11 thoughts on “5 Tips For Comedians Looking To Get More Serious About Their Career

  1. Chase Roper says:

    I think if you are serious about being a stand-up, it is imperative that you spend as much time behind a mic in front of an audience, working your material as you can. Other outlets like blogging, screenwriting, sketch, etc are awesome, but ARE NOT stand-up. It’s a beast all in its own.

    Also, I’ve spoken/listened to several headliners who recommend going through that initial first few years of growing and maturing on stage without having a bunch of fans follow you around or without posting material online immediately. When you start, you aren’t a finished product, you’re in beta. You’re a prototype. You need practice and might turn people away for good before you’re ready.

  2. Josh Homer says:

    I agree with Chase, working on your craft is the most important thing. Who cares if at the end of the year you have added 260 people to your mailing list if your stand up and your writing (including the letters you’re sending out) are horribly unfunny. You may have just created 260 people that will never want to see you again.

    To me this falls into the category on your other list where you say “Most comics are looking for shortcuts”

    Having 260 people on a mailing list does not make you even remotely ready to headline. For example in NYC a local comedy club has come up with a great idea to brand a bringer show as an opportunity to headline. However the comics are not ready to headline. They are on stage with set lists that they must routinely check, they are arguing with the audience because the audience is not paying attention because the comedy is at the level is should be, they are on stage saying things like “Oh man, I forgot to do about 4 jokes here.” Having the asses in the seats does not a headliner make. Running out and doing all this marketing before your act is ready is just polishing a turd.

  3. Josh Homer says:

    “A lot of you just aren’t good enough, I mean content is king. If you’re not good enough people aren’t going to stay, I don’t care if you’re the best marketer of all time if your stuff’s not good you lose” – Gary Vaynerchuk (from the video you just posted)

  4. Josh Spector says:

    Hey guys, I completely agree that it’s obviously most important to get good at your craft. Good marketing doesn’t matter if you have bad content, though it’s just as true that good content doesn’t matter if you don’t have good marketing.

    Ultimately, you’re going to need both.

    That said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to grow your mailing list or fanbase from the moment you feel prepared to take your career seriously. But obviously, you’re going to have to be good enough to provide value to people otherwise they’ll just unsubscribe anyway.

  5. Josh, thanks a million for the tips!

    I’ll have to wait until I get to Austin to start working on a few, but the rest are all great action items for the interim. I’ll definitely share with my comedy buddies.

    The “curating” content point is a fantastic one, and I’m happy that you’ve released me of the guilt that comes along with it. Already built a website, now I’ll start distributing regular content and building my fanbase.

    Thanks again, sir!

  6. will bennett says:

    your tips really help me can you email them to me

  7. Sam – if you are moving to Austin, I have a buddy that is getting better connected to all the local spots to do comedy. If you want I can put you in touch with this guy. Hit me at my website which I assume will be linked from my name.

  8. Thanks, Marty! Email sent your way.

  9. Great read! I’ve been doing comedy for almost 6 years now and it’s been a long hard road with a few breaks here and there. But I think I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some wonderful people along the way. Hey now you’re one of them and I appreciate the good words! Just moved to NYC almost 1 year ago from Detroit to further my career and try to become the best comic I can.

  10. Gladwell says 10,000 hours to succeed and Kevin Kelly says you need 1,000 true fans to pay the bills ( http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fans.php ).

    That means you only need to average 1 true fan conversion every 10 hours while working on your success! j/k 😉

  11. Ms. Anita says:

    Thank you so much for this page. i am so relieved that u added the point of Standup not being the the only way to let ppl know that u are funny. i do a lot of writing, sketches, videos, auditions, ect. the other comedians all try to get me out to do standup. late nights can wear u out. im so glad to rest assured from your comments.

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