One of the questions that has crossed the minds of those who want to know how to be a comic is this:
How do I get discovered as a stand-up comedian?
And my immediate reply would be…
What are you actually doing to get discovered as a stand-up comedian?
Let me cover some factors that can affect a comedian’s chances of getting “discovered”:
Conditions That Affect Getting Discovered As A Stand-up Comic
Here are the factors that will have a direct impact on “getting discovered” as a comedian:
1. Do you have a stand-up comedy act that kills audiences?
Now before you say yes to that question…
I am not talking about what you may think is killing an audience.
I am specifically talking about killing audiences to the extent that it will grab the attention of a comedy club owner, manager, talent agent, comedy booker, talent buyer, etc.
The bottom line is this, whether you choose to accept it or not (the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions 🙂 )…
Until you are able to closely approach or exceed generating audience laughter at a rate of an average of 18 seconds per performing minute, your chances are getting “discovered” are greatly reduced.
The reason is simple — there are already other comedians who can do that on a consistent basis, whether they have taken advantage of my online course or not.
2. Do you have enough high level stand-up comedy material to get hired for a paying gig?
A comedy club opening act usually needs a minimum of 10-15 minutes of solid stand-up comedy material (depending upon the venue) to be considered for an opening act spot. More time is needed for spots beyond that (feature and headliner positions).
Outside the comedy club market, a comedian usually needs 30-45+ minutes of solid stand-up comedy material.
If you can’t deliver the time, you won’t get the gig.
Ideally, the new comedian has enough solid stand-up comedy material that they are able to rotate their material when they perform 3-5 minute sets.
This lets the powers to be know that you have more stand-up comedy material than you actually get time to perform.
Unfortunately, sometimes a comedian will get a gig opportunity for which they don’t actually have enough solid stand-up comedy material to do the gig. They then opt to riff or stretch their time by interacting with the audience.
More times than not this approach backfires and doesn’t get the laughs the comedian had hoped to get — which can knock them out of consideration for future performances.
3. Do you have a stand-up comedy act that is suitable for audiences outside the comedy club market?
If you only have an “adult” act, then you are confined to comedy clubs, one nighters and other “adult” comedy venues as far as gig opportunities go.
For those who can develop and deliver a clean act, there are far more potential gig opportunities — which means more opportunities to get discovered for other gigs, such as corporate events, golf events, weddings, cruise ships, after dinner shows, etc.
4. Do you have an electronic press kit (EPK)?
If not, your credibility as an entertainer is reduced. Talent buyers, promoters and agents what to know who you are and what you have done as a comedian.
That’s why I have a lesson in my online course on how to set up a professional EPK at no cost.
Having a Facebook page or a MySpace page is not usually an acceptable substitute for an EPK that has your bio, comedy resume, select performance videos, etc.
5. What are you doing to promote yourself as a comedian?
If you are a nightclub comedian with an adult act, are you showcasing for comedy work at every possible comedy club or comedy venue in your area?
Have you contacted national and regional comedy talent agencies that do handle adult nightclub acts?
If you have a clean act, have you contacted local talent agencies in your area for possible work? Have you contacted national and regional talent agencies for possible gig opportunities?
Like I said, there is a potential abundance of stand-up comedy gigs that pay handsomely for those who can deliver a clean act.
That’s why I included the Corporate Comedy Secrets audio training module in my online course.
6. If you are using stand-up comedy as a vehicle to get acting gigs, are you enrolled in an acting class?
Related Article: Trying To Use Stand-up Comedy As A Vehicle To Break Into Acting?
If you can’t deliver a stand-up comedy act that truly kills audiences on a consistent basis, then your chances of getting “discovered” are greatly reduced, if not eliminated – no matter what stand-up comedy market(s) you choose to develop comedy material for.
If you can’t develop the amount of solid stand-up comedy material needed for any particular type of gig, you won’t get the gig which automatically reduces your chances of getting discovered.
If the stand-up comedy material you develop only works for a specific type of audience, again your chances of getting discovered are reduced.
If you are unwilling to actively promote yourself, your chances of getting discovered are reduced.
Hopefully you can see that the process of getting discovered is largely in the hands of the stand-up comic themselves.
My online course primarily focuses on providing talented people with a fast and proven system to develop stand-up comedy material because…
Your stand-up comedy act is an entertainment product — it is also the best marketing tool you have as an entertainer. The better that product is, the better the opportunities that are available for you as a stand-up comic.
As a matter of fact, if you are able to cause audiences to laugh so hard that they are waving like wheat in the wind during your performances, other bigger and better performing opportunities can come very quickly — seemingly out of nowhere.
So it should be obvious that learning how to be a comedian is a bit more involved than just developing a few minutes of stand-up comedy material and hoping to get “discovered”.
Google Little Lonnie comedian I’m only 3’8 I think I’m the littlest comedian out there besides brad Williams. I just need the connections make me a star. I can do both clean and blue. I have 30-40 minutes of raw material. Email me tell me what u think.thanks
Well, unfortunately you are starting out with issues. It’s not about what I think, it’s about what your audiences think. And those audiences will have in them people who can potentially hire you if they feel compelled to do so. Good luck!
Good evening Steve… i never been on a stage before but i know that I’m funny, my family and friends enjoy my jokes and said that i have talent.
The thing is that I’m a Afrikaans speaking guy,but i want to share my talent with the world that’s why i want to change my jokes to English..
Got a question and I hope you don’t think this is whiny, Steve. I’ve noticed that as I get more laughs and related (high-fives, LOLs, “That was awesome!”-type comments), I also get more put-downs. “The 50s called, they want their jokes back”, “You’re not funny”, “blah sad blah blah”. Does everybody go through this?
Consider the source of the comments. Are they getting the same level of laughs as you? If not, then what you are describing is probably the source/cause of the put downs. There are some very small people (I don’t mean short) in the world of stand-up comedy and their deal is to lift themselves up by pulling others down.
Also these sorts things happen in the comedy club market and don’t really happen in any other market. FYI.
That last bit, where you said that this doesn’t really happen elsewhere, put it in a new light. Somehow it didn’t feel quite like when Mom used to say “Just ignore them, dear.” You gave me something to think about, thanx, Steve.