Put some jokes on YouTube, people start becoming your fan and you become a celebrity, Is Stand-up comedy that easy?
-any typical comic started their career 3-5 years ago, before getting popular. there is no shortcut for stand-up comedy, it’s all about lots of practice “writing jokes and open-mic”. Stand-up comedy is more then hobby, people pursue stand-up comedy as career
These 20 Important steps will help you to become professional Stand-up Comedian
1. Identify Comic inside you.
If you make people laugh you can do stand-up comedy, it can be learned.
- be genuine in front of an audience because they focus on speaker emotion.
- What’s your intention with the audience? The comedian insults the audience and they still laugh, because the comedian understands the audience and who they are.
2. Do they like you ?
- If an audience like u you do anything they laugh so respect your audience generate empathy and make them feel you both are similar.
Example joke- Mere fridge mein ice cream ke dabbe mein raat ka khana rakha rahata hai.
3. Audience are nervous too.
- At beginning all comedian feel nervous while performing, audience too get panic when comedian talk to them, so surrender to audience make joke on self depreciation make them laugh this will convert your weakness into your strength.
4. Read the room
- Audience must know the background info related to the joke, if they don’t have background info of the joke they don’t laugh.
- Presenting the right joke to the right audience is important.
how to find the joke context,
- First find out which kind of show is College / Corporate / Public.
- Then what kind of event is Annual day / College Fest / Family function or board meeting.
- What is the audience’s mood?
- What happened to the audience before this show, ask about their mood.
Audience will want you to perform well and grab the full attention of the audience in the first minute. no one gets bored in the first minute then it’s your golden time. Good comedians will know when they laugh. If the joke is not working then think why it not working that context maybe not fit here.
5. How to form a joke structure.
Behind every successful joke there is a surprise, all laughter comes from surprise, taking the audience on a journey when they expect something you just break that expectation and give them a surprise joke.
Joke = setup + punchline (opposite of what they expect to say)
Create repetition → create expectation → break that pattern → audience laugh.
Ex –> Setup : what I love about my girlfriend is that she is smart, beautiful……Punchline : and imaginary.
- Good jokes hide surprise from Punchline.
- a good comic knows how to misdirect the audience from punchlines.
- use meme’s for better understanding of jokes.
- test your joke 20 times.
6. Idea for a joke to come unexpectedly you have to catch it.
- Use (mind mapping) things going in your mind just write it then use (what if) a new angle to think on it.
Ex→ what if Mr.Bean will be a gym trainer.
Don’t be afraid to push the limit.
7. Comedian works on laughter.
- How much laughter they get in a minute, make a joke template and put 5 jokes inside it with a good presentation.
Act out → “Do acting” (ex : if you joke about driving then use your hand for driving action.)
Tag → Two punchlines back to back.
Segues → It helps you to make transition between jokes and make jokes relatable to each other.
8. Grouping of jokes.
- Don’t use random jokes, jokes also have timing, make a complete joke series of similar topics and make it all in story.
- Simple jokes come at the beginning, kachra jokes in the middle and funny jokes at the end because comedy is always escalating.
9. Four style of Stand up comedy.
- Anecdotal → Story telling.
- Topical → Give a point of view on a topic.
- Observational → pick a few incidents from life.
- Juggling → fluctuating between all styles.
10. Perform, Rehearse and Repeat.
Comics become nervous while performing. Audience always wants you to perform well. The challenge is to handle nervousness and the solution is time. The more you spend, the better you become, record your own performance and become your own audience.
- starting with great jokes will boost your confidence.
- comedians perform jokes on how they see the world.
- speak slowly, not too slowly.
- use your hand to communicate better.
- improve your body language and delivery style.
11. Do little crowd work at the beginning.
Do crowd work because to loosen the audience, the audience wants to know the other audience. Feel free to react and use the presence of mind.
12. Things you can control and perform better.
Reach the show on time or before time. Watch other comedians and how they handle the room, how they are more likable on stage, what is their delivery style you learn a lot from observing other great comedians.
13. Go open-mic.
On an open mic, check the mic, the voice is clearly audible to every corner, the stage has sufficient light you must be good visible. Now there will be two possibilities.
- Bombing → Audience don’t laugh “show bekar tha”
- Killing → Audience laugh a lot “Show aafat tha”
- After bombing don’t think to leave comedy some joke works in some room some don’t.
- you learn more from bombing.
- People laugh on jokes they don’t understand. They laugh because others laugh.
- a new comedian must go on open mic 2-3 times a week and perform 10-20 minutes at open mic. Talk restaurants/cafes take stage and do open mic.Or you can do it in front of your friends.
- Comics have abundant plus one in first 3-6 month, this means you have to bring one person with you to perform open-mic.
- at the end you will only be remembered for your best jokes.
14. How to make money with stand up comedy.
- Stand up comedy is a highly volatile industry.
- There is no fixed income every month, it goes up and down.
- Basic open-mic may give you 5-10k INR per show, while corporate shows pay you 50k or more.
- In early stage, you will perform unpaid open-mic. take it as opportunity to improve.
- Comedian generate upto 50 lakhs INR from a tour.(Total amount from ticket sales, expenses not included)
Try to promote yourself on social media YouTube, make memes, organize shows to make ticket sales. Only 20% comedians are able to sell their tickets, the rest of 80% do content writing or other things for expenses.Very famous comedian can make up to 20-30 lakhs per month.
- There is more competition because more people are entering the comedy circuit.
- Flipside shows also increased, with a lot of audience to watch public/corporate shows. And it will keep increasing.
- Don’t steal jokes, Comedians ask you to drop the joke if the joke clashes.
16. comedy on the internet.
- The most consumed content on the internet is comedy content, in the form of memes, tweet, stand-up, sketch or any other.
- Give yourself more chances on the internet. It’s a great medium for comedy, don’t limit yourself to physical clubs, take advantage and go viral.
- The Internet will help you to sustain your career over a long time. You will struggle to promote yourself so join ComicStand to be a modern comedian.
17. Comedy in video.
- The more you focus on quality the less funny it will become, so trust on your script and western comedy not work in India.
- Not always the idea that comes now will be better than the previous script.
18. Editing video and it’s cost.
- When you edit a video you will randomly remove 10-20 jokes, then a 10 minutes shoot will become a 5-6 minute final video.
- Comedy must required good editing.
- Show this edited video to your friend, see at what point they lose interest and then after add music subtitle extra.
- Editing can take upto weeks.
- Paid editing takes (500-1000) INR per minute of final video and (300-500) INR per minute of final audio. For show recording (15k-20k) for (60-90)min, (5k-8k) for 30 min.
The Internet helps you to get feedback positive or negative in comments, so carefully go through it, keep putting videos on the internet and keep improving.
20. The 3 minute – 7 day rule.
- Make a 3 minute video in 7 days.
- Do everything in these 7 days writing, shooting, editing.
- Put 10-12 jokes of roughly 20 seconds for each joke, and this will make 3 minute videos.
Written by : Salman M Khan.
Comic’s Contribution: Biswa Kalyan Rath, Adel Rahman, FrontRow.