Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to put stand-up comedy on a resume

Always leave 'em laughing. And if that's not possible, always leave them knowing that you're capable of being funny.

Every year, I get to look at soon-to-be-grads' portfolios, and every year I yell and scream at the comedy-writing students, "Why didn't you put your stand-up comedy experience on your resume?!"

Usually, the students look at me blankly as if to say that there's been nothing on Earth to force them to listen to anything I've said so far, and there's probably no point in starting now.

Nonetheless, it's true. Stand-up comedy is a great thing to put on your resume, because:

1. It gives you something interesting to talk about.
2. It shows you have a sense of humor.
3. It shows you're fearless.
4. It shows you know how to write to engage an audience.
5. It shows you're not opposed to having a drink or six after work. 

The key is to highlight that you did the stand-up in addition to other stuff, you also did communications-related duties, you performed at real places for real audiences, and you've got accolades. Of course, name-dropping doesn't hurt either. "I'll never forget the time I got drunk with Mike Wilmot and Derek Edwards at Carlos and Murphy's..." Bad example!

The stand-up experience on my resume:
Stand-Up Comedian, Winnipeg, 2000 to present.
  • Retained to provide entertainment for comedy clubs and events, in addition to daytime responsibilities.
  • Distribute press kits, news releases, and bios.
  • Perform at Just For Laughs showcases, the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Rumor’s Restaurant and Comedy Club, the Winnipeg Press Club, West End Cultural Centre, Pyramid Cabaret, and King’s Head Pub.
  • Worked with talent, including Harland Williams, Greg Proops, Russell Peters, Derek Edwards, Brent Butt, and Ron James.
  • Named one of Winnipeg’s best, new comics in the Winnipeg Sun.
Then, in your portfolio, include a photo of you doing stand-up. Under that photo, write out your best bit. Leave out the swears.

Done! Now you're more interesting than 99 per cent of everyone else applying for the job.

No comments:

Post a Comment