So you want to be a stand-up comic? Every successful stand-up artist has had to overcome years of struggle and failure. Like with anything else, stand-up comedy requires practice.
If you’re new on the stand-up scene, here are a few things you must avoid during your stand-up routine.
1. Using the Wrong Material for the Wrong Crowd
Even the best comedians have to tweak their material for different crowds. The things that Ricky Gervais gets away with on late-night British TV aren’t going to fly on The Ellen Show.
Each platform is unique and caters to a particular audience. A good stand-up comedian will take their time to understand the audience before deciding their comedy routine.
The last thing you want is for your comedy routine to turn into a cringe-fest because the audience doesn’t like the material—that’s uncomfortable for everyone.
2. Turn On the Crowd
There’s a fine line between engaging with the crowd and turning on them. You’ve probably seen amateur comics bomb on stage and then turn on the crowd for not responding with laughter.
A comic has to earn laughs; they’re there to do a job. If a comic isn’t making people laugh, they’re clearly not very good at what they do. But even when you’re having a rough night on stage, the last thing you want is to anger people and be boo’ed off.
Not getting the kind of laughs you hoped? Turn the jokes on yourself; you’re more relatable when you’re self-deprecating than when you’re coming across as someone entitled and arrogant.
3. Show A Lack of Confidence
Although every seasoned comic has a distinct personality and unique experiences, something they all have in common is their confidence and the conviction with which they tell their jokes.
Even stand-up artists that make jokes about themselves are confident on stage. They have a remarkable stage presence and know-how to hold the audience’s attention.
If you don’t believe that you belong on stage, neither will the crowd. Comics that are nervous about going up on stage aren’t ready.
Comics are masters on stage; they’re the only kind of stand-up performers that entertain crowds without any additional help. If you don’t have what it takes to charm audiences, it’s probably better to spend some more time working on your craft.
DaryllTriplett, aka Officer, Keep It Real, is a professional stand-up comedian that regularly sells out clubs in Louisville and Atlanta. Check out the next stops on his tour and submit an inquiry for bookings.