I had a level 1 student in a button-down shirt who had a mortgage come up to me after class recently and say “Man, I love this. I’d really love to be paid to do comedy.”
I believe he was thinking: I’d love my current paycheck and stability in exchange for coming to this class. That doesn’t ever happen.
But it’s maybe the second most common question/comment I get from people, right after “how do I get out of my head?” Some variety of “how do you make a living?” or “How could I quit my job and do improv/comedy full time?”
Short answer: You don’t get paid to do improv. You can get paid to teach/coach it, making a solid notch or two below what you’d make at a cubicle job.
And “getting paid to do COMEDY,” practically speaking, means living the life of a free-lancer in which you hustle lots of little gigs all the time, hoping for a bigger one. And then even a bigger gig like writing for a TV show is something you get hired for just a few months at a time.
In this life, you get a lot of your time returned to you and a lot of freedom, but you get stomach-dropping insecurity when you think about: children, vacations, property, the future or even just paying rent. That’s the trade-off.
Yeah. This is good to read.