Every successful stand-up comedian started somewhere. Almost every successful stand-up comedian had to go through trial and error before becoming popular. So, if you are a new stand-up comedian, or if you need advice on how to polish up your act, continue below to learn five tips that will help you become a successful stand-up comedian.
If you are a stand-up comedian, you most likely have one stand-up set that you perform at every venue. But, it is important that you tailor your material to the people in your crowd. For example, if your set is largely based on poking fun on things that clingy boyfriends do, but you have a crowd of mostly males, you may want to alter a few jokes.
There's a big difference in interacting with the crowd, and completely making fun of the crowd. It's okay to comment on a few small things that the crowd does, or someone in the crowd does. But, it's not okay to continue to joke about someone in the crowd, or the overall crowd. If you do this, you may be conveyed as an arrogant comedian, who enjoys picking on the crowd. This is something audiences do not like.
During your stand-up career, you will have many failed jokes. Even if a joke has historically made the whole room erupt in laughter, one day it may not have that effect. When a joke fails, choose to be poised and brush it over. Do not get angry, and begin to berate the crowd (yes, this has happened). Also, do not begin to explain why the joke is funny, or even explain the joke in detail. It's okay to smile, and make a small laughable comment on the failed joke. But, do not dwell on it. Also, do not storm off stage (that is the worst thing you can do).
Since stand-up performances usually happen in a comedy club, which serves alcohol, it can be tempting to over indulge in alcohol. This is one of the worst things you can do. If you frequently perform at a comedy club, you will get to know the employees. So, the more comfortable you are with the place, the more of the chance that you will go there, even on the days that you aren't scheduled to perform. But, don't get too drunk. There's always the possibility that there will be an opening stand-up spot, and if the owner is familiar with your work, they may ask you to perform. You don't want to turn down a chance to perform, just because you are too intoxicated. And, you definitely don't want to perform while you are heavily intoxicated.
Finally, the last tip on our list is to be true to yourself. Everyone has a stage presence, they just have a different stage presence than others. Just because one comedian has an outspoken and bold stage presence that works, doesn't mean that it will work for you. Play to your strengths and stereotypes. This will enable you to joke around a lot more. So, if you appear to be a little nerdy (even if you're not nerdy at all), you may want to consider bringing a nerdy aspect to your set, or even doing the complete opposite.