As a former “musician” (I barely qualify as one, which is why I put it in quotes, but I played in over ten bands during my music tenure), the questions about similarities to stand up comedy often arise. I am one of the few people who have done both. There are a lot of similarities, for certain. Obviously, you are entertaining people on a stage and both are considered art forms, especially if you are in an original band. But there are glaring differences.
I loved being on stage. I was a guitarist or bassist in most bands I performed in and 90% of the time, I was not the “front man” or lead singer. Despite my efforts to “peacock” on stage with my mannerisms (jumping and head bobs) and clothing (fake hipster glasses, shiny shirts in the 90s, cool tees in the 00s), most of the time, I was barely noticed. I remember selling CDs after a show for my band Shoeshine Boy fronted by the lovely Jocelyn Baker. Someone was like “I want to buy the CD with the band who had the female lead singer.” Even though I was standing RIGHT next to Jocelyn on stage, the patron had no idea I was in the band. She even thought I was lying when I said I was selling CDs for THAT band that I was in. You can disappear on stage that way in a band.
With comedy, they know you on stage, for better or worse. And its often amazing and fun. There is a downside. But if they don't like you, you know right away. They don’t laugh. And it's you they don't like. Not your band. It’s very personal, especially with comedy that is self reflecting like mine. With music, you can say, maybe the band had a bad night or they don’t like your polka alt country band. With comedy, it's you. On the upside, when you have a great set, it is all you as well.
By the way, if you have questions message me and I will address them here!
#careerchange #formerlawyer #formermusician #standupcomedy
Paul Farahvar is a comedian hailing from Chicago, Ill.
Paul Farahvar Comedy