Life of a comedian part 5

Life of a comedian part 5 (cont)                                      14th Oct 2010

A great deal of self-confidence is required if one is to make it through the first few years in this profession (and over 90% don’t), since failure, disappointment, rejection are standard and form part of the learning curve.

A pro comedian must adapt to peers’ comments and take criticism well. The ability to work with others is critical to success in comedy.

Comedians perform on club circuits and if lucky do private function around the country.

Being a solo comedian can be an “if-you-win-I-lose” type of career. “There are only so many laughs on any given night, and if possible, you want to get all of them.

Solo stand-up comics can face a significant level isolation. At the same time, studying fellow performers’ material, style, delivery, and presence are facets of the successful comedian’s life.

No academic requirements exist, but many performers get their start in college or acting, thereby gaining some exposure to large audiences.

Stand-up comedians have a more uncertain road than other performers or singers, going from club to club, writing material, practicing and refining it, and hoping for a break or a chance to move into the corporate or higher paid arena.

It is not unusual for an aspiring stand-up comic to log more than 200 days per year away from home.

More than 30 percent of exiting comedians slide smoothly into acting, where they face much the same odds against success.

The skills associated with comedy—the ability to make others laugh, defuse tense situations with a well-timed remark, and think on one’s feet—are invaluable assets in any other career (End).

 

Life of A Comedian Cont Part 4

Life of a comedian Cont – part 4                                        12 Oct 10

It is safe to say, that yes, comedians get a thrill from making people laugh. Most of us after time start to develope an unique style, skill and body of work as an entertainer.

Strange as it may seem, but the majority of comedians are distinctly unfunny off stage and in their day to day activities.

Everybody in the world thinks they’re funny. It’s just that not everyone is crazy enough to bet on their prospects as a comedian and take the risks associated.

It’s true, at times a comedian works long hours and at first for little (if any) pay and endures enormous uncertainty, never knowing where the next paycheck will be coming from.

While this translates into a solid hourly wage, a new comedian may do four sets per week, with the rest of the time spent writing material, watching other comedians, and keeping an additional job to pay the rent. A successful comedian must be quick-witted, able to think on his or her feet, dedicated, and lucky.

Life of a Comedian Part 3

(Cont)                                                                           8th Oct 10

Some start on the comedy circuit in their late teens and early twenties.

Maybe it’s easier then because they have no fear of rejection or being called ‘unfunny’.

At that age it must be tough finding enough material to create an act, but, that said,

if they have the right attitude to help them hold an audiences attention  – which is

something that must be learned over time – and can put together 15/20 minutes of

really funny material, they can make a decent living on the comedy circuit – all the

time adding new material to build up their act.

Some don’t find their comedy ‘ feet ‘ until they go to university – or maybe years

later when they get bored with their dull nine-to-five jobs and want the chance to ‘ fulfil

themselves as performers ‘.

Which is another way of saying that they want to do something more interesting,

earn pots of money, meet lots of beautiful women and, eventually, buy a big house

and write their memoirs which will be made into a film starring Johnny Depp  or

George Clooney as themselves.

Nothing  wrong with that.  Why do you think I became a comedian?

Well I’m just about to tell you… (to be continued).

Life of a comedian Part 2

(cont)                                                                                                       7th Oct 10

I can’t think of any better job than one that makes people feel good about themselves. Well… apart from being Cheryl Cole’s body make-up artist.

So, we know why audiences like comedians. But why do people like me want to be comedians?   Is it something that’s rooted in our childhood?

It might sound like a cliche, but did we use comedy in school as a defence-mechanism to stop the bullies picking on us?

As I wrote that, I just realised something.  Long after they’ve left school, many comedians, by the very nature of what they do, which is to make fun of the people who run ( and ruin ) our lives, whether they’re local councillors, traffic wardens or Prime Ministers, are still using comedy to stop the bullies picking on us.

Except these ‘bullies’ don’t wear school uniform and pick their noses on the ‘bus. They wear suits or high visibility jackets and pick their noses in their BMW’s.

Good comedians use the power of humour to prick the ‘ bullies ‘ pomposity, point out their incompetence and ridicule their self-importance.

But being able to do that takes years of experience and every comic has to start somewhere.  Every big- name comic with 2000 gigs, a platinum DVD and a couple of Baftas under his belt has never forgotten his very first time on stage when he tried to make people laugh – and the odds are he was probably was more of a miss than a hit.

But if he only got a couple of laughs, they would have been enough to spur him on to do more gigs and, with luck, become better at his craft.

Life of a Comedian

Funny way to make a living – The Life of a Comedian 6.10.10

My name is Phil Evans and I’m a comedian. No. Please don’t laugh.

What am I saying? Laugh as much as you want.

Laughter is beneficial to you. And for a comedian it’s essential.

Without the oxygen of audience laughter, a comedian is merely….well let’s think. He’s merely a hyper-active, annoyingly optimistic attention-seeker with a seemingly endless supply of duff jokes that no one can be bothered to listen to.

Why are you looking at me like that?

I’ll start again.

My name really is Phil Evans and I really am a comedian.

A person who ‘comedes’ for a living.

A comedians job is to stand in front of an audience, tell them a mixture of exaggerated truth and outrageous lies and hope their reaction is to laugh at him.

Which shouldn’t be confused with a politicians job, which is to stand in front of an audience, tell them a mixture of exaggerated truth and outrageous lies and hope that their reaction is to vote for him.

We all know why audiences like to watch a comedian performing. It’s because they want to have a good time. To enjoy themselves. To ‘have a laugh’.

Laughing really is good for your health. It releases endorphins, which relieves stress and makes you feel good about yourself. You walk out of a club or theatre after watching a great comedian perform for an hour and you feel all’s well with the world for a while. (to be continued)