Posted on: 10 March 2019
If you're a budding standup comedian, you should -- if you're not already -- watch more and more documentaries on standup comedy. Not only are they entertaining, but you can learn a lot about how your career might progress and how you can deal with the darker side as you listen to comedians describe what they went through.
How to Get Through the Rough Times
When you're a standup comedian, you face low pay, hecklers, being bumped from a lineup, not getting gigs, and more depressing events. These documentaries might give you ideas about how to survive the rougher times. For example, if you manage to land a gig at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, you know you'll be able to see an in-house therapist. Other comedians who do not work there may have their own ways of releasing the negative feelings that can build up.
What Hecklers Can Do
No one can fully predict what a heckler will come up with, but in documentaries, you can hear about how other comedians have handled these audience-based jerks. You may even get a sense of when hecklers will strike and what they seem to focus on the most, giving you a chance to think of retorts in advance.
What Forms That Rise to Stardom Can Take
Some comedians work the club circuits for years; others move overseas and try their hand in a different country, such as the UK. Yet others turn to comedy writing and get noticed that way, and there are many other paths. While yours won't match everyone else's exactly, you can at least see what forms that path can take.
How Long It Can Take
Overnight successes aren't overnight -- that's become clear to more people than ever as social media and the Internet have given viewers access to more interviews, documentaries, and the like. But it can still be a shock to many comedians just how long it can take, and hearing famous comedians note that it took them years to get where they are can make you feel a bit better about your path. You may still wish it wouldn't take so long, but at least you'll know that what you're going through is fairly normal.
Even if the documentary is about standup from decades ago, watch it. The more you know about the history of the field, the easier it could be for you to find your niche.Share