I don’t know if this is warranted but maybe it will help someone out . I had a weird interaction yesterday with another local comedian who felt I was doing comedy wrong. He decided he needed to publicly shame me over it. Maybe no one noticed or cared or maybe they did. Perhaps I’m the butt of a joke now for some secret Facebook group. It’s fine. I know that what I was doing appeared to be amateur and annoying but it did have a purpose. I was tweeting a picture of my upcoming tour poster to famous comedians asking them for a quote, or a word to describe it. Of course I know this isn’t the way to go about getting sincere feedback on something, but that’s not what I was going for. I was working on a funny promo video where I wanted to be able to add dumb taglines like, “Come see the show Amy Schumer is calling ‘WTF, no.’ and Jimmy Fallon has called ‘Who are you?” I could have made up fake quotes but I thought it would be funnier if they were real responses. A fellow comic on Twitter took it upon himself to reply to all my messages and to the comics themselves what he thinks they should respond. Stuff like, ‘BLOCKED, you’re not famous, I don’t know who are, this isn’t how comedy works’, etc. Ironically, this was what I was going for, except having actual famous people answer me was the point. I did get one fun response from Sinbad (who is awesome) but only after I blocked the tweeter in question. Maybe I could have gotten more if this person had stayed out of it. Who knows? With that technicality out of the way I just wanna say, don’t be a bozo.
Even if I had been soliciting real quotes from famous people on Twitter, who cares? If someone had a real problem with it, or was trying to save me from embarrassment, there are several ways they could have told me in private. But no, it was more important to call me out as stupid, than to teach or correct me. Sidebar, this person knows I have a Master’s degree in Mass Communications so I’m not completely clueless as to how social media functions.
In summation, there are a lot of people out there who are going to tell you you’re not funny, you’re not going to make it, and you’re doing it wrong. Whether you do or not is all up to you. I’ve only been doing comedy since 2011, but I have learned there’s really no right or wrong way to be funny. The people I respect the most are the ones who experiment and try things I would have never thought of. Maybe something you try will fail, but that’s why you get endless opportunities to try again. And fail again. Until maybe something works. Maybe you get noticed and a headlining comedian takes you on the road. Maybe you make a viral video and get a comedy central special. Maybe you get to be the next host of the Tonight Show, or maybe you spend the next 20 years barely getting by as a feature road comic. If that’s what being a comedian is to you, then don’t feel bad about it. I do know that all the people I look up to didn’t get to where they are by listening to what everyone else said. They took chances and found their own unique voice.
So do your thing, even if it’s not working right now. Work hard and refine your comedy. Try new things and figure out what you have to say. The beauty of it is comedy is subjective. Just find enough people who think you’re funny and create a fan base.
Mostly though, don’t let yourself or anyone else hold you back.