One of the things that fascinates me is that a good number of people are under the impression that they can get discovered as a stand-up comedian before they have even developed an act for the stage.
I am talking about finding some sort of talent scout, talent agency, comedian booking resource or some other entity that is looking for people with comedy talent BEFORE they even have a proven stand-up comedy act that gets laughs.
I know this from first hand experience because on a regular basis I have someone email me to tell me how funny they are and if they could just get a chance to get on stage that I wouldn’t be disappointed.
Here’s what those sorts of emails tells me about the people sending it:
1. They have never been on stage as a comedian. In other words, they have never been on stage in front of an audience of strangers in an attempt to cause laughter to happen.
2. They have never even read a book on stand-up comedy or about becoming a comedian.
I know this because even as substandard the information is in almost all the books on the subject may be, there isn’t one that I know of that indicates that there is a means to become a stand-up comedian without having an act that gets laughs first.
3. They haven’t done much (if any research) online about what’s involved when it comes to being a comedian.
Even though the information online is generally of little value, again I can’t think of a single website that I have been to over the last two decades that even suggests that someone can get discovered as a stand-up comedian before they have an act that get laughs.
So this begs the question:
Where does the notion that there is some sort of talent scout network available that is looking for funny people to become stand-up comedians who don’t even have an act?
The only think I can think of is that some sort of inference is made from watching TV interviews with comedians.
I say that because many people look at the ease with which a pro comedian causes audiences to laugh on demand. In many cases it truly looks just like part of a conversation someone would be having with a friend or a group of friends.
There are plenty of reasons why the TV is called the boob tube.
So let me set the record straight:
Given the right environment with the right people in attendance, it is possible to be “discovered” for an acting part based on a funny personality. Not likely, but possible.
But when it comes to stand-up comedy…
A person MUST be able to develop and deliver a stand-up comedy routine to a group of strangers and cause them to laugh consistently from audience audience in order to “get discovered” as a comedian.
I should also mention that there are several meanings associated with the word “comedian”. A person can be labeled a comedian and not be a stand-up comedian.
Comedic actors can be called comedians. Funny YouTube personalities can be called comedians. But to be a stand-up comedian…
You must be able to cause a live audiences of strangers to laugh on demand an average of 4-6+ times every performing minute.
It is the responsibility of the comedian to develop the act they are going to deliver to audiences and that has to be accomplished BEFORE anything can happen in the way of career advancement in the world of stand-up comedy.
As for me…
I am NOT a talent scout. I do not represent or manage comedians in any capacity. I don’t have “connections” with comedian talent agencies or people who book comedy shows.
My role now in stand-up comedy is to show people how to quickly and effectively develop and deliver a stand-up comedy routine and not suck for extended periods of time like most people tend to do because they are only armed with information they have gather from watching the boob tube.