Make Yourself Famous
In the old days — about ten years ago! — there was only one way to become famous as a comedian: you had to pay your dues. As a stand-up, you started at an open-mic night. In a couple of years you graduated to being an opening act. After a few more years you moved on to being a middle act. A few more years after that, you finally graduated to headliner. But then you had to start all over again to become a national headliner or sitcom star.
If you were a filmmaker, you had to come up with a lot of capital to make a film. Once you had a finished film, you had to enter it in countless film festivals in the hopes that it might get you noticed by people who could advance your career.
Isn't paying dues a good thing?
Yes, it is. The harder you try, the better you get. You still have to work hard and produce a good product, but right or wrong, the traditional paths to success are quite different from what they used to be. You might not have to pay your dues to others, but you still need to set your standards high and pay your dues to yourself.
Comedy writers had it even harder. You first had to get an agent, but of course you couldn't get an agent without some writing credits. Usually you had to rely on a friend in the business to get you an internship writing for a show. Eventually you convinced the writers that you might actually be funny and you got some small assignments writing for others. But if you wanted to write for your own projects, you were looking at years of waiting for an opportunity to come along.
Things are different now. The rules to success are being redefined. You don't need to look for work, producers, agents, and studios are looking for you. Because of exposure on the Internet, you can bypass paying your dues and go directly to a paying job — if your stuff is good and it gets seen.
The major television and movie studios have people who look at the Internet all day for the next big thing. So if your little YouTube movie gets a ton of hits, you might be getting a call from the studio to see if you have any projects they might be interested in developing. The beauty of this is that you start where comedians in the past hoped to end up — writing and producing your own material, the way you want.
However, before you start posting video, make sure you have material to back it up. If you post the only five minutes of stand-up you have, you might get a call from someone wishing to hire you. If you can't live up to their expectations, you might have wasted your fifteen minutes of fame. Have future projects in mind before you post.