Comedy is not funny. Comedy is a job just like anything else out there. Compared to any form of entertainment, it takes practiced. It takes dedication and hard work. You can't just “do” comedy, music, acting, drawing... hell you can't just read, write, run, drive, swim... None of this is possible without practice. Practice is simply repetitive action of its proper execution. You practice something wrong for years, you will be doing it wrong. You must work hard at doing it correctly. Be conscious of what you're doing while you're doing it.
There are so many aspects of being a comedian, musician or even an actor. An entertainer is not just someone who expresses themselves in an art form. They are aware of many variables. You have many layers to its development. Then you have levels to your skill. Before we get into variables, let us explore skill level.
Novice: You have just entered a particular world of a chosen craft. You know basic information on the subject. Enjoy to have enticed your interest in joining an elite group of people who want to train for their lives to become Masters. This is a level where someone who was a hobbyist decided to dedicate more time into learning their craft. If you are someone starting out, and you don't work your everyday, you are still a hobbyist and haven't even joined ranks with the lowest class of a career orientated professional.
Skilled: Time has passed when you are well versed in your craft to entertain those who watch/follow you. You can control your direction, yet you are still learning from both example of your peers, and your own continues failings. At this level you can start instructing those below you on how to get started. You're aware of what it takes and probably have molded your lifestyle to incorporate what is needed to become successful.
Expert: You are so experienced in your craft that you now can teach those looking for direction. You are no longer practicing but growing, evolving from what you have learned. Your practice time is not about what needs to be learned, but perfecting what it is that you have learned. Since everything around you that involves your craft is now absorbed without thinking about it. Where when you started you sought out avenues to figure out what to do next. Now you memorized your path and utilize your time wisely. Hesitation, fear, and stage-fright is almost nonexistent.
Master: Though there is always something to learn, since information is ever changing, you are continue to enjoy what you have learned. Creating from your years of hard work, dedication and time poured into your craft. You are most likely respected for your skill within your community of fellow entertainers. You finally understand the value of all your knowledge. Realizing it will continue until you are enlighten by the very value of each perfect step.
You have your art, and you have your business. Anyone can sit down and perfect their “art”, their “skill” but you have to be aware of how business works. If you want to be a professional you need to understand there is more than just art. Learn the business of your selected career road. Don't get confused with perfecting your “skill” when all you are doing is taking 5 years to figure out how to write a song, make a person laugh, or control an emotion reaction. Where as you finally feel “Skilled” enough to work yourself in that field, taking another 5 years to just get known... then another 5 years to start getting work. That is 15 years of your life, where you could have done all that in 5 years if you had worked a little on everything.
If you stand still working on your craft you are not exposing yourself or networking. You don't have to perform to get exposure, or start networking. Let your name get out there. Besides, even in your beginning stages it doesn't hurt to be seen. Because if anything they see your growth and may or may not be impressed, but something is always better than nothing. Don't waste the time you have here. You only get one life with this chance and you need to keep making things happen. Don't stand around thinking “if only” or I will get to it once I am better. I don't want to make a fool of myself. You will find a great many things in your first year of learning, only if you really get out there.
Peace and hope, until again...
~ Thomas J Bellezza
PS remember one thing. If you feel you worked five days during the week then you realize all you did was a show (Without promotion/exposure, networking) and you wrote material all week. You did not work. You practiced on your craft. Practicing has nothing to do with furthering your career. You can always practice when and while you are making things happen in your career.
Also... HELP EACH OTHER IN ENTERTAINMENT!!! You wish someone would help you, or give you a chance...? Well, give someone else that same respect.