Sunday, February 28, 2010

Aspiring Comedian

Hey guys, I just got this email from an aspiring comedian.
"I wanted to write to you to ask about your career in stand-up. I am interested in doing stand-up comedy, but I don't want my sexuality as an openly gay man to put me in danger of being harassed or becoming a victim of a gay bashing" .

How do you deal with homophobia while touring and performing? How do you manage your bookings at clubs? Is being an openly gay comic hurt or helped you? Do you do most of your own writing? Any advice you could give would be great.

Break a leg and best of luck to you! Would love to see you live here in South Florida.

Thanks for the email.
I've been doing stand up comedy for 7 years and it's finally starting to pay off. I put a lot time, energy, effort into making it happen and it's nice to see all my personal investments coming into fruitation.

For the first couple of years I wasn't making any money because there's not much money in being a new working comedian, so I kept working towards the goal of being a headliner, that's where the money's at. Stand up comedy is one of those things were you have to pay your dues and there are no short cuts. There's plenty of stand up comedy books out there like:
"Stand Up Comedy" , by Judy Carter.
"Comedy Writing Secrets" , by Melvin Helitizer.
There's even some stuff online material called, "How to be a working comedian" .

All of that is good starter stuff. There is no right or wrong way on how to approach this. You just have to learn the game, motivate, and teach yourself the different ways on getting to the top. As you get there, all the secrets of success with reveal themsevles to you on your journey.

Like I said, it's nothing I can explain, it's a trial/error thing, it's called paying dues.

As far as using my sexuality in my act, that was my choice. I know some gay performers who don't incorporate their gayness into their act because they don't want to be branded as a gay comedian. And that's fine because at the end of the day you have to consider yourself a marketing package, and you want to do what's right for you, by making the most money out've it and being happy with youself.

With that, good luck with your endeavors! I have no more advice because no one can tell what your experieces will be like when you break into stand up comedy, you just have to see and find out for yourself.

All the best,

Charlie Ballard

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