How To Become a Stand Up Comedian: Your first 5 minute Set
Updated: Feb 25
Building your first 5 minute Stand Up Comedy Set - the first step to become a Stand Up Comedian!
It’s no secret that stand-up comedy is an art form. To become a successful stand up comedian, you need the perfect blend of wit, timing and effort. But don’t be intimidated! Everyone starts somewhere.
In this guide, we’ll help you get started if you're wondering how to become a stand up comedian, giving you the tips you need to craft your very first stand-up comedy set.
After all, it’s never too late to give stand-up comedy a chance - especially if you think you have what it takes to make people laugh!
Keep scrolling for our guide on how to get started in stand up comedy...
1. Brainstorm your Ideas
The best way to start writing your first stand up comedy set is to brainstorm ideas for jokes and topics. This could include things like current events, pop culture references, personal stories or observations - anything that comes to mind! Don’t worry if they seem silly or irrelevant at this point, you can always refine them later on when you actually start writing your comedy set.
Also, don't pressure yourself at this stage if the ideas aren't coming right away; creativity often needs time and space to grow, so if you’re struggling, leave it for a bit and something might pop in your head when you least expect it!
That genius gag, or perfect one-liner may just pop into your mind when you're in the shower or mowing the lawn...
2. Find Your Voice
Once you have some ideas in mind, it’s time to find your voice as a comedian. What makes your jokes unique? How will they connect with your audience? What type of tone do you want to use? Thinking about these questions can help shape the way you write your jokes and deliver them during your set.
For example, do you want your humour to be more observational or sarcastic? Do you prefer puns or one-liners? Are there any particular topics that are off limits? Figuring out the answers to questions like these will ensure that your material resonates with both yourself and your audience alike.
3. Refine Your Set
Now it’s time to put all your ideas down on paper. Typically, your first few comedy performances will be five minutes in length so aim for this (between one and two pages of A4).
You will want to create a good structure and a theme to run throughout it. The most important thing is to keep it succinct and don’t leave your audience waiting too long until the next punchline!
4. Practice Delivery
The best way to prepare for stand-up comedy is through practicing your delivery - that means getting up on stage and trying out different versions of each joke until it feels natural coming out of your mouth! You should also record yourself while doing this so that you can go back over any awkward pauses or mistakes afterward and adjust accordingly; this is especially helpful when performing in front of a live audience since they won't necessarily catch every line as quickly as they would if they were watching a video replay online afterward (which many comedians do). That said, don't forget how important timing is here too; the punchline should always hit home at just the right moment!
Crafting a good stand-up routine takes lots of work but also lots of patience too; after all, success doesn't come overnight! But with dedication, practicing your delivery and finding ways to make sure that each joke resonates with both yourself and the audience alike, you'll be well on your way towards being able to deliver a killer performance every single time! So what are you waiting for?
We will be delving into these ideas more thoroughly in the future blog posts as well as guides on how to write killer jokes so stay tuned!
If you want to learn more but can’t wait then there are also comedy courses you can take, here are a few recommendations from the Eye!
Angel Comedy Course with Dec Munro - https://www.angelcomedy.co.uk/courses/
The Jeff Innocent Comedy Academy - https://www.innocentacademy.com/
Soho Theatre Comedy Lab - https://sohotheatre.com/project/comedy-lab-stand/
Or, if you want to see how it’s done, buy tickets to one of our next Comedy in Your Eye shows here – https://www.designmynight.com/london/pubs/camden/the-camden-eye/comedy-in-your-eye-stand-up-comedy-show?t=tickets
We've been touted as one of the best comedy clubs in London, so if you're keen to see the pros in action, slide on down to one of our shows!
Until next time!
The CIYE Team