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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It’s Over…


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I am seriously considering leaving Facebook. I’m slowly starting to realize that, far from being a promotional tool to get the word out on my stand up comedy journey, Facebook is nothing more than a public stage open to anyone and everyone. How in the world is someone supposed to get noticed that way! I’m trying to do something that very few people can do, and that’s stand up on a stage, where 100% of the audience’s attention is on me and no one else. Their ears hanging on every word that proceeds out of my mouth. I’m alone up there and my voice is the only one that can be heard creating all the laughter in the room. No one there is laughing at anything else. When I’m up there, it’s all about me, me me!

Let’s face it, that is exactly what Facebook is. We login and read the Newsfeed, which is filled with countless of posts begging us to “Like”, “Share” and “Comment”. There is also a barrage of posts including funny quotes or lines that are often times not original. I think that’s what annoys me the most. Try this, next time you see a post with a funny joke or quote, which the person seems to be taking all the credit for, cut and paste the entire line to your Internet browser and watch how often it is duplicated as a search result will discover several sites containing the same line! What’s even more frustrating is that when other people comment on those posts, the person posting it continues to take all of the credit! Comments such as, “Oh Paul, you always make my day with your hilarious posts! How do you come up with them so often?” Then Paul will reply, “It’s not easy but you’re very welcome!” UGH!!!!!! Cutting and pasting IS VERY EASY!!! I hate to sound like an attention whore, but honestly, at least for me, if I am trying to stand out and represent myself and what I do as a stand up comic, then I need to think of original ways of doing so. I can’t rely on a social network where originality is thrown out of the window. Succumbing to the temptation of visiting my Facebook makes me no different than everybody else. I can’t keep doing that if I hope to one day create a following that admires me for what I do and how I do it. Yes, I’m looking for that admiration but even more so, I’m looking to STAND OUT in a day and age where everyone else already does….

Signed,

The Underdog Comic