How to make it as a comedian in London
Being a comedian may look like an easy job, but it truly isn’t. Not everyone can be a good comedian. This is especially true if they want to do it for a living like comedians who work at popular London comedy clubs. Those comedians seem to have been born with the talent!
The bottom line, and the thing that you should always remember is that comedians have to work hard in order to get noticed. Only the best will make it into the spotlight. If you’re interested in working your way to the top of the comedy tree, It’s cetainly not going to be easy, but there are some things you can do to give yourself the best possible chance.
1. Find your style.
Popular comedians have their own unique style that makes them stand out from the rest. With this, you need to know what style makes you comfortable or what you are really good at. Watch famous comedians on videos such as Michael McIntyre’s stand-up DVD or Lee Evans’ 50-date Roadrunner tour.
This does not mean you should copy their style. Take them as an inspiration instead. If you have the natural talent for storytelling, then work on it. If you love to pretend like you are an arrogant and self-centered person in a funny way, then this is the best approach for you. Remember, you have to make your own name in order to make it in the London comedy world and not just be a mere copycat. The world already has a Peter Kay and Frankie Boyle. Present something fresh and distinct.
2. Study styles and patterns.
After you find comedians with a style similar to your own, you should keep watching them in videos. You may also check them out during their live comedy at London shows. Observe how these comedians deliver their punch lines and speaking patterns. Some comedians speak fast and move around the stage while others barely move and speak slowly and softly.
3. Prepare your material.
Most successful comedians prepare their materials before they get on stage. New comedians who are not yet comfortable being the center of attention are more likely to struggle with a joke. With this, it is best to come up with a list or at least an outline of what you are going to say. Even the world famous actor and comedian Robin Williams writes his spiels first and improvises them later.
Many comedy styles today revolve around personal issues and experiences. This is a good starting point if you are having trouble creating your first material. It can be about politics or families. Use your point of view on these matters to come up with a joke. Many London comedy writers also suggest list jokes and comparison jokes. Use similes and mimicking if necessary. Some popular comedians also work with London comedy writers to come up with fresh material for their act. However, they can be costly.
4. Try out the material.
Begin trying out your material alone. Face the mirror and act. This may sound like a weird idea, but it works for many comedians. Do it many times until you feel like you are ready to face the real audience. If you do so, gather friends and family members you can practice with. Perform at least a 30-minute set and see how they react. This is an essential part when planning on launching a career and succeeding in the London comedy industry.
5. Get some experience at open mics.
Bars, cafes and comedy pub London have open mic nights. What is great about these events is that anyone can stand on the stage and deliver their punch lines. Although this won’t pay any money, it is a great start. Take a video of this performance. This is reliable evidence if comedians steal your lines. It will also help you improve your performance.
Open Mic Comedy Nights in London
Check out comedy listings London and see which among the open mic events suits your schedule.
- Angel Comedy at the Camden Head every Saturday
- Comedy Café at Comedy Café Theater every Wednesday
- Comedy Variety Night at Up the Creek every Thursday
- Downstairs at the King’s Head at The Torriano every Thursday
- Party Piece at the Queen’s Head every last Monday of the month
- Pear Shaped Comedy Club at Fitzroy Tavern every Wednesday
- Rudy’s Comedy Night at Rudy’s Revenge every Wednesday
6. Take it to the clubs.
Once you have perfected your performance at the open mic, go ahead and take it to the comedy London clubs. There may be times that you can’t get a good laugh from your audience. With this, you have to be aware of the jokes that guarantee getting a laugh. The ones you used during your open mic performances may work out and help you win your audience back. Do not be easily discouraged.
The following are the most popular London comedy clubs. These clubs offer live comedy in London performances.
The Comedy Store
The Comedy Store is the home of some of the most famous live comedy in London including King Gong. It is a new comedian’s dream to perform at this comedy bar London.
Live at the Chapel
Live at the Chapel offers the most interesting line up of comedy pub London favorites like Russell Howard, Tim Minchin and Frankie Boyle.
Soho Theater presents theatrical comedy rather than conventional stand-up comedy performances. Comedy acts run an hour long.
This isn’t a strict comedy club, however every other Wednesday Vesper Rocks holds an awesome night of stand up comedy there!
Knock2Bag offers seven or more high quality acts in one show. It also consistently presents stunning comedians.
Amused Moose Soho
Being able to perform at the Amused Moose Soho comedy bar London will put you among the likes of Simon Astell and Noel Fielding.
7. Book gigs.
Comedians know when they are ready to get into bigger gigs. Find some gigs from comedy listings London and try to sign up for them. You may not need to have an agent right away. However, you will need a video compilation of your performances. This is your ticket into the highly competitive comedy London industry.
Comedians should also know how to sell themselves. Social media is free to use to market your talent. You can have your own website or just post videos on your accounts.
Some Tips from professional comedians
Tom Salinsky, a co-founder of The Spontaneity Shop, shares some of his secrets for struggling comedians who want to make it in comedy pub London gigs.
- Be confident
- Be a team player
- Be original
- Learn the tricks
Aspiring comedians who want to learn the craft in a more formal way can enroll in comedy classes. There are a lot of comedy academies in London that help new comedians optimize their skills. This is where they can learn basic skills, acting for TV comedy and even comedy writing.
Courses usually take from a couple of weeks to a few months. They can be costly though. This is why it is best that you have a steady source of income while enrolled in these classes. Bear in mind that making money from comedy performances can be difficult. You can earn a lot in the future if you are able to make it to comedy clubs or corporate events. You have to be persistent to get into the London comedy industry. Remember that overnight success is rare. Work hard for it, and you will definitely get there. Most importantly, you should have fun while doing so.
The following are some of the best comedy learning centers in London.
- The Comedy School
- Loggan Murray’s Comedy Courses
- The City Academy
- City Lit
Hope this helps! And don’t forget to check out Comedy Rocks by Vesper Rocks, held every other Wednesday night at McQueen Bar in Shoreditch.
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