Stop Being a Jackass Online

Within the comedy groups of Facebook, people are going to fight. Comics have too much time on their hands and strong opinions. It happens.  The problem is, people who decide whether you get work or not are reading that too. As much as you want to believe: “I’m my own person and I say what I want. If you don’t like it, unfriend me bitch!” …showbiz doesn’t work that way. When you’re freelancing gig to gig, your whole life is an interview.  And just like professionals in more traditional careers, one post can ruin your reputation.

“But I was just kidding when I posted that.  I’m a comic.”

True, but have you ever had a joke bomb at open mic?  Sometimes we think differently with a sick and twisted sense of humor.  Tone isn’t always portrayed correctly in text.  (Ever have a significant other misinterpret your tone in an email?)

I think it’s a good idea to share your gigs on Facebook because it shows you’re working, but be honest about them. Bookers and other comics are judging whether to hire you based on your off-stage persona as well.  If you’re annoying on Facebook, they aren’t going to want to work gigs with you.

I’m saying this from experience.  Almost every day with the “On This Day” Facebook feature, I cringe at the things I posted back in 2009-ish.  I’m 40 now, and from time to time I still catch myself in threads that don’t matter.

Think of who your comedy heroes on Facebook and Twitter are. Ask yourself, “Would they post this?” if you’re unsure.  The gig you lose could be the one that would have led to five more, so use more discretion because you’re not just playing to the back of the room.

For more tips on how to start making money in stand-up comedy, check out my book, Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, iTunes, etc.

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About Rob Durham

With an English Degree, three years as a doorman at the Columbus Funnybone, over a decade of stand-up experience, and a recent certification in teaching high school English class, writing a book seemed like the next inevitable step for Rob Durham. The son of a coach, Rob has an excellent ability to teach and explain things in the easiest and most direct way possible. His (often labeled ridiculous) memory allows him to think of every possible situation that a new comic might face because at one point he was there too. Rob gives an inside look at comedy that doesn’t sugarcoat the challenges every performer faces. Without ego and the myth that “anyone can do it” Rob gives the reader a true feel of what living the so-called dream feels like, from preparing for that first open mic night to touring the country. View all posts by Rob Durham

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