Making a career in stand-up comedy is more than just writing a funny set and delivering it on stage. What goes on off the stage is just as much important. To become a successful comedian, learning how to get gigs is an essential step. It could also be a very challenging task.
Without a gig in your hand, all those brilliantly written jokes and punch lines would see no audience. As an aspiring comedian, you need to learn to manage the business side of your career. Read on to find some tips and tricks to get a stand-up comedy gig when you are just starting out:
Start performing in open mics: As a beginner, open mics are your best friends. Getting a chance to perform your set in front of casual audience can be a great way to test your content. It builds confidence and timing in your delivery. Moreover, it gives event managers and venue owners to spot new talents to book.
Perform regularly at open mics and other events that set you on display and help you become a known name in the circle. Once you start to get a consistent audience response, you will definitely attract a paid gig.
Record your sets: Since you will be performing at open mics and other events, it is a good idea to record your sets every time. Invest in good quality recording equipment and simply set it up before starting your set. On a day that you end up doing a great set, you should have a reel of it and the audiences as a record of your work. Over time, you might even be able to compile some of the best bits into a show-reel. You can use it to show your work while pitching for gigs.
Make social media platforms your strength: With Instagram and YouTube the leading platforms to earn some fame as a creator, you should make use of them. Keep uploading high quality videos of your sets and live performances on YouTube.
Keep up with the trending formats of content on Instagram and create that kind of content for maximum reach. Learn social media tricks to get the right kind of attention and a higher reach, like using the right hashtags.
Network with other professional comics: Being friends with and in touch with comedians from the local scene can be a huge benefit. You can learn from them and have them refer you to a venue or an event manager. You can even collaborate on social media to attract more audience.
Participate in contests: Another tried and tested method of getting noticed is to participate in comedy contests. Be it one that is on a YouTube channel or mainstream television, give it an honest shot. There are many successful comics that first got noticed in a comedy contest.
If your content is genuinely good, judges will talk about you and take you to the right people. It would be a cherry on top if you win the contest; that surely opens up a lot of opportunities naturally. You even get to create a good fan base by appearing on a contest.
Host a comedy event: If you are struggling to find paid gigs, you can even try to pitch to the organizers to let you host a gig. It gives you some buffer time before and after every performing comic. You can use this time to chat your audience up and deliver some of your jokes. This builds a rapport with the audience and helps you get noticed as a comic yourself. The organizers might be interested to book you if they like your content.
Pitch like crazy: In your initial days, you might have to constantly pitch to many venues to try your luck. It might seem like a lot at first but it does multiply your chances of getting booked. Be persistent but professional. Write emails to the host venues and follow up with them. Be willing to send your show-reelin case they show interest. Do not hesitate to check in with them on the phone.
Hire a manager: This is another great method of entering the game. An artist manager who works closely with you can take care of a lot of your back-end processes. This allows you to focus better on developing your content. The manager can use their experience in the field to get you gigs. They know how to pitch to the venues and talk to the organizers. Also, it avoids the awkwardness of having to pitch for yourself.
Do you want to become a professional stand-up comedian? Are you looking for guidance from the best in the business? Check our website for online stand upcomedy classes by the legendary Johnny Level – a man who needs no introduction. Johnny’s unluclass covers everything you need to know about comedy as a career.