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There are a number of people who find this blog using the search term “how to be a comedian”.
Here’s what I would tell anyone who wants to know how be a comedian and take a serious shot at stand-up comedy — broken down into 4 specific areas…
1. You must know what you are doing in order to be a comedian who can generate the big laughs on stage consistently.
Specifically, I’m talking about:
- Knowing how to select topics, ideas, observations, experiences etc. that allow you to easily use your sense of humor and natural comedy talent
- Structuring your stand-up comedy material to get 4-6+ laughs per performing minute, which generates an average of 18+ seconds of laughter each performing minute
- Knowing how to skillfully work to prepare to deliver your stand-up comedy material professionally — before you ever hit the stand-up comedy stage to entertain an audience
- Knowing how to deliver your stand-up comedy material on stage in such a way that is natural, capitalizes on the attributes that make you funny in everyday life and gives the appearance of spontaneity
Unfortunately, most people who try to be a comedian flop miserably on stage — sometimes for many months, even years because…
They get stuck trying to “write” their way to being funny on stage in the literal sense instead of learning how to develop and deliver stand-up comedy material that amplifies the comedy skill, sense of humor and talent that they already have.
That’s where I was at when I started out in stand-up comedy — I was completely oblivious to the fact that writing and talking are two very different forms of communication that are NOT effectively interchangeable.
Related Article: How To Get Stuck In Stand-up Comedy Joke Writing Mode
2. You should know that there is no special “character” needed to be a comedian. As a matter of fact, individuals who have real comedy talent are already a unique “character” in everyday life.
Unfortunately, many talented people abandon their own natural comedy talent, expressive traits, points of view, etc. — the things that make a person funny in everyday life and instead…
They try to develop that “special” comedian character for the stage — adding an additional (and unnecessary) layer of difficulty to the process to be a comedian.
Related Article: The Truth About Developing A Character For Stand-up Comedy
3. You must have places to perform in order to develop your stand-up comedy skill, stage presence, confidence and to tighten your comedy material to the maximum extent possible.
4. You should know how to review your stand-up comedy act for specific and targeted performance improvement — otherwise, it will take many, many more performances in order tighten, edit or determine that comedy material simply needs to be replaced.
While there is much to know for those who want to know how to be a comedian — none of it is difficult if the comedy talent is there and an individual knows what they are doing.
And because there are so many people who want to know how to be a comedian that are unwilling to learn what’s really involved or don’t have the baseline comedy talent needed — there are tremendous opportunities in stand-up comedy for those who do.