Do you feel stuck in your comedy career?
No matter what level you’re at, it’s likely you’re going to encounter those moments in your career where you feel like things have gone stagnant and you don’t know what to do to get to the next level and start getting some momentum going again.
Here’s a few suggestions for things you may want to try to get yourself back on track…
1. Create New Content
I’ve written before about the power of momentum and creating new fresh content is one of the best things you can do start building some momentum again for your career. Don’t worry about the results of that content, and don’t get discouraged if people aren’t viewing/reading it. Just keep creating it. Whether it’s a blog, podcast, video series, or new jokes for your standup act, focus on creating more stuff and you’ll likely find that it leads you to some new progress in your career.
2. Try Something Different
If you feel creatively stalled one of the best things you can do is explore a new comedy path – whether it’s acting, writing, sketch, improv, whatever. Step out of your comfort zone, learn a new skill, and explore things you haven’t tried before. Often times, it will lead to new opportunities for you in your career.
3. Work Harder
If things aren’t going well for you, it might be time to ask yourself if you’re really working as hard as you can be at your comedy career. If you’re honest with yourself, the chances are that you probably could work a little harder. And the chances are that if you do, you may start to see better results. Need a little inspiration to work harder? Then watch this video:
4. Network With More Established Comics
One of the best ways to generate new opportunities for yourself is to develop better relationships with comics who are more established than you and can serve as mentors or resources for you. Other comics can help with everything from advice about your act, to booking gigs, to making introductions to agents, managers or bookers. The time you spend developing strong relationships with comics who have advanced beyond where you are can really be time well spent.
5. Network With Less Established Comics
It may seem less obvious, but it’s just as important to connect with comics who are less established than yourself. You never know who is going to know who and who is headed to what level of success – comics that may seem behind you today might be able to help you tomorrow…and they’ll remember how nice (or awful) you were to them back in the day. You’ll also probably find that comics that are less established than you are will be eager to work with you on projects that may require collaboration.
6. Educate Yourself
The more you learn about the art and business of comedy, the more likely you are to identify opportunities that can take you to the next level of your career. If you’re “stuck” at the moment, take advantage of that time to learn as much as you can however you can.
7. Broaden Your View Of A Comedy Career
There’s a lot more to comedy than just stand up. If you’re banging your head against the wall trying to build a stand up career, it’s probably time to explore all the other options available to people interested in a comedy career. If you start to look for opportunities beyond 5 minutes of stage time, you might find there’s a lot of other ways to use your comedic skills to establish a career than you realize.
8. Get A Comedy-Related Job
One of the best ways to generate new opportunities for yourself is to put yourself as close to the business as possible. Get a job at a comedy club, or writing for a comedy website, or interning at a booking agency, or go work for a social media agency, or anything that you can find that’s related to the comedy business. You’ll learn more about how the business works and make important contacts that can help you jumpstart your career.
9. Focus On Why You Wanted A Comedy Career In The First Place
Do you remember why you first decided to pursue a career in comedy? It’s real easy to get distracted and forget the initial things about comedy that you loved. Try to think back to those and focus your efforts on that.
10. Spend Time On Things You Can Control
Most comics spend too much time focused on things they can’t control – getting people to book them, pay them, or hire them to produce work. That’s a recipe for getting stuck because so much of that is out of your control.
To jumpstart your career, instead focus on a project that you can completely control without anybody else’s permission, money, or input. It won’t be easy, but putting your effort into something in which your success depends entirely on your own effort can be a really powerful experience.
7 thoughts on “10 Things You Can Do To Jumpstart Your Career”
Very inspirational! Watching that guy work out inspires me to write more jokes about fools who spend all their time working out! Just kidding, that guy is awesome.
The ugly truth is that the reason why more artistic types aren’t successful is because of a shit work ethic.
You wouldn’t have a list of said comedy related jobs? Been out of the work force for a bit and out of the comedy coop even longer… where does one start?
What can you do to jumpstart your comedy career?
Start by being realistic.
Confidence? Comedians have that in spades. You see it all over The Internet. They have that, hands down, without question.
Realistic expectations? Not so much.
In all this talk of social marketing and online networking, it might help to actually take a business course. While there, learn “Supply and Demand”. There are thousands of funny people vying for hundreds (or less) of jobs.
The idea that people aren’t getting ahead is because their work ethic sucks or they aren’t trying enough is ridiculous. Comics today try harder than ever. It’s just that there’s only so much room. There’s only so much work.
Sorry to burst the bubble. But, if you see people not getting ahead, it’s pretty naive to assume that it’s because they do not work hard enough.
Some of the most brilliant comics you’ll ever see will not make it. Some of the worst you’ve ever seen will. Welcome to showbiz, baby. Sometimes, it’s just about luck.
And, not for nothing, but you can bust your ass getting all the Twitter followers you want. But, if the guy who books the club never returns your phone call, all those Twitter buddies don’t help you much.
And if your “Dream” was to book yourself in bars that AREN’T comedy clubs, great! Congrats! The Twitter followers help. But if, like most comics, you dreamed of headlining actual clubs, it kinda sucks when all that social networking won’t get the manager of Uncle KnuckleFuckers to pick up the phone or return an email.