Comedian Nick Guerra shared some wise words of advice about comedy. Nick not only performs stand up, but he’s also a writer, an actor, a director, and a producer. His hard work and dedication has granted him opportunities to perform with Jo Koy, Felipe Esparza, Anjelah Johnson, Pablo Francisco, Gabriel Islagias on Comedy Central, and most recently made it all the way to the semifinals on Last Comic Standing. He’s doin’ it right. His knowledge and his experience is something that all comics can learn from.
So Nick, what’s the best advice you can give fellow comics?
OK this is what you need to know:
1) Do EVERY gig—even the ones that everybody else would turn down.
Take ‘em. It’s all part of the experience. You are never better than the gig. Do ALL the shitty gigs, and do them EARLY. That way, you get to a point where you don’t have to do them anymore. Remember, you’re only young and fresh once.
2) Talk to comics who are better than you.
It’s tough at the open mic level to gain valuable advice about comedy, because you’re hanging around other open mikers. And it’s hard to learn from people who are on the same level as you. You learn from the those who are farther along than you—those who’ve been doing comedy for YEARS. You don’t necessarily have to agree with everybody. Take what you like, and formulate your own bible.
[A group of girls approaches Nick]
Ladies: OMG you were SOOO funny! We love you! AHHH!
Nick: Thank you so much!
Does it ever get old, meeting beautiful girls all the time?
[laughs] It’s great. But honestly man, they’re all flakes! [laughs] The whole thing is this…
3) There are two types of comics: Those that do comedy to get pussy, and those that do comedy to get funny.
And you can always tell which is which. The ones that do it to get funny are the ones that write EVERY little piece of their soul! And the ones that do it for pussy are the ones who go on stage to try to be “too cool”.
4) Comedy is not about being cool.
Comedy is about being exposed. And not being embarrassed about it. And THAT makes you cool—saying personal things that nobody in the crowd would ever admit to. And what makes you a good stand up comic is being able to expose pieces of everybody’s life, and making people laugh about it.
5) Don’t forget, comedy is a business.
The quicker you realize that, the better. It sucks and it’s SO frustrating when you see someone who isn’t funny—but because they’re good at networking, they get all the good gigs. This happens at every job, in every business. You just have to accept that.
6) If ONE person in the room thinks you’re an asshole, there are nine others who also think it.
You don’t want that. Put your ego away. Anybody who comes into this game real cocky, but has no credibility will be looked at as the cocky guy with NO credibility. There are so many comics who SHOULD be famous, but they aren’t, and it’s because they had a real cocky attitude the entire time.
7) Be nice to everyone. Be a good person. But be a STERN good person.
Don’t let people take advantage of you. Know your worth. Don’t be afraid to tell people, “Hey, THIS is what I’m worth.” But at the same time, don’t deny big opportunities. Someone I knew once had the chance to make a deal with Nickelodian. But they turned it down because they thought they were better than Nickelodian. They later asked ‘em for another deal. And once again, they turned ‘em down. And they didn’t get any more offers after that, from anybody. That was it. Remember, if ONE person thinks you’re an asshole…
8) Make friends with other comedians.
Comedy is a crazy game. But if you have a solid group of friends in this thing with you, you will keep each other grounded. The ones that get all nutty and go crazy are the ones who don’t have any real friends.
Nick: That’s it. Hit the stage! Gotta go…
Thanks Nick, ‘preciate ya
Not a problem, good luck.
[off in the distance, another group of girls screams for Nick]
Ladies: Nick! We love you! AHHH!
[Nick smiles and waves at them, and then turns around, and walks off into the distance]
Click Here for the official website of Nick Guerra.
Interviewed & Written by: DAVID GAVRI