Comedy Master Class is a free online course presented by The Brunch Club where regular people like yourself can earn their comedy GEDs and achieve their wildest dream of laughing out loud. Today, Comedy Master Class teaches aspiring comedians professionalism is no laughing matter.
COMEDY! It's all fun and games, right? It is until someone gets hurt. And that someone could be YOU and the hurt you are experiencing in this hypothetical is DESTITUTION because you didn't take a professional approach to your comedy career.
What qualifies as being professional in this wacky business of yucks? Getting paid. However, to get to the point where people are trying to pay you to perform, it is imperative that you do these things so that the gatekeepers of the comedy world know that you are for real.
Never agree to appear on a show that you are not 100% going to attend. There is nothing bookers hate more than flakes. Ditching a gig at the last minute, or even being unable to promptly confirm your availability will guarantee that you get on their bad side. If you are committed to becoming a professional comedian, you need to able to keep your commitments. It is tedious but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually, once you have become an established professional, you will have license to flake all you want. But until you sell out Madison Square Garden, be where you said you would be and do what you said you would do.
Showing up late is another way to get on a booker's bad side. If you're not on time, the booker needs to scramble to find a suitable replacement and she's not going to appreciate the ulcer you have created in her stomach when you waltz in 45 minutes after the show has begun. Besides, getting to the show on time or early frees you up to do some networking with other comics. If you're late, you might not be cast in your peer's soon-to-be hit web-series. Way to go, dummy.
Preparedness is part and parcel with professionalism, but in the world of professional comedy it goes way beyond being prepared for your on-stage appearance. It is imperative that you prepare extensive reports and graphs about yourself. Data drives all industries and the comedy industry is no different. Be ready to show why you are worthy of any given show by the numbers.
If you have experienced healthy social media growth, share those insights with the people in charge of programming. If people buy more drinks when you are on stage because the audience needs to drown their sorrows when your sad-sack routine is in full-swing, make sure the bar staff are aware. If you have a scientific formula to show that you material receives more laughs per minute than the comedian currently occupying the spot you want, apply what limited graphic design skills you possess to undermine your peer (but make sure to thank them for casting you in their soon-to-be hit web-series).
Numbers are infallible in today's comedy climate, so make sure that you have them locked, loaded and ready to fire in order to solidify yourself as a comedian that belongs with other "professionals".
Keep these three points in mind and your professional approach to comedy will eventually turn you into a professional comedy. But most importantly of all, GET PAID. Payment is the true mark of a professional.