• Most comedians started the same way. They phoned a comedy club, they were given a 5 min slot, they went along, and did it. Some had to wait 2 weeks for their slot, some had to wait 2 months. But it all came down to phoning a club, turning up on the night, getting up on stage and doing it.
  • Repeat this again and again and again… and you will get better.
  • Stagetime is everything.
  • No topic is off limits. Every subject under the sun is open to debate and ridicule. Just make sure you have the right intentions and can justify them if challenged.
  • Avoid using words in the set-up that are in the punchline.
  • Don’t worry about the people that don’t get you. They don’t matter.
  • A lot of your bookings will come via recommendations from fellow comedians. Complete the circle. You know a promoter who’s looking for some comics? Pass on some names and numbers. Don’t try to keep it all for yourself.
  • Try and work in good clubs with good comedians. It’s like playing a sport – you raise your game playing with a better player.
  • Use visual words as opposed to passive words.
  • Modulate your voice to underscore a line.
  • If you’re given the choice between a brand new radio mic or an old fashioned mic with a lead – take the old mic with the lead every time.
  • Gigging out of town? Walk round the town. Keep your eyes open. One local observation can get the audience on-side straight away. It shows you actually care about the show, and aren’t just trotting out your set.
  • A touch of red light mixed into the white spotlight makes you look more healthy.
  • Scribble notes. Keep your notes in a box. Pull the notes out at random and be surprised by your ideas. Or make a nice paper-mache collage.
  • Produce your own live show or project at least once – it’ll give you a better understanding of how hard it is to promote and run a comedy show. You’ll also learn what pisses promoters/club bookers off.
  • It doesn’t have to be attack, attack, attack – show some humility and be the butt of your own jokes.
  • Slow down. And then slow down some more. Let the audience hear and appreciate what you’re saying. Don’t be so keen to rush to your next line.
  • PROMOTERS: The comedian goes on first THEN the band. Never the other way around. A comedian can’t follow two guitars, bass, drums, pyrotechnics and stage-diving … no matter how sharp his/her observations about cats and dogs are.
  • Saturday night audiences want their comedian dressed up. Sunday night audiences want their comedian dressed down.
  • Never apologise for being a women on stage. Even if it’s part of a joke I still think it’s a mistake. There are more women than ever doing comedy, just be funny. No-one thinks you are a stripper, it’s a comedy club.
  • You’re actually making it harder for yourself. Just start your act. You’re up and running, now the audience thinks you’re a funny person who is a woman.
  • If you apologise it feels to me like you are letting down every woman in that audience. If you are head of accounts and have to do a presentation about next year’s predicted growth; would you start a meeting with a joke about how it’s different for you to be an accountant because you’re a woman? Or how they must be disappointed because it’s a female accountant?
  • Try a new joke three times, if it doesn’t work – throw away the audience.
  • If you get paid for doing what you want to do – you’re a success.

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