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    The Comedy News For 01/21/18

    Specific News Story

    Dealing With Rejection In Stand-Up Comedy

    It’s been said that you need a think skin in stand-up comedy. Then, it’s somewhat ironic that most people get into stand-up comedy to fill a void created by rejection. Women don’t like you? Learn to make them laugh. Then women will love you, except on those rare nights when you don’t make them laugh. Then they’ll shake their head and ask, “What were you thinking?” Most comics I know are so good, they could play to chairs and still get a reaction. However, there’s always that one booker who doesn’t care how good the show you forwarded him went. He’s right; and every audience you've ever played to was wrong. There’s always the fan who suggests, “Aren’t laugh tracks wonderful?” And there’s always the heckler who says, “I was just trying to help.” It’s easy to tell comics, focus on the nine shows that went right instead of the one that went wrong. But if our personality was conducive to that type of positive energy we’d have graduated law school instead of playing at $3 a night dollar open mics on a Saturday night.

    Here are some objective questions to ask about people who cut you down as a comic. What qualifies you to criticize me as a comic? Usually the answer is one bad show. I wonder if that same person would think it was fair for you to judge them on one bad day at work. Usually that one bad show took place in a situation where the only type of comic who would do the show is the kind willing to challenge themselves. Basically, this person is picking on a fighter who threw themselves into the hardest ring they could find. When the group dynamics are great, I almost never get critics. People around people who are enjoying the show usually don't say, “I didn’t get it.” They usually just enjoy the group spirit and say, “Good job,” to everyone without realizing that laughter is contagious, even when some of the comics they saw were not their cup of tea.

    If they don’t like you specifically, did they pay to see you? Half the people who criticize comics got in free. How would they feel if you criticized a job they did for free? You call that working the soup kitchen, jerk? If they did pay to see you ask yourself, “If they put the time and the preparation I did into that one show, would they be okay working for free?” Years of open mics, years of free shows. Suddenly someone shells out $5 once, and you’re the rip off artist? Imagine, if their boss said, “You had a bad day, so you’re working free tonight.” How long would it be before they complained to the DA? People pick on comics because comics give laughter. The ones who are successful at comedy give until they’re so good at it someone says, “He needs to start getting paid now.” When people start saying that you earned your place on the stand-up comedy ladder, they’re right and the critics are wrong. As Steve Roye puts it, some critics are scum. And I don’t care what scum thinks of me anymore. For other suggestions about coping with critics please read the article Dealing With Failure on Stage.

    Posted August 26, 2010 by Shayne Michael under Rejection / Accessed 988 times.

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