By: Steven Padilla
What is the divorce rate among stand-up comedians? There are no numbers, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if it was a high number.
Getting into stand-up comedy is very different than other professions. If you are young and single, have no responsibilities, go for it. No holds barred. Leave it all out on the table.
Being married and getting into stand-up is a whole different ballgame, especially if you have kids. There needs to be a stradegy.
Odds are you have a decent paying job and work long hours to support you family. Stand-up requires a lot of your time. Not your time during the day, but your precious time at night. Time spent away from your spouse and kids.
The only way to work on your craft is at an open mic. Open mics take place at night. Usually late at night. Going to one a week is great, but going to two or more is better. It will help you get better, sooner. How do you explain that to your spouse? “Um, sweetie. I’m going out tonight, tomorrow night and the night after that to work on my jokes. Oh, and I won’t be home until late at night”.
When you first get into stand-up, prepare for an argument. Many, many arguments! Do not jump in to the deep end head first. Walk over to the shallow end, put your toes in the water and get a feel for it. Start out with a compromise with your spouse. An agreement. Maybe going out once a week. The key? Going out on a night that has multiple open mics. Then slowly work your way up to two nights a week. More arguments will follow.
There is one thing that will ease the tension, temporarily. Getting paid! It may not be much, but every little bit helps. Get better and try to get paid.
When you get better expect for your career to take you on the road. The first arguments with the spouse were about you being gone for one night out of the week and coming home late that night. Now you may be out of town for one, two or maybe more nights in a row. More arguments are coming. Be prepared! The further you progress in the stand-up comedy world, the more strenuous it may become. With success, comes consequences. Maybe divorce.
You will never be fully prepared for whatever happens. You won’t win every argument so pick your battles. Keeping the line of communication wide open with your spouse is very important. Last, ask for their support.
Make sure everything you gain and lose along the way is worth it.
In life and comedy, may you have much success!