Comedy Career Q & A, Part 1: Traditional Standup Path

Alicia: So, hello everybody. I am here today with my new buddy Able and we are going to spend a little time doing some Q & A on comedy, performance and anything that you have that you want to throw my way. So, my name is Alicia Dattner. I’m a comedian, and solo performer, actor and writer and teacher of solo performance and I’m excited to share a little bit of what I’ve learned so far. So what do you got?

Able: What do I got? So, I have some experience as a standup comic. I’ve taken classes through the comedy college and I did kind of the open mic circuit for a while but I’ve been struggling to figure out how do I get out of the open mic circuit and into actual shows?

Alicia: Got it. So, you’ve done the comedy open mic circuit for how long?

Able: This was actually a few years ago. I think I did it consistently for about 2-3 years and I was a part of the Rooster T Feathers new talent showcase. But yeah, I would love to get out of the open mic scene and the sports bars and start performing in actual venues.

Alicia: Oh, I totally hear you. I definitely struggled with taking things to the next level for a long time. The truth is I didn’t do it in the traditional way. You probably know and I’ll re-outline for you again. The traditional way is what you’re doing. You get out there and you open mic again and again and again, you find your way to Roosters and then you find your way to the Punch Line and Cobb’s and you start going to that clubs showcase, whatever the A club is.

Rooster's is kind of technically not the premier club and so basically that’s the ramp is getting out to like the club where the biggest headliners are going. So if you can put in your dues there, that’s the next step is to say okay, I’m going to go for six months or a year every Sunday night to the punchline and be at their showcase and then I’m going to go on Fridays and Saturdays or Wednesdays and Thursdays and see their comics who are doing the real thing as we would say. What is it about what they’re doing that inspires you?

I remember my time as being at the punchline showcase or just at a show where some master was performing who had been doing it for 20 years. I would have my notebook out, which is not allowed because they’re afraid you’re going to steal a joke, but I would be like oh, my God, I just thought of a joke of my own.

There is something about seeing people who are so much better, not just being at the open mic circuit. It’s like a double edged sword. I mean, you have be in the open mics and at the same time you have to be seeing people that are amazing and then also hanging out with people who you’re performing with so you can be kind of in their class and you’re writing with them and creating with them and you’re also writing regularly and putting new material out there and weeding. That’s the traditional route.

The hope is that eventually you go long enough and then you’ve got your 7 minutes of kick ass ready for that big night when they call you up and then go okay, you’re next and you’re like Oh, my God and you’re there and then however it goes, you get back there the next week and you keep going.

Stay tuned for Part 2… 


Alicia Dattner

Comedian and Creatrix Alicia Dattner is an internationally-acclaimed, award-winning performer who loves to help others use the power of humor to transform their lives and write a new unfolding story for the world.


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