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They may call it amateur night - but no one is looking to hire an amateur.

How To Be A Working Comic #25

Bringer Shows

Bringer shows – good, bad or just plain ugly? For the newer comedians, a “bringer” means you need to supply paying audience members to secure a performance slot. It may sound like a major inconvenience, but is it really? There are two sides to every story and in this case, the stories belong to creative artists vs. the powers that be – meaning club owners and management. Here’s the reason for this necessary evil and why stage time is so important in moving up to gigs where YOU get paid instead of the other-way-around.

How To Be A Working Comic #24

Don’t Waste Stage Time

A comedian’s office space is the stage. Performing for an audience is the only way to find out if your set works (funny) or doesn’t (silence), and it’s important to use stage time to move from open mics to paying gigs. Your goal as a performer is to take this time to get better. The story in this episode involves two comedians who might have had a chance to make their television debuts, but wasted the opportunity.

How To Be A Working Comic #23

Starting An Open Mic

To become a working comic, experience in front of an audience (stage time) is mandatory. But there may not be a lot of performance opportunities in your area. One way to get stage time is to run an open mic and an email from an aspiring comedian asked for suggestions on how to approach potential venues. A quote from Steve Martin in “The Jerk” says it all, but we’ll look a little deeper into the “business” of starting an open mic.

How To Be A Working Comic #22

Bombing On Stage

Every working comic has bombed on stage – especially when starting out. The thought might scare off aspiring comedians, but it’s part of the learning process. Hopefully the lesson learned is how to cut down the odds of bombing again, or how to prevent an onstage “free fall.” That’s just what a headlining comedian and successful comedy writer in Hollywood did by using what he learned – when starting out – to turn a potential bomb into a successful performance with a lot of laughs.

How To Be A Working Comic #21

The Corporate Comedy Open Mic Circuit

Corporate comedy usually requires a different “style” of material than you might perform in comedy clubs. It needs to be rated G or PG, which doesn’t always go over well at late-night open mics. Since comedians need to test material in front of an audience to find out if it works (gets laughs) or not (silence), where can they try out this material? Here’s your guide into the corporate comedy open mic circuit.

How To Be A Working Comic #20

Thinking About A Stage Name?

There are many reasons why you might consider using a stage name. In this episode, the email is from a comedian with a “real job” and a boss who doesn’t approve of his social media posts about doing stand-up. The question is about using a stage name, but the answer includes another question: Can he live with it?

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