Starting Stand Up Comedy In 2021
Zack Lyman tells you 10 things he would focus on if he had to start over in stand up comedy in 2021!
If I was starting comedy 2021
1. Simple idea, I would try to write one hour a day. Maybe you sit at a coffee shop and write.
or you work on some other parts of comedy like listening back to any recordings you have and
being honest with yourself, how was my speed? Did I get the jokes out? Honest but not too harsh
since you are at just the beginning of this long long journey.
2. I would find an online list of the open mics and try to adventure to a new one each week.
finding your favorite open mics can really keep you going when you been having a hard day or month.
3. Find a writing partner, someone that you feel comfortable with and you feel your styles compliment
each other. I write with my friend Lou moon who can come up with some out of box ideas. But I also
love writing with my friend Savannah who really understands joke structure and keeps me from rambling
4. Rest is important, taking a day off from the open mics if you did an open mic everyday for 30 days
I would not be surprised if you became worse. I mean you can just push too hard and really lose yourself
taking a step back and living life is important. Living life is where I find a lot humor
just recently I took a vacation and came back to write 10 new mins about what happened.
5. Study those who you love! Watch your favorite comedy special again and review what is truly going on.
How are they moving? Where are they pausing? Why did they change up their timing or slow down? What is
different at a 10 min mark vs the energy at 45min mark.
6. Do not worry about finding your voice just yet. You are new! Your voice will come over time.
I knew I found my voice when I would write jokes and think "wow that doesn't sound like me,
I am not doing that" Then I slowly stopped writing jokes that didn't sound like me.
7. Start setting comedy goals. I like simple ones like 5 new jokes this month. Then putting something
crazy on the list like Audition for Americas got talent this year. Or record and listen to all my sets this
month. And email a comedy packet to SNL. These goals will help you push through the hard times.
8. Record all your sets on your phone. Yes every set, I still have recordings from 2011 that I cringe
at the idea of even listening to. But YES do it, you will thank yourself later.
9. Video record when you can, I know it is hard to get good footage. When you are new its not recording to
post content online. I would record when I can so I can watch my nervous ticks and try to get rid of them.
Sometimes your movements can giveaway the punchline or ruin the set up. You want to seem like you know
what you are doing up there. Or you might watch the tape and be like "WOW I look bored or upset"
10. Go to shows. Go to shows you wish you were booked on but sadly you were not! Support local comedy,
be friendly with your co workers truly. Two reasons I mention this, I often get asked "How do I get booked
on that thing?" Well have you ever gone to that thing just to support? No? Start there! Also, you should
be celebrating the fact your friends are doing something cool! You can sit and watch local comedy and there
is always something to learn.