Making jokes for a living

So you think you’ve got what it takes to be a funny man or woman? Then it’s best that you start to learn all there is to know about the industry. It’s certainly not an easy path, with many others also trying to head out in the same direction. A lot will depend on opportunity but also on you. Starting out can be daunting and definitely a bit scary but here are some tips to help you sharpen up your skills and deal with failure.

Nothing can compete with experience and comedy is certainly a hands-on, learn by doing kind of skill. You need to get in front of people and learn what works and what doesn’t with your act. The more chances you have to get on stage, the more you’ll learn and in the beginning many comedians perform multiple times a night, traveling from one club to another for as many open mic sessions as possible. If you want to make this work then you need to get on as many stages as possible and learn your craft.

When working on new material, don’t forget to keep your old jokes fresh. Go back often and jazz up old material with new gags or punchlines as there is always room for improvement. This is also useful if you’re stuck in a creative rut and could be effective in getting your creative juices flowing again without having to come up with brand new material. For information on how to Book A Comedian, visit

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Be prepared to bomb and understand that in the early days whilst you perfect your craft, you’re not going to bring the house down every night. However, we all know that we can only improve and learn by failing so bombing is ok and can be very useful. You’ll have a better understanding of what in your act doesn’t gel and why. You’ll also gain invaluable experience in reacting quickly, being fast on your feet and recovering the rest of your set. Bombing is unpleasant but let it spur you on to not have it happen again.

Don’t be tempted to steal another person’s work and pass it off as your own. Don’t even borrow material because if it gets picked up then your career as a comedian is certainly over. Being labeled a thief is pretty damaging and it’s hard to pick up the pieces when your reputation has been knocked so if you think something might have been said before, drop the joke.

It’s a good idea to video yourself performing so you can go back and watch your act, see what worked and what might need tweaking. Did you talk too fast or not wait for the audience laughing to die down before speaking again? Adrenaline and nerves mean that you might not know you are doing some of these things so watching yourself back is really helpful.