One Set At a Time

Written by Zack Pierce

The pursuit to becoming a “successful” comedian is sometimes referred to as “climbing mount Everest.” To me, its just enjoying the journey that comedy brings me one set at a time. Personally, I am just a baby learning to walk in the comedy scene. I only started two and a half months ago but have already had a taste of the ups and downs I will encounter on my journey. Rob Roy got me started in stand up comedy. He is the president of the San Jose State University stand up comedy club. Its a great place if you want to get constructive criticism on jokes you are working out.

The way to begin your comedy career is to sign up at a open mic. Almost all open mics are at dive bars or coffee shops. If you think you are funny or just want to talk about your day you should sign up and do it, its’ a cool experience. When you get to the open mic you usually don’t do your set right away and leave. What happens is you get there early, sign up, and  have to wait sometimes 30 minutes to an hour to get your usual five minutes of stage time. According to the author Malcom Gladwell in the book outliers, he states that it takes ten thousand hours to master a skill. Hence the climb to Mt. Everest.

Once you get your set in its always fun to just relax and hang out with other comedians. Then once your done hanging out and get back home, it’s probably midnight or later. Being a night owl, I enjoy that the nights run late. Getting called on stage is when my heart starts racing but, this is why I enjoy it. The drug like adrenaline feeling that I get when I hear my first laugh makes me feel more comfortable on stage. When you have a good set where people genuinely laugh at your jokes, you get a warm euphoric feeling. When you have a bad set it feels crappy. You can not let a bad set hold you down though, it’s important to take every bad set as a learning experience to make you grow.

Advice from comics that have been in the game for years have told me to make a name for your self in the bay area and get a solid act down, before you move down to Los Angeles, which is arguably the holy grail for comedy. Los Angeles is the place where your dreams come true or are crushed. So to keep the odds in your favor, it’s best to learn how to swim before you swim with the sharks. All in all, I am very excited to embark on this journey as a comedian and believe San Jose will be a prominent comedic city with the talent that is we got going from more experienced comedians like Pete Munoz, ATO Walker, to younger talents like Noah Gain, Michael Brandon, and Chris Naasko. Till the next Set!

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