Laughing Buddha Tips
It is one of the hardest things to do when breaking into the NY Comedy scene…”bringing”. Not once, but continually…where does it end? I’ve had the pleasure and anguish of producing shows for over three years now, and I’d like to offer the following advice based on my experience:
Are you tired of seeing your friends who aren’t as funny as you (in your humble opinion!) moving up the comedy ranks while you ponder your next open mic? Never fret. Remember this isn’t a race, it’s a marathon. It only matters that you get to the finish line whatever your definition of the finish line may be. You may pass that person five years down the road. Chances are they won’t even be in comedy, but you will if you stick to your path. Everyone develops at different speeds. I’ve seen comics funny right out of the gate, only to give up once they struggled. I’ve seen comics who were really struggling their first few years turn the corner through hard work and discipline, and become professional comics in the process. For myself, I try and look within and just become a better comic everyday. Did I write today? Get on stage? Plan next months gigs? etc. If you stay busy, you will not have time to worry about the others.
The most important thing you can do before an industry show is research who you are auditioning for. What are they looking for? Is it young? More experienced? Ethnic? Hosts?, etc. It is a mistake to audition for industry guests and do little or no research on how to prepare for that specific audition. If you do your homework you will find out that you may need to prepare very differently for every showcase you take part in. For instance, a casting person or agent will require a headshot and resume. If you are new and don’t have one, that is OK. If you are experienced and didn’t bring one to the audition you put yourself at a huge disadvantage. One of our recent industry guests, who is a major casting agent said to me afterward that not a single comic came with a headshot and resume and that he couldn’t help anyone he saw that night. Conversely, bookers and owners from comedy clubs couldn’t care less about your resume, they are only concerned that you are funny and can be relied upon for bookings. That is why it is important to see industry guests more than once. They want to know not just who is funny, but who is still doing stand up comedy a year from now.
“Bombing”, “eating it”, “ate dirt”, any way you say it, it’s your worst nightmare realized. You’re on stage, the audience is not laughing, you go to our next joke…nothing. You pull a rabbit out of our hat ….nothing. The audience is fidgety, there is tension. Yes, Houston, we have a problem!