My name is CJ Alexander, and I’ve decided to become a stand-up comedian. Creating a Comic is the journal of my efforts to break into the biz—or cry trying.
Here are some frequently asked questions about this site:
What makes you think you can be a stand-up comedian?
Given the time and the will, anything’s possible — and I have a lot of time on my hands. Which is a fancy way of saying that I’m an infrequently employed freelance writer.
When I started I had no contacts in the industry, absolutely no theatrical experience, and no real idea what I was doing. I just have a burning desire to get up on stage and make people laugh. Whether I can make a career out of it is what we’ll find out.
What’s the point of the Creating a Comic blog?
Since I’m starting in stand-up from scratch — absolute rookie ground zero — I thought it might be entertaining and/or helpful for others to read about the process of “breaking in.”
Even if my will crashes on the shoals of the industry’s rejection, hey, it’ll still be fun to read about; as no less than Aristotle once said, the misery of others is funny.1
Why stand-up comedy (as opposed to writing/acting/a real job)?
To me, stand-up is one of the purest forms of artistic expression: you go up on stage, someone hands you a microphone, and then it’s do-or-die. If you’re successful, a room full of people will laugh and have a good time.
So, are you funny?
I don’t know! Think about it: if you ask the least funny person you know if they have a good sense of humor, they will passionately insist that they have a great sense of humor. The more skeptical you are, the more fervently they’ll insist, even though you know for a fact that they’re about as funny as brain cancer.
So am I funny? Who knows. I do know that I’ve always loved to laugh, and to make others laugh. I’ve had some modest success at the latter, but getting friends to laugh is a lot different than getting strangers to laugh. There’s a wide gulf between a class clown and an actual clown. Also: different shoes.
What did you do before trying stand-up?
I spent most of my 20’s in a business career that was slowly, inexorably grinding my soul to dust. It wasn’t a total waste, though; the corporate world taught me how to present ideas to hateful strangers—which comes in handy at Open Mic.
You’re aware that puns aren’t funny, right?
Yes. Sometimes I can’t resist, though. I am a horrible person.
Seriously, “FAQ Off” is like Special-Olympics-level retarded.
I think we’re done here.
- The Story So Far
- The Cousin and the Phone Call
- Open Mic: First Timer Primer
- Stand-up Comedy Glossary