In a previous post, I mentioned how the 2 girls who pushed me to write a sitcom episode hadn’t been getting back to me. Yesterday my worst fears were confirmed when Catrina called and informed me they were opting out of the project. This really bothered me, but I got back on the horse today.
While driving to get a cup of coffee and planning to look for new ways to break into the screenwriting community, I decided to take a giant leap out of my comfort zone. I looked up “Stand up comedy open mic” on my smartphone and found a bar offering just that not too far away.
I drove over and took the initiative to meet a few of the stand-up comics before they performed their sets.
The main person I talked to was a comic by the name of Brian Mathews. I asked him a variety of questions, and as I had hoped, he led me in the right direction.
I learned that it is typical for a new stand-up comic to bomb during their first 6 months of performances (a lesson I would confirm a short while later). More importantly, he informed me that it takes, on average, about 2 years before you start getting paid to perform.
Even then, the pay is not great – 25 bucks for a set is the standard rate, while a full 45 minutes of material may net you $75. While this may sound like a great hourly rate, it’s easy to overlook the fact that such a long set would take hours and hours to prepare.
Nevertheless, I’m happy I got to talking with him. One of my biggest goals for the new year is to meet more people with similar aspirations to my own. Networking has always been an area I’ve avoided, but I’m convinced it is necessary if I’m going to make any sort of career in the entertainment industry.
Posted below is a short clip from Titus Jones’ set. He was hilarious and kept the crowd laughing the entire time he had the mic. Check him out and tell your friends.
- Thomas M. Watt