At the MC level most comics are in the same range of “funny” so the managers are often booking based on other factors. They want someone who is low maintenance. If you cause extra stress, no matter how funny you are, you’re hurting your chances of future work. Here’s how to stay low-maintenance:
- Stick to your time. Doing more than your allotted time to prove that you have enough minutes to feature actually hurts your chances of ever being promoted. Not once has a manager thought, “Wow, I gotta give this new emcee a bigger portion of the show!”
- Don’t abuse club privileges. You can probably comp some people, but do that well enough ahead of time, not during the rush of seating. If your friends miss out, that’s on them. Also, don’t burn the club on free food and drinks. Keep your orders low-budget and simple, and also avoid ordering during the rush. You can explore the dinner menu and top shelf liquors more when you’re a headliner (although most of them know better too).
- Do the announcements right. You being funny helps people have a good time and want to come back, but honestly, there are two other comics who are there for that. The way you increase business is by promoting what the clubs tells you to promote in the announcements.
- Stay out of the way and don’t annoy the other comics. Remember, these other comics have probably known the manager for years. Be a listener instead of blabbing about your experiences. Before and after the show, stay out of the way, but make sure you’re not hard to find in case the manager needs to tell you something.
The largest chapter of my book, Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage, covers the very important role of emceeing and finally getting paid to perform. If you’re interested in progressing through the ranks and earning money performing comedy, order a copy on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc.