Excellent advice for comics from Brent Morin, who released an excellent Netflix special not long ago:
Get up every night. Bar shows and coffee shops apartment shows etc. avoid comedy clubs for a year or so. https://t.co/eVk05M7xqp
— Brent Morin (@BrentMorin) June 8, 2016
I've been teaching a new video course for musicians who want to sell more tickets to their gigs, and an interesting thing keeps popping up in our quizzes and our workbook responses. Whatever specialty you're in—folk, rock, hip hop, comedy—you're probably spending a lot of time worrying about how you're going to impress your peers.
Your perfect audience isn't the hardcore genre fan who hits up a club just to see who's new on the bill. Your perfect audience isn't the jaded industry rep that hangs around at showcase nights or music conferences. It's definitely not the act that's before or after you at your fourteenth battle of the bands this year.
If, like Brent says, you're getting up in front of small crowds at unexpected places—house concerts, coffee shops, private parties, and other places that don't normally feature live entertainment—you're honing your craft and you're connecting with audiences that aren't expecting you to be better than perfect on Night One. Those first connections into your perfect audience live there—in those spaces where they're open to the work, surprised and delighted by your contribution to their experience.
Can't find a place like that to play? Start one.