If you’re looking for a career in comedy, you’ve probably considered what you should submit for audition as a comedy writer. There are tons of roles available, so it’s important to consider what exactly you should be submitting. Here are some top tips on what you should be doing and what you should avoid.
Scripts And Reviews
If you’re looking for a job in comedy, you’ll obviously be going for auditions. These are the golden eggs that will lay the bread for your comedy future. Nothing stops a producer or manager from rejecting your script, but if they like what they read, they’ll most likely ask you to rewrite it. Scripts and reviews are a great place to start when searching for comedy roles. You’ll need to put your best foot forward with these, so be sure to have read the scripts of the top comedic actors and written something similar yourself. The more you read, the better you’ll get at spotting comedy potential in any situation. These are the building blocks of your comedy career, so make sure you have lots of them.
If you’re looking for a job in stand-up comedy, you should be aiming for established comics with a track record of selling out theaters. The more you can afford to lose, the better, as it’s very unlikely you’ll get rich in stand-up, especially in the beginning. These are the gigs that will put bread on your table. You may need to take a lower salary to make ends meet while you build your audience, but it’s still better than being on welfare. Be smart about where you apply though, as not all comedians will be able to take you on. Keep your eyes open for open-mic nights at comedy clubs, which will also give you a decent shot at getting noticed by an agent or manager. Having a good sense of humor is a must, as you’ll be stuck in front of a crowd of people most of the time (unless you have a really big following on social media).
Character And Dialogues
If you’re looking for a job in sitcom or comedy situation comedy, you should be aiming for a part that involves a lot of character development and interaction with the other characters in the show. This is where your talent as a comedian will really be tested, as it’s very unlikely you’ll have all the funny personalities needed for a TV show. Write a lot of jokes and scenes involving multiple characters, as these are the ones that often get picked up by TV stations. You can also try for a part in an upcoming movie, as these tend to get more attention than TV shows, especially from agents and managers. Think of the movies that you love the most and try to write something similar with your character in mind. Going broad will help you stand out, as it’s unlikely anyone has ever written a character like this before (unless it’s a broad parody). This will help you get ahead in an area where most people get stuck, as most TV shows go for a white male lead, so it’s a constant battle to get roles as a character actor, especially in Hollywood.
Funny Instagram Posts
If you’re looking for a job in comedy, you should be making sure your Instagram account is filled with funny content. This will help you stand out to producers and managers who are looking for someone to contribute to their upcoming shows. The main thing to keep in mind is that the content needs to be funny, as it is what the majority of people on Instagram are there for. You don’t need to be famous to be able to write for Instagram (though it definitely helps), but you will need to have a large following to be considered for writing jobs. Make sure you’re posting at least once a day, as this is what the algorithmically-driven Instagram compels people to do. Having lots of funny photos on your Instagram is a great way to show that you’re a skilled writer, as it’s unlikely you’ll have the guts to tell a joke in a situation like this.
Parodies And Satire
If you’re looking for a job in comedy, you should be aiming for anything that’s a parody or satire. These are great vehicles for bringing social issues to light, as well as poking fun at current events and celebrities. If you’re really good at it, you’ll be able to convince an agent or manager to represent you as a comedy writer, as not all of them will have experience in representing artists in this field. The best thing about these genres is that they often require very little experience to get the job, as the workload is often split up between several writers, with some of them getting paid per script while others get paid per word. The better you are at writing jokes, the better your chances of getting a job in these genres. Make sure you’re submitting your work to the top talent agencies and platforms, as they often come up with the most challenging assignments. If possible, work with comedic or satirical shorts film makers to get your feet wet, as these are often the ones that will find the most success in this field. Keep your eyes open for open-mic opportunities within the community, as you never know when something amazing might happen.
Being able to write jokes is only the beginning though, as you’ll also need to be able to perform them. This is often where the real talent gap lies between those who can write funny jokes and those who can actually perform them. Once you’ve got a following, getting into rehearsals is easy, as there will always be someone willing to help you out with rehearsals for free. Getting paid to perform is a whole different ballgame though, as most venues won’t be willing to pay you for something that’s considered “amateur” effort. Since you’ll most likely be doing these shows outside of your home, make sure you’re practicing in advance and have some good costumes and sets, as this is what will make or break your performance. If you can, get a producer or manager to help out with these upfront expenses, as it will make a world of difference when trying to get a TV writing job later on. Getting a manager who’s experienced in this field can also be extremely helpful, as they will be able to get you those precious meetings with producers, which can turn into full-time writing assignments eventually.
Being a comedy writer is a great way to make a living, as there are plenty of gigs out there, but be careful about choosing the wrong manager, as they can end up sabotaging your career instead of helping it grow. Look for someone who’s been there and done that and has plenty of contacts within the industry, as they will be able to get you those precious meetings with producers and executives, which can then lead to full-time writing assignments eventually. Make sure you have lots of samples stored away too, as when queried, you’ll be glad you have these to show off.