Dear Mike from the past,
How are you? I am ok. Oh, you’re thinking about trying standup comedy? That is excellent. You want me to fill you in on what it’s like? Well Gee-whiz, I don’t feel very comfortable doing that... at only three years into my comedy career, I’m still a newbie myself. Okay, fine. I’ll fill you in on some comedy related things that I think about.
It sounds cliche... but do it as much as you can. It is a huge investment time wise but ultimately the most valuable way to advance your comedic development. You can listen to a million podcasts, read a thousand books or talk to hundreds of other comedians, but you’ll never learn more than when you’re on stage.
More than any other art form (and standup comedy is an art form). It is impossible to cut corners. Nepotism, networking or marketing doesn’t matter much in the end. Eventually you have to be a good comic to “make it” and the only way to do so is to get up every single night.
You’ll meet assholes (amongst comedians, bookers and the rest of humanity). Don’t worry about them or compare yourself to them (or non-assholes for that matter). Just worry about yourself (which is easier said than done). Keep your head down, don’t be a jerk and work hard. If you do so, only good things will happen.
End note... Please check out Grant Lindahl's "My Expensive Hobby" at www.grantlindahl.com.