Stand Up Comedy is not Always Funny


ImageAside from the technical aspect of stand up, and the boring, mundane process of writing, the least funny side of the business is watching other comics stop performing. There is a side to every comic that thinks, “Cool, that’s one less comedian I have to compete with.” Then, there is that other side that is truly disappointed that someone has quit in their pursuit of doing stand up full time. But, life happens. And it happens to all of us. Young comics, who have only begun to experience life on their own, have yet to experience life to its fullest. Before you know it, they have to set their stand up aside to tend to things like, a new marriage, kids, college or career. For them, the decision to leave stand up is one that is naturally made. They can either pursue a career path where paid gigs are far and few between, as they are starting out or, pursue a life with a spouse and kids and a promising, lucrative career. They promise themselves that they will be back to stand up one day, then life continues to happen, bringing separate twists and adventures.

Then you have the comic that quits from discouragement. No matter how hard they try, they do not feel like they are getting any better. They constantly go up on stage to the sound of silence and get off the stage to the same murmur of crickets. Those comics fail to realize that stand up is incredibly inconsistent. A beginner typically starts out hitting the open mics around town, held at local bars. No one at a bar expect to see stand up comedy and are usually there for the drink specials or sports on TV. They will perform for an audience that is far too drunk and sees themselves as the center of attention. That is very hard to compete with. But, even in all that chaos, a beginning comic must realize that this is where the blood, sweat and tears must be shed. This is where they must hone and perfect their material. If the comic manages to get at least one laugh, just ONE, that is the joke that survives until the next performance. This process is time consuming and tedious, but well worth it if it is repeated on a regular basis.

I have seen a lot of good and promising comics come and go and I am always hoping to see them on stage again. Some will come back, yet most will never hold that microphone again. I have personally decided to do this for the rest of my life. The world may never know who I am and a national audience may never get to hear of me, but to those audiences that I have had the pleasure of making laugh, I can assure you, I’m not going anywhere. Life may still happen, but for me, it won’t happen without stand up…

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