Sucky people know they suck. No need to remind them unless you just like hearing your own voice.
Appreciate people who appreciate you. Don't search for the approval of an asshole. Someone probably made you do that when you were little, you don't remember who, and now your brain has been screwed for decades. So ask yourself, has anyone ever changed because you sought approval from them?...Exactly. Focus on the good people.
Time is limited. You are not.
There are fulfilling comedy careers built daily off of booking contacts you've never heard of. Everyone doesn't have to book you, just find more bookers who will.
You don't need comedy bookers to have your comedy career, but they DO need comics to have their booking career. Never be fooled into believing you are not valuable.
You will be hard pressed to find people in power who will treat you with respect out of principal. Find the reasons you deserve their respect early, and build upon them. Leave the powers that be with no other option.
We all need help. Don't be so proud.
Be nice to those "crappy" comics on the way up. They will either get better at comedy and be grateful to you for your kindness, or they will get better at fucking you over when you meet again. And make no mistake, you WILL meet again. Choose your way down wisely.
Don't fuck your fellow comics. Sex won't make them funnier.
Don't treat female comics like little girls. You're not helping. They're comics first and foremost. Treat them as such. If they wanted to be treated "like a girl", they wouldn't be doing comedy.
Don't kiss anyone's ass. That's why you started this life in the first place, don't forget it.
( Well...Maybe kiss your wife's ass when you get home. You're gone too much to have pride. Treat her like a queen. She's the protector of your castle and your mind. Remind her every chance you get...
...I said WIFE. Not girlfriend. You're gonna have a lot of girlfriends. Try to keep them to 5 minute chunks in your set. Anything over that and the audience can tell you're not over her. )
Off time is off time. Vacation is vacation. Rest is rest. Respect your schedule, or no one else will.
It's not "Goals", it's a "To-Do" List. Change your mindset.
Never pick on fat people in the audience. Ever. Unless they started it then...No just don't do it.
Don't eat right before your performance...You don't know the future.
If your material is based on your life, you'll never forget the punchlines.
You've never actually messed up a joke. The audience only knows what you tell them.
Show up on time, have good timing, get off stage on time, and your time will come.
Find new reasons to love what you are passionate about, because you're gonna hate your old reasons eventually.
Break-up? Let her go. She wasn't the one. If you claim all you want is for her to be happy, understand that happiness might include not being with you. Your life is difficult, but it was also your choice, not hers. Don't fault others for your journey.
Love is best left in the hands of the strong minded. Intelligence is best left in the hands of the kind-hearted.
To accept a gig that you feel is beneath you for any reason, is to devalue all the hard work you put in and painful sacrifices you made to even put you in the position you are in right now to say "No."
If a booker offers you a middle spot for more money, and/or lets you choose whatever club dates you desire immediately upon request, chances are you're good enough to headline. They are just waiting for you to figure that out for yourself. If you don't believe that, that's probably why you aren't headlining.
Request to headline when you feel it's your time. No one moves you up for the hell of it when they can pay you half the money for the same show.
Don't look to the club owner to be worried about the quality of the show. They have money to make. They can't market you with credits like "Really Funny" or "Outperformed the headliner last time he was here". Work on getting marketable Show Credits or forever accept your position behind the comic who has them come selection time.
First time headlining? Hope you were right about how good you been telling everyone you are...
Doing 30min? Have an hour ready in your head. Doing an hour? Have two. They might hate what you had to say at first, so be ready to dip into the storage bin.
Never forget to tell the audience to tip the wait staff.
Treat your opening act to a meal one time during the week. This is not up for discussion.
Never stop working on your act. Sound simple? Prove it. Sound obvious? Do it then...GO!!!
If you want to be a clean comic, live a clean life. Otherwise you're a fucking hypocritical piece of shit.
Often times they'll forget what you said. But they'll never forget how you made them feel. Be present onstage and never phone it in.
Never say you "killed". If you feel you did amazing, do it again. And again. And AGAIN. Turn someone else's idea of killing into your idea of consistency.
There will always be an agent. A manager. A booker. A venue. Therefore there will always be disappointment. Don't let anything outside of you define you.
On travel days, whether going to the venue or coming home, you are not "You" until you've had a meal and some sleep at your destination. Actually you're quite awful. Please Eat. Snack. Sleep. Nap. The rest of the world thanks you.
Your neck, back, legs and feet are out of alignment from this life...They are. Find a friend back home who gives great massages and trade them things for their services. No, not money. Get creative.
There is someone out there right now working harder than you. Younger than you. Hungrier than you. Funnier than you. Do your job so well that no one thinks about that person but you.
Socializing with women after the show young man? STAY AT THE CLUB. Your chances of getting laid depreciate faster than a new car being driven off the lot if you leave your post.
That group of girls that want to take you from the club to their favorite hangout spot after the show are drunk, and not concerned with making the rest of the night about anything but them. You are a disposable trophy that they will get bored with as soon as they get around other guys they actually know. Those guys don't really like you either, you're fucking up their ratio. I repeat, DO NOT leave the club.
If a stranger wants to hook up with you after the show, it probably wasn't because you were so funny, but more because you're leaving town soon. You're only there for 3 days, she's there for 365...Do the math.
That special someone at home? Never be too busy to text them "I love you, Goodnight." It could change everything one day.
Respect your mind and your body. Listen to them. Give them whatever they need. And by "them" I mean make sure THEY agree on whatever action you're about to take. If they don't, then don't do what you're about to do...PLEASE.
Diversify your venues. God forbid this industry changes on you suddenly at any given point...that's sarcasm btw...just checking. Your gigs should be a balanced diet to your psyche.
There is a limit to the benefit of shitty experiences. If a lesson is learned, it's learned. Don't keep repeating an already learned bad experience. You need more gigs that uplift you than gigs that humble you if you're ever going to be good. If a comic was TRULY as humble as they came off...they wouldn't be funny.
"Don't take anyone's advice, they're only teaching you to be more like them"...Fine. But this list isn't everything I've done personally. These are the things I've gotten right mixed with the things I should have. Listen to people who are where you want to be; It never hurts to have backup directions.
Always Remember...You have the best job on EARTH. There is no downside if you do it right and get out of the game when you are supposed to. Money and attention change things...You know whether or not you are a giver or a taker in our industry. Be honest with yourself.
Find Yourself. Love Yourself. BE Yourself.
Being professional helps your career. Being professional AND funny helps all of our careers...
...So BE FUNNY DAMMIT!!! :)
- Alvin Williams