1. Read all the time.
2. Write all the time.
3. Perform all the time.
4. Move to New York, Los Angeles or London if you have the means. There are more opportunities in these places so why not infinitesimally improve your odds?
5. Find a community, like the UCB, the ImprovOlympic, the Groundlings, Second City, etc. Yes, you’ll learn stuff and be exposed to more comedy, but just as importantly you’ll meet the people who will one day hire you.
6. Don’t quit. This one’s hard, but patience is a indispensable ingredient.
7. Work harder than anyone around you.
8. Be nice.
The community thing is tough in standup because it always feels like a pack of lone wolves. (If that phrase doesn't make sense...well, exactly.) A collective, like the Blerds in Chicago used to have, seems like it would pack more of a punch than just a guy going at it alone.
All good advice yet moving to NYC is economically challenging for most. You end up having to work two jobs which cuts into your performance time.
You're identity as a comedian is not a be all and end all of your identity as a person. Develop both and one will influence the other.
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