Compiled &Edited by Al Bahmani
Recently, John Wessling asked Houston comics, “What do you wish someone would've taught you before you started comedy?”.
10. When you go to open mics, don't do crowd work. More often than not you're going to alienate rather than entertain. Just tell the jokes you've written and don't react to the crowds reaction or lack thereof. Record your set, listen to it and try to improve the joke so they laugh more the next time. and don't listen to anyone that would ever tell that you can't do this.
9. Cut the fat. What you say with 20 words could be said better with 12.
8. Eliminate “Uhs”, and “Umms”, and “You Know”s and other verbal yield signs.
7. Even though you hear the front audience laughing you have to wait for that nano second for the back of the room to catch up before you proceed…timing matters. Ron Shock taught me that.
6. Say good bye to your friends, you won’t be seeing them anymore.
5. Hit as many stages as possible with as many different audiences as possible. Anything less makes this a hobby.
4. You have to write every single day. Even when you aren't feeling inspired and the majority of the time you are not going to feel inspired. Learning how to deal with that is something I think you need to know because it is tough.
3. You might not be any good for a few years. It could take a few notebooks to get up to a handful of solid jokes. This job pays less than minimum wage and has a huge community of jackasses. People you start out with will get better than you and you'll have to deal with that. Someone will always be better than you.
2. If you are hosting, DO NOT DO TIME IN BETWEEN COMICS! You've had your turn, it's not about you. Keep the show rollin.
1. Ask questions. You wanna do this? Ask someone who's already doing it. “But Sam, I don't wanna annoy them”. If you're annoying them, they'll tell you. Most of the time the old school cats LOVE talking to newer comics because they get to fix your mistakes before it happens.