Okay – if learning Stand-Up Comedy is on your bucket list … you better get started today! There is a fresh batch of kid comedians and they want your stage time!
Below is a letter I recently received from a third grader. My reply is posted below the letter. I hope you enjoy … and get motivated!
Hi Lily –
Thanks for your awesome letter. I really enjoyed it and can tell you have a great sense of humor. I can’t believe that kids are getting into stand-up comedy early, like you! It is awesome.
Boy, do I wish I had started on the comedy career path as early as you! I have no doubt you’ll do great.
It is smart to get to do some of your jokes on the announcements. The more kids who know about you being funny the better. They are your biggest fans and will tell others how funny you are.
Having some jokes on video on the internet (the way you found me) is also a great idea. Just make sure your parents think so before you put them up there.
Self-confidence is a key character trait of comedians. The very fact you have written to me shows you have that one in the bank!
Now, for your questions …
Q: Do you have to take certain tests to be a comedian?
A: Not really. Passing a drivers license test will be a big help, though.
Q: What is a good college to go to?
A: Almost any college will give you great experience you can talk about later in life in your comedy show. I would advise finding one that has a great theater department. Get on stage in plays and musicals if you can. That will help you be more comfortable in front of people. Join the debate team so you can learn to see other points of view. Take a few marketing and business classes.
Also, try to keep the costs down so you can graduate with no debt (money you owe after school).
Q: How do you come up with a catch phrase?
A: You really are smart! A catch phrase is a great way for people to remember you (even if they can’t remember your name). When you have a group of jokes see if there is a common theme that keeps coming up. If there is, then that might be a sign that you could use a catch phrase.
For example, if you seem to always find the positive side of things, you could say something like “Things are looking up!” after some jokes.
If you always seem to end up in trouble (I doubt you do) you could say something like “I’m headed to the principal’s office!”
Q: What kind of jokes are most entertaining?
A: For me, I like real stories where I exaggerate a little bit. Jokes about my family and friends are fun to tell because I can picture them in my head when I talk about them onstage.
Q: Is being a comedian a fun job?
A: YES! You get to travel to all kinds of places. Sometimes it is a big city, other times it is a small town. You might get to perform on a Disney Cruise ship or on stage before your favorite band! You get to stay up late and sleep in a little bit. Lot’s of places give you FREE PIZZA!
And the best part is all the great friends you’ll make as you travel the country – and maybe beyond!
Q: About how many people do you perform in front of?
A: Most of my crowds are around 300-900 people. Sometimes it is different. My smallest audience was one person and I’ve been in front of nearly 5,000 people.
I hope you keep up with your homework and pay attention in class. Everything you learn can be part of a joke or a story later on. Please let me know how you are doing as you go after your dream job.
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That is so sweet; my daughter wants to be a stand-up comedian when she’s older and she’s just about Lily’s age. We watch comedy movies and stand-up comedy acts together a lot and she always tries out her own routine on me afterward, and I bet she’d love the answers you gave for Lily on how to become one. Finding a common theme in jokes is a good way to look for a catchphrase, and I’ll pass that on to my daughter and see how long it takes for her to start testing out catchphrases on everyone in the house.
You can’t start too young! And age and experience give you loads of life to pull material from for the stage, too. So it’s available to all. Comedy is cool like that!