Several years ago, I tried my hand at stand-up comedy. I enjoyed it a lot, however life’s instability got in the way. I had to go to Afghanistan, did a horrible set there, and have only been on stage a few times since.
I miss doing comedy. Although I don’t necessarily miss performing – which I was my weakest part – I miss the creative process. I miss the challenge of writing humor.
Hopefully one day, when I get settled again somewhere, I will pull out the comedy books, throw away the Jersey Shore jokes, and get back on stage.
In the meantime, I still enjoy reading about comedy. And recently I found an article that caught my eye and peaked my interest. Written by road comic Chad Zumock, Tales From a Road Comic is a list of tips and tricks to survive in an underpaid industry of 557 billion participants.
Zumock gives some great advice, and I don’t want to be hack and steal his thunder. The link is in the above paragraph and if you are interested, you should give it a click.
If you don’t want to, I will list the four most important points. Consider this the cliffnotes.
- Always follow up
- Send weekly avails
- Never get too comfortable
- Handling down time
Number 4 could also be called “Stay active”. Which I thought described the section better.
The best advice Zumock gave was “Stay organized and focused”, which I think is great advice for any endeavor.
All of Zumock’s advice is also applicable for a job hunt, and being an unrepresented comic basically is a 24/7/365 job hunt. It is a hustle. You have to hustle.
Maybe that is the cause of my dilemma. When I started comedy I had a stable job. In the last few years, however, my career has taken me across the world, back to school, bouncing in and out of hotels, and floating through spare bedrooms. Finding a steady job has been my hustle. I don’t have time for another hustle right now. And besides, the stress of finding a new job kills my creative process. It is tough to write funny when I know I should be on LinkedIn or a job hunting website.
Maybe I should say screw the 9-5 and push my chips to the middle of the table and take a chance at being a road comic. I’ve already got the hustle down.