New To Stand-up Comedy? A Great Starting Point: ComedyUniversity.com
Here is an excerpt of an email that I received from one of my Killerstandup.com subscribers that hit me like a ton of bricks:
To be honest Steve, so far I’ve already picked up some good material from your site.
I think there’s some funny stuff in being on a website of a guy I’ve never heard of before in my life, who’s from Bowling Green, KY (obviously the comedy capitol of the country) selling advice on how to be a comedian.
This goes against everything I’ve ever learned in my many years.
That single email really opened my eyes as to what others who visit my websites must be thinking as well (ouch).
Like most people, I am the weakest at “tooting my own horn”.
So I felt it appropriate to at least address the comments made in that revealing email in what I hope will be meaningful in some way:
I was professional comedian for 13 years based mostly out of San Diego (headlining 11 of those years), eventually earning $1500-$2500 per performance (not in the comedy clubs).
My bio and comedy resume can be found at http://topcomedyguru.com.
Here’s a YouTube video of a performance I did in 2002 at the San Francisco Punchline:
Note: There were only about 50-60 people in the room for that show, but they were well seated.
I could perform at that level for 75+ minutes — and did so for years in venues far bigger than the Punchline because of the Killer Stand-up Comedy System.
Here are a couple of older audio samples of my stand-up comedy:
Music I listened to when I was young:
California traffic laws:
For over half of my stand-up comedy career, I was also on active duty in the U.S. Navy (retired E-8, 1999).
I hold a Bachelor of Science degree (Allied Health Sciences) from George Washington University and a Master of Arts degree (Health Services Management) from Webster University (San Diego extension).
It took me over twice as long to get the last degree at night because of a conflicting stand-up comedy performing schedule. Never had a TV credit to my name as an actively performing comedian.
I was also certified Master Training Specialist in the Navy, which I believe lends to having a significant edge when it comes to meaningful curriculum development and presenting actionable information to comedians and comedy entertainers.
I retired from active stand-up comedy performing in 2005. Why?
Because my successful stand-up comedy career allowed me to.
Videos of my own stand-up comedy act are a part of the multimedia clips offered with my system, included with the free demos and my complete system — which was launched in June 2001.
Note: There is a “before” video of an early stand-up comedy performance (pre-Killer Stand-up System) that makes me cringe to this day–it’s available in the multimedia clips available in the free demos. There are “after” video clips of headline performances that I am much more satisfied with for sure.
You won’t find videos of me anywhere else (with the exception of the one above) because in the event I should ever want to “come out of retirement”, most of my comedy material wouldn’t have already be “consumed” — by the public or by most other comedians.
My comedy resume is available to all most of my websites, but here is the direct link:
My Stand-up Comedy Resume (doesn’t rate with the fanfare associated with an alien abduction, but I am proud of it)
My last “gig” was my own successful one man show on the Big Island of Hawaii in my own restaurant called the Hula Cafe — right on the beach.
So, why do I now live in Bowling Green, KY, which doesn’t even have a comedy club?
Because I can — and I love it! And that’s largely in part because of the secret that I had known for years which is…
Trying to break into the comedy club market in a big way is a lot like trying to break into prison as far as pay goes — just ask ANY headlining comedian who doesn’t have a weekly show on TV, is featured in commercials regularly or hasn’t developed a huge fan base.
Plus, I have a face that is perfectly suited for radio. 🙂
But I had real and measurable comedy talent when I was actively performing and didn’t just focus on the comedy club market or TV as my primary means to get paid handsomely as a comedian.
Don’t get me wrong — I LOVED working in the comedy clubs and promoted many a comedy club show in a number of venues (I headlined at the Comedy Store in La Jolla, CA. for a couple years).
But I’m sure folks can understand why I chose to also work in other markets that actually pay thousands of dollars per show and promote my own shows instead of trying to win the TV lotto and merely “scraping by” in the comedy club market.
Now as far as stand-up comedy education goes…
As far as I can tell, I am one of the few (if not the only) stand-up comedy educators who:
1. Can provide a real comedy resume with multiple 600-1500 seat headliner performances listed, including opening performances for major comedians and bands at the time.
2. Can actually showcase clients on a global scale who have reached headliner level performances in months, not years:
I would recommend that anyone contact ANY of the comedians listed in the Success Stories section to ask them directly about my system.
These folks aren’t hidden — they are working comedy entertainers.
3. Is the only stand-up comedy educator featured in a stand-up comedy documentary in many years. That’s because…
I developed a patent pending process for objectively measuring a stand-up comedian’s actual laughter generation abilities (from measuring actual recorded results).
It’s called Comedy Evaluator Pro and is featured in the stand-up comedy documentary “I Am Comic”.
No punches were pulled in my segment using the software to evaluate comedians at every level in stand-up comedy.
Folks are certainly welcome to contact the director of that film, Jordan Brady, who was an accomplished comedian with plenty of TV credits before he became a filmmaker, and ask what he thinks about Comedy Evaluator Pro.
Related article: Setting Standards For Stand-up Comedians
And for the record…
I never set out to ultimately become a stand-up comedy teacher or coach at all – it happened by accident and progressed slowly over time.
My greatest personal accomplishment as far as stand-up comedy coaching goes actually happened when my oldest son, who was a junior in high school at the time and had been selected for Boys State came to me 10 days before the event and said:
“There are kids bringing guitars and stuff for the talent show at Boys State. I want you to teach me stand-up comedy.”
And I immediately said…
“In 10 days? Are you are out of your ****ing mind? You are asking for the impossible. It just doesn’t work that way.”
But I buckled like parents will tend to do for their kids and showed him everything I could, knowing full well…
Ten days with not even a place to perform was NOT going to cut it — and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he was destined to get severely crushed.
Still, I reluctantly did what I could and showed him the system I used for myself (which wasn’t even written down at that time).
Long story short–he killed, even after being initially heckled and won respect and admiration of all who were there.
I was overwhelmingly shocked and proud at the same time.
I’m still shocked when I think about it.
Anyway, I hope what I have presented here has some value because…
That’s about all the horn tooting I can muster. I’m starting to get a rash.