You made a few colleagues laugh, they told you to try your hand at comedy, and now you’re seriously considering it. So you watched a few stand-up videos, quit your job, and told your mom you’re going to be a comedian. The only thing left to do is get on that stage and take the world by an uproarious storm! Right? WRONG!
Stand-up comedy can be one of the toughest worlds to break into. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With a proper checklist and the right attitude, your stand-up journey can be pretty smooth. Lucky for you, we’ve put the checklist together!
1. Watch Stand-Up Shows
And we mean REALLY watch them. Pay attention to details. If you’re streaming a stand-up special online, take note of how the artist utilizes the stage, how they set up a joke, where and how they pause, how they transition into the next bit, etc.
If you’re attending a stand-up show in person, pay attention to the energy they bring to the stage, how they deal with interruptions and hecklers, and the pacing of their set, among much else.
These observations will help you when you get on stage.
2. Take a Stand-Up Comedy Class
Sure, this isn’t a strict requirement, but taking a stand-up comedy class or attending a comedy workshop can help you out a great deal. especially if you struggle with joke structure and comedic timing. A comedy course provides you with a proper course of action to reach your goal.
FrontRow offers an amazing comedy course taught by the one and only Biswa Kalyan Rath. This course will teach you how to find your style, get on the stage, joke structure, and much more.
Or you could have India's classic comedian Raju Srivastav as your mentor. He will teach you everything from observational comedy to the basics of performance and even mimicry.
3. Carry a Notebook with You
Always carry a small notebook with you, and write down anything that intrigues you: joke ideas, funny thoughts, one-liners, interesting characters that you think of, etc. You never know which one will strike a chord with your audience. You can also derive inspiration from these notes in the future. One more useful tip is to categorize these thoughts. Sort them out into different categories like ‘work’, ‘wedding’ etc. That way you can transition between these jokes easily.
4. Practice! Practice! Practice!
Participate in open mics, apply for a spot at your local comedy clubs, perform for your friends, family, colleagues, pets, we don’t care! Just keep practicing. The more you get used to saying your jokes out loud, the easier it’ll get for you to figure out your comedic style and timing. Sure, you might blow it the first few times you perform, but so have the most famous of comedians. Just keep pushing through it and you’ll get better. On FrontRow's comedy community, open mics take place regularly. Come hone your comedy skills in a group of like-minded learners!
5. Take Feedback
Be open to criticism, no matter how brutal it is. Listen to what your audience wants and try to work more on that. Don’t be afraid to scrap jokes; they might not work a certain bit but they might be perfect for the next one. Learn how to read the room. Pay attention to what the audience reacts to the most, and try to build on that. Criticism is not only going to help you better yourself, it will also help you develop thick skin, ultimately increasing your confidence.
All the best, aspiring comedian!