Do you have what it takes to be a comedian for a living? The answer may surprise you. Sure we all like to laugh and tell jokes once in a while, but being a comedian is a life style. Most comedians, at least while they are working their way up the ladder, do not have the luxury of on OFF button.
The reason for this is simple; you never know where you will be when you get an offer for your next gig. Thus you are always going to be searching high and low and cramming your self on to bills at clubs as often as you can. Already not sound like your cup of tea? Well it only gets less funny from here on out.
The Truth of Comedy
The truth of comedy is that it is like any other art; chances are you are going to start off and suck, or fail a lot, and make a ton of mistakes. This is what happens to painters, actors, writers and all artists of every shape and form—even musicians.
No matter how much they read, no one knows the entire game before they get in it, and that is some thing that unfortunately makes it difficult at the on set. Because comedy is hard. For every comedian out there, there are a hundred more who are just as good, and a dozen who are better, either because they are funnier or because they simply have better connections.
This is a fact. Comedy is art; it’s the art of laughter, of making people feel good, and the truth is that it is hard as hell to do for a living.
Can You Work Two Jobs?
Can you ever see yourself working two jobs? If you say no right now, then comedy is not right for you. It’s not funny because it’s true; if you think a couple gigs means you can quit your day job, then that’s the funniest joke you are talking yourself.
You listen to any comedian and they will tell you about a time they were poor as dirt and eating Ramen Noodles for every meal because they could barely afford to pay rent. They worked on job, and that job was inconsistent because no one knew them. If you want to eat better than Ramen Noodles night and day, and save yourself from some serious bodily damage, keep your day job. That way you can support your comedy and yourself.
Can You Take Rejection?
You are going to fail. Did that hurt your ego or your confidence? No? Good—you are closer to being a comedian than most. If it did hurt your ego, or your confidence, then you may want to rethink, because every comedian fails at the start of their career. In fact if you read about any successful comedian, their pasts are rocky and full of potholes. Rejection happens. Clubs may say NO. You may contact an agent and that agent might ignore you.
If any of these things deters you from your goal then we are sad to say that you do not have what it takes to be a comedian. The only thing that outweighs a comedian’s funniness is their ability to keep fighting the odds, and in this business that is exactly what you need to do. The odds are stacked against you right from the start, and there are hundreds and thousands of others fighting for your job—do you have what it takes?
Debbie Cooper writes for standupcomedians.com.au who list dozens of Australia’s leading comedians, ready to book for your next event.