Wednesday, 22nd November 2017
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STAND-UP COMEDIAN

Stand-up comedians have very nerve-racking job which requires confidence and excellent communication skills. They write, direct and perform their own material in comedy sketches or telling jokes on a stage in front of live audiences. Success as a comedian depends on how funny they are but also on their rapport with the audience.

Stand-ups work in their own individual style, performing a solo act in front of rooms full of people. Their humorous act can involve telling funny personal stories, one-liners or jokes in a monologue, sometimes needing to improvise depending on the audience’s reaction. This is an organic process where the rapport that a comedian has with an audience can either improve their performance or make it fail. Unlike actors, stand-up comedians must acknowledge the audience’s presence as they are not pretending to be someone else, that is, unless they have an alter-ego.

Comedians, once successful, can sometimes enlist a small team of writers to help write scripts and jokes for them, as they need to come up with fresh material constantly.

Other than simply delivering the humorous material, stand-up comedians may be involved in these other areas of work:

  • Writing original material
  • Working in collaboration with one or more other writers
  • Spending time learning and rehearsing routines
  • Promoting the act to potential venues
  • Managing bookings
  • Interacting and engaging with the audience during live performances
  • Quickly and effectively building their responses into the routine

The working hours of a comedian can be irregular, so many have a back-up job in order to have a stable income. Stand-up comedians may also hire agents and booking managers to help them secure performances.