I've heard comics mention "tests" they need to meet. One is seven years. By seven years in, you need to have either a real TV credit (like a "Live at Gotham") or a big festival spot (e.g. Just For Laughs) or something that shows you're on the crab. (Yeah, it's a Deadliest Catch reference. Sue me.) Another test: If you've been doing it for a while and you haven't killed in the past year, you should quit.
Of course, it all depends what you want to get out of it. As long as you keep getting better and are enjoying it, you might as well keep doing it. If it's just a hobby, go as long as you want.
But there can be a problem if you're one of these tone deaf people who just doesn't get it. You know, the guy who still wants to "make it" but everyone else knows it just ain't gonna happen. Imagine a 300 lb. 50-year old who's convinced he can make the NBA. There's a fine line between "having a dream" and being batfuck delusional.
Reminds me of something I've heard Birbigs talk about before: You have to lie to yourself and be delusional to make it as a standup because you're just not good at first. The problem is a strong sense of self-delusion can make people think they're getting somewhere when they're not.
A related thing I don't get is people who have done standup for a while and aren't getting booked on a lot of real shows but think they're above open mics. If you're so funny, how come you're not getting booked more? And if you're not as funny as you want to be, then why aren't you going to mics more? Bugs me when people think they're "owed" something by how many years they've been doing comedy. Everyone's gotta scratch and claw for it. Maybe you've spent all those years doing it wrong, ya know?
Labels: about standup
Permalink | 2/20/2009