In a series on inspiring careers and how to get them, award-winning entrepreneur Jessica Elliott speaks to professionals at the top of their game to find out how you can get their dream job.
Simon Evans is a professional stand-up comedian and writer, originally from Bedfordshire and now living in Brighton.
Evans’s career in comedy has seen him star in BBC1’s Live at the Apollo, C4’s Stand Up For the Week and also have his own BBC Radio 4 series Simon Evans Goes to Market.
With his own nationwide tours and writing credits for some of the biggest television comedy shows under his belt, Evans has forged a successfull career in comedy despite it being a notoriously competitive job market.
We caught up with Simon to get his top tips on how to stand out from the crowd.
Take stage time wherever you can
"Take every gig offered to you initially.
"Be prepared for some unwelcome late night drives home, and if you can find other comics to share petrol and grouches with, so much the much better. For this reason, as with most jobs, despite the enormous economic pressures, living in London is a huge advantage."
Maintain good relationships
"Be convivial and considerate with other comics and management.
"You’d be amazed at how many people fail to realise this is key to your being asked back. Never, ever run over on stage time. If it’s a ten minute slot, do 9.58. Good old chestnut - when your time’s up if you are having a great gig, get off. If it’s going badly, get off."
Know your point of difference
"Don’t be afraid to explore different personae early on, but once you have found a kind of connection with the audience, once you think you know what your core proposition is, for example as a geek, a klutz, or a non-self-aware prick, then go with it and go deep and see what you can do.
"You are not on stage for very long in stand up comedy, it’s not a novel, and you’ll get further quicker if there’s a short sharp point to what you’re doing and saying. If you change your mind about what that is later, fine, but you’ll make progress in the meantime by nailing it."
Tickets and more details on Simon’s current ‘On the Money’ tour are available here.
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