Comedians make the job look so easy. Well, it takes a lot of work to make those flawless sets happen. Many people think that being a comedian is easy. You basically just travel and tell jokes, right? Well, there’s a lot more to it than that. Here are some reasons why standup comedy is way harder than you think.
1. You Have to Write Unique Material
Most jokes have been told by now. It’s difficult to write a joke that has a fresh perspective on the topic. Not to mention that you have to come up with fresh, new material for the whole length of a set. When you preform often, you are forced to be writing and trying out new jokes a lot. You’ll find that private jokes from your inner circle don’t translate the same to other people. They’re not funny. Delete those parts.
2. You Have to Deliver
The reason some comedians are hilarious isn’t necessarily what they say but how they say it. You not only have to write hilarious jokes, but you need to be able to deliver properly. Expert delivery requires hours and hours of practice before each set. You need to focus on everything from your body placement to your facial expressions. Practice over and over again until it becomes second nature. You can’t always stay on script, though. The best comedians are able to come up with a joke right there on the spot when things go wrong. This also helps for fun interaction with the audience. Practice this skill by going to improv classes (no matter how dorky it is).
3. Constant Travel
You may think it’s the dream to travel from city to city performing. However, the road can get rather lonely at times. You start to miss your family and any other loved ones left behind. Plus, you probably can’t afford luxury hotel rooms yet. It gets to the point where you’re definitely excited just to go home.
4. You Won’t Be Great Every Time
If you’re even thinking of being a standup comedian, you better be able to accept some harsh, direct criticism from the crowd. You may get booed off stage or made fun of early in your career. It happens to the best of us. It’s going to suck. You’re going to be embarrassed. You move on. You need to stop crying and get up and try it again until you’re better. You should probably write better jokes, too.
5. You Probably Won’t Get the Support You’d Like
Many people don’t see being a comedian a serious career goal. However, you have to write, think critically and originally, schedule, perform, and handle all of the business. Unfortunately, other people don’t see that. Friends and family members might not necessarily support your passion until you start to see some success. Be understanding if people don’t come to your shows.
6. There Will Always Be Critics
It doesn’t matter where you are, there are some people who won’t particularly enjoy a joke or two. Some people may heckle out to you or dis your show online. When this happens, you have to remember that the critique comes with the territory.
7. You Need A Lot of Confidence
It takes a lot of confidence to get up on stage in front of everybody and make yourself vulnerable. If you struggle with confidence, you need to build it to be able to perform at your best. Find people and actions that increase your confidence and keep it up. The boost in confidence will translate to the stage.
Starting a career in standup is a long road, but it could have some great results. As long as you have a clear idea what to expect when you start, you’ll be able to succeed.