Maybe it’s the excessive amount of TheWalking Dead that I’ve been exposed to lately, or maybe it’s the recent mentoring that I’ve received from comedy Guild Master Kyle Bottom and friends, but I’ve come to realize that doing stand up comedy is a lot like living through a zombie apocalypse.
1) Survival of the Fittest
Competition is essential during a zombie apocalypse, and it’s equally as important in a stand up setting. Bold statement? Perhaps.
Everyone wants to be the best writer/leader, get the most laughs/kills, be the most recognized ont the street/famous on the battlefield, and those that are no good often drop off the radar pretty quick. Competition is good because it forces us to be better and, let’s face it, the weak are just not worth having around (they make good bait though). So keep your skills sharp, your wits sharper, and your weapons sharpest.
2) Getting By With a Little Help From Your Friends
During an outbreak of a mystery virus that is causing people to turn into monsters that eat flesh, it’s important to stick together and work as a team. Although everyone is competing to survive, helping each other survive will contribute to a successful survival process even more.
Just like in the comedy world where people are competing for stage time, gauging their progress against others, and being jealous, people have to remember to stick together and build relationships as well as jokes. You need a support system when you’re performing/slaying zombs. People with whom you have things in common. With comedy especially (I’ve never lived through a zombie end-of-days, so I can’t speak from experience), the whole stand up world can seem so abstract and ethereal, so talking with other people in your situation can make things feel more real and concrete, your goals more realistic and attainable. So buddy up!
3) Equal Rights, Right?
“In the criminal justice system there are two separate yet equally important groups: the police who investigate crime, and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders”. Similarly, society and comedy both need the variance of two groups, men and women, to maintain order.
Each provide their own unique and valuable outlook, opinion, and thought process, and contribute equally to creating a diverse and balanced survival environment. Men hunt, women bear kids. Men make dick jokes, women make jokes about dick jokes. Balance.
4) Getting Eaten Alive
Depending on your situation in relation to this post, you may either be in danger of being eaten alive by a very tough audience OR of actually being eaten alive. By the undead. There is always an element of danger, no matter how prepared you are or safe you feel.
People always comment on stand up comedians being so brave for being able to get up on stage in front of an audience of strangers. And I’m sure they’d say that of apocalypse survivors too….if they were still alive to say it. But they’re probably too busy trying to eat the survivors. Sometimes when you are most confident, danger is most imminent. Not to say that confidence is bad, it’s very important. Equally as important as maintaining a humble heart.
5) Carrying a Weapon
Everyone knows that it’s important to have some sort of weapon on you at all times during a zombie apocalypse. Preferably something powerful and not too noisy. Likewise, comedians always need to have a couple of quick quips in their back pockets to shoot back at a heckler, or to pick up the energy in a dying set. Either way, a few back-pocketers in the ol’ repertoire are always handy. This way, no matter what, you’ll always be SLAYING!
Remember, we all have to be able to laugh through life’s hardest moments, whether your baby’s arm just got gnawed off by a zombie, or you just bombed in a room full of talent scouts. It’s all good, just keep at it. Prepare by honing your skills in either stand up or combat and you’ll be successful at BOTH! Survive and thrive!