Less than a year ago I decided to give Stand Up comedy a try. How? When? Why? I don’t recall how this crazy idea came into my head, I just remember people telling me I was funny telling stories and that I should give it a try. Now it’s become part of my life, I perform every week and I absolutely love it!! My passion for this industry takes me in new directions. I began with acting, then writing, then directing and now Stand Up… I love being able to explore different creative outlets, it can change your perspective completely! It’s ok to step into unknown territory and shift your attention for a while, I think it all enriches you as an artist.
What I like about Stand Up is that I’m in control of everything. I write my material and I choose how many days a week I want to do open mic. I frequently book clubs and it feels great to have that instant feedback from the audience. It’s been frustrating for me to wait around for acting jobs, so having Stand Up now has helped me with that anxiety. I get to entertain every week, to play characters, to tell stories… it’s amazing! And I’m actually booking more acting gigs thanks to the confidence Stand Up has given me. When you perform in front of 100 people, performing in front of 1-5 people in an audition room becomes natural.
I love watching stand up. Bill Burr and Louis CK are brilliant but in such different ways and techniques. I have the luxury to live in LA, the capital of Stand Up Comedy! It’s given me the opportunity to see my favorite comedians live but thanks to YouTube and Netflix the access to these two geniuses is available to all of us!
My first time didn’t hurt. It was in Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank and they gave me a free cookie to congratulate me for my bravery! I knew I had met my soulmate, it doesn’t get any better than that! It was only 3 minutes and I got a few laughs, but I felt accomplished! I just wanted to go home and write more! I’ve kept going ever since.
I must say that many times I’m the only woman in the show. I must say that normally the bookers are men. I must say that I’ve received inappropriate messages from other comedians and I must admit that I’ve been told things like “You’re really funny for a pretty girl”. So yes, it’s still a ‘man thing’. But I believe the only way of changing this is by doing it and doing it well, by drawing inspiration from amazing female comedians like Amy Schumer and by not letting anything distract you. KEEP GOING!
My advice for Stand Up? Don’t listen to advice. Well, listen but only take what is going to allow you to explore further, not limit you. When I first started, I would ask other comedians what my steps should be, where to go, how I should dress on stage, etc. I received many tips but realized they ended up making me uncomfortable or limited me more than helped me. Believe it or not some of that advice included:
- People are going to assume you’re not funny because you’re an attractive female, don’t dress nicely on stage.
- Don’t talk about girly things
- Flirt with the bookers to get more gigs
- You shouldn’t talk about that
So here’s my only advice: JUST DO IT. (Don’t sue me, Nike!) The only way to get better is to keep doing it, to do it frequently and to write a lot. I think you start feeling like a stand up comedian when you start doing the open mic tour. Many times that means performing in an empty theatre in front of 5 comedians who are just waiting for their turn to go. It sucks; but this thickens your skin, kills your ego and allows you to laugh at yourself. When the real deal happens, you’re ready for silence, you’re ready for weird looks, you’re ready to bomb and you’re now ready to succeed. STAND UP!!!