunities based off of something like this, you’ll only be disappointed. Yeah, some people may get spots that way. Hey, even I’ve gotten some spot on LGBT shows or Latin comedy shows, but remember you still have to bring it to prove you are talented. Comedy isn’t a charity and handouts only promote laziness.
It’s not your passion.
This is a given, but probably one of the most rampant occurrences on the scene: comedy not being your passion. If you’re looking at comedy to be a vehicle to another career, give you a validation you don’t get from somewhere else, or be some type of therapy for your problems, it will only end disastrously.
Anyone can gain success without passion, but maintaining that success is a whole different story and passion really is that deciding factor that no matter where you are, you keep going.
The funny thing about people is we often give off what we are feeling, even if it’s unintentional. Lack of passion shows and it’ll only be a hindrance and waste of time for what you’re really trying to achieve.
Do you see any of this on the scene? Are you experiencing it yourself? Comment below and tell us your thoughts!