5 Tips on How to Start Stand Up Comedy
How to Start Doing Stand up Comedy
Stand-up comedy, whether prepared or improvised, is a difficult yet rewarding performance art form. All you have do is make a couple people laugh! And who knows, you might be the next big comedian? This wikiHow will tell you how to start doing stand up comedy
Write around five minutes of original material that you find funny, and that you believe others will find funny too.Some find it useful to go and watch other stand-ups, but remember that the more you see of how other people approach it, the harder it is to be original. Ask some friends about funny stories or jokes that they might have, then stretch it a little. Make it very interesting. Have you noticed that some comedians make fun of the scariest things that have happened to them? Well, you can too! There has to be at least a couple of scary moments that have occurred.
Find a comedy club where you can book in an open-spot.This may require some patience as some clubs have a long waiting list of acts. If no clubs in town are ready for you, look into schools, talent shows, anywhere that will have an audience. Always tell jokes to anybody even if they are somewhat strangers to you. For instance, let's say you run into this lady at the supermarket. You grab the same can of peaches or something. Say sorry and try to tell a joke that related to that situation, any joke that comes to mind. Just try to get a humorous vibe with everybody.. If that doesn't work just tell jokes about sex you never had, who knows? That might be a club owner who is looking for comedy acts. So, always keep a positive funny attitude with anybody.
Rehearse.Learn your material inside-out. Practice saying it out loud. This may seem uncomfortable at first, but it will help to hear your set spoken out loud. Most comedians try to rehearse alone or with their manager or club owner. Try to stay away from asking your friends to watch you rehearse because then it spills the beans and gives out your comedy act. Practice makes perfect right? Well, perfect practice makes perfect so if you are practicing with little perseverance you might as well not practice at all.
Make sure the audience can hear what you want them to hear when you're up on stage.Listen to the MC and the other acts, and note how loud they are, and where they are holding the microphone. No matter how crazy the audience goes, never yell. That will totally get them out of the mood and maybe even hurt their ears!
Stick to your allotted time, this will really help you get more gigs.Many comics use vibrating watches so that they know when their time is up without the annoyance of an audible alarm going off.
Keep a book with the dates of your gigs, your set list, and how each bit went.The cool thing about having a datebook is that if some club calls you and asks you to do a comedy act with them you can say, "Oh, I'll have to check my datebook." Then they will be like, "Whoa they got a datebook, must be pretty successful." See? Works every time, seriously.
Re-write anything that you think can be made funnier.Be really critical. If a bit really doesn't work, re-write it or ditch it and write something that does. Repeat this process.
Ask for feedback from experienced acts.If you asked for it don't ignore it but remember it is only an opinion. If what they suggest doesn’t feel right to you ask yourself why, and use your own common sense to see if their suggestions would work for you.
Be prepared for hecklers.By that I mean, be prepared to act like a total baby when someone doesn't like your joke. Some people will not find you funny, (because you aren't) the big stars avoid most audience critics due to ticket prices discourage the casual dissenter, however they still get soft-hecklers, those who want their minute of fame. You, the aspiring comic, will have to deal with both soft and die-hard hecklers. This may happen at any time but it is most likely after one of your punch-lines has failed to entertain. When you are heckled, you can do one of three things. The first is to ignore it and carry on, which is often the most sensible option for new comics, who have no way of knowing whether the audience is with them or not. The second and third are both to make a response. You may either merely make a dismissive response, or attempt to make a joke out of the heckle and/or heckler. Try to avoid personal insults, they don't go down well. The best responses are those that win you the moral victory. Keep retorts short and sweet. If you think of a good one later, keep in for the next time you hear a similar heckle, it is amazing how often the same heckle will occur.
QuestionHow long does the stand up have to be in terms of time?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhen you're starting out, the slots you are given will be pretty short, around 5-15 minutes. Make sure you fit in your best material and don't go over your time. As you gain popularity, venues will offer you longer time slots.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I come up with my own unique style of comedy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSpeak in your own voice, tell your own stories/jokes, practice A LOT, and your style will find you.Thanks!
QuestionWho can I talk to for advice?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGet in touch with local successful stand-up comedians; if you are taking acting or comedy classes, your professor or fellow classmates may also have good advice. You might also read books written by successful comedians, they have a lot of wisdom.Thanks!
QuestionI am called MC HIV from Uganda. How can I become a celebrity outside my country?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to use online platforms like YouTube so more people will see you.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I entertain members of a college festival?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTell jokes that would pertain to that age group. For example, you could start out by telling some funny stories from your time in college. Do some online research about popular comedians for that age group and what their material is like.Thanks!
QuestionCan I sit down and do it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. If your feet hurt, there's usually a stool center stage by a mic stand.Thanks!
QuestionWhat are the best open mics in Atlanta to start off with?Baker and MakerCommunity AnswerSome good places to go would be Laughing Skull Lounge and Uptown Comedy Center.Thanks!
QuestionI'm too nervous to perform alone, but I'm too bossy and controlling to work with someone else. What do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWork on either facing your fears of public speaking, or working with other people. If you can overcome either one, it will be easier to move on with your passion.Thanks!
QuestionCan you make jokes about the audience?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can to a degree. But don't have it consume most of your act, and don't make it too offensive or awkward unless that's consistent with your style of comedy.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I find a club to join to become a comedian?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can consult the internet to see what clubs are available in your area. You can call them to get more information about requirements to join their club.Thanks!
- Try to come up with your own style of comedy.
- If you're worried about new material, bring along a friend to a gig. One you can trust to really tell you what they thought; what you're good at, what you're not, where your material let you down and where you didn't perform the material to it's best. These people, if they tell the truth, are invaluable.
- If your audience doesn't laugh don't be upset about it, it just means you need to improve your joke.
- Be yourself, listen to advice, and take risks.
- Be original, never plagiarize.
- Have a fun time!
- Courses may help you with things like presentation skills, generating material or even building stage confidence, but they are not a replacement for getting up in front of a real live audience. They can also be expensive and, dependent upon the course tutor, can give you a one-sided view of what is funny.
- Go to the comedy club in your town as often as possible. Always greet the doorman, tip the waitresses well, and if you talk to the headlining comic who is visiting from out of town and you hit it off, ask if they want to see a movie.
- If you’re not using it, move the microphone stand out of the way. Put it behind you if you can.
- If they're not laughing when you think they should be, it's usually your fault.
- Just remember that copying people right after they say something is not funny.
- Start your own open mic or comedy night at a coffee shop, book store or dinner club. Offer slots for more experienced comics to have a place to try out new material. If you are respectful and valuable to headliners, you will get guest sets and emcee slots and free advice.
- Keep a journal with you and by your side. When you're funny, you'll say/dream/think things you can use on stage or you will forget it. Write it all down, even a few words can spark a joke.
- Be faithful to what you find funny.
- Record your own set and listen to it whenever you get time. because sometimes you will not get enough time to notice reaction of audience. Lots of famous comedian did this in their struggling days.
- Shocking does not necessarily equal funny.
- Never EVER do another comics material!
- Don't pick on an audience member if they have not asked for it. Humiliation does not equal laughs and the audience will hate you.
- You don’t need to perform off stage. You will not impress other comics.
- Don't get into comedy for an easy route into acting or TV presenting work. A lot of comedians aren't on television all the time. Some only get a brief stint on something like Live At The Apollo, then they are sometimes never heard from again.
- Jokes about atrocities often do not go over well with most crowds. Yes, experienced comics quite often mine such things for comedy, sometimes simply to gives themselves a challenge - these people are professionals. So stay away from such material, until you are as well.
- If you aren't being asked to do paid gigs after a few years, try poetry or writing instead.
- DO NOT talk incessantly about your "career" when you've only been going for a few months.
- Never ever start arguing with a heckler, the best ammo you can give them is replying so ignore them completely.
- Smile, and have a fun attitude, but DO NOT laugh at your own jokes even if the audience is laughing. You can giggle a little bit, but try not to lose your focus.
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