A professional comedian performs in front of audiences and makes them laugh. They can also be referred to as a humorist, stand-up comic, or jokester. Along with marketing themself and finding opportunities to perform, comics must also prepare new material and constantly create unique jokes or skits to perform for a crowd or at auditions.
How to Become a Professional Comedian
Step 1: Make sure this is a good fit
There is no set path to become a professional comedian. However, there are a few steps you can take to become successful. First, this career requires determination to become successful as it takes hard work and dedication to become an established comedian. A professional comedian should be able to accept rejection and be determined to stay the course to learn and grow in your craft. If your family and friends think you are funny and you believe this is the career for you and you have what it takes to put in the work and effort, then keep reading.
Step 2: Get Material
Start gathering as much funny material and performing in front of others as soon as possible. You can start out informally at first by performing in a local talent show, birthday parties, or your local open mic night. You can even try and gain a job at a comedy club so you can watch other comedians and start learning. This step is all about having material to perform, feeling comfortable in front of an audience, and learning how to read them. It can be helpful to keep a journal of your life experiences to use as original material later on and learn about current events so you can use that material in your routines.
Step 3: Market Yourself and Fine Tune
You’ll want to market your talents as much as possible. You can put routines on YouTube or other social media outlets and start gaining followers. You should also be writing constantly so you have new material and continue to practice your delivery with an audience. It is very important to keep your act entertaining, fresh, and funny. Learning how to interact with an audience is another area comedians need to become good at as this keeps them involved in your performance and helps you to evaluate your act. Although a formal education is not necessary, there are colleges that offer courses that could be helpful such as public speaking, speech dynamics, acting, and other topics such as business and marketing.
Job Description of a Professional Comedian
Comedians are constantly writing new and original materials and acting in front of as many audiences as possible. They use their time marketing themselves through social media, blogs, and a personal website. They practice their routines regularly, for instance how to stand on stage, use body language, use props, and any other improvising to improve their act.
They spend an enormous amount of time traveling to other cities, and if they are lucky, may travel to other countries as they grow in popularity. This career is very difficult to break into and usually takes a long time to get established, so some comedians may seek other employment while building up their reputation. They often work long hours with lots of nights, weekends, and holidays.
Payscale.com, Average Comedian Salary.