If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of the following:
- A brand-new comic, currently in or fresh out of your stand-up program.
- A newish comic who has been pounding the open mics.
- An experienced comic who’s here to judge us and hopefully find a few things to mock.
- A slightly bored person who may or may not have any interest in comedy.
Regardless of which of these 4 categories you fall into, we hope you will find this article helpful.
Black Sheep Comedy runs fun bi-monthly show called TESTING: ATTENTION PLEASE! (TAP) The lineup is a mix of oh so fresh faces and experienced comedians. The goal of TAP is to offer new comics the opportunity to network with and learn from super nice stand up comedians with a couple of years under their belts, while also getting some stage time and experience beyond the open mic scene. There is also a $50 cash prize for the audience-voted favourite and a surprise gift. If you’re new to comedy, we don’t want to crush you but that’s a good chunk of change for a Canadian Comic.
Whether it was for TAP or another show, every comic has experienced the elation of being invited to a booked show (yay! Congrats!) only to feel the crippling panic that comes with the follow up request, “please send your bio and photo as soon as possible”. How can you possibly write a bio if you have no experience or credits?!?!
How to Write Your Comedy Bio
Don’t worry, it’s a lot easier than you think. Afterall, you only need to write a few sentences (2 to 4). And in those few sentences you simply need to include your name and give people an idea of who you are as a person and a comic. As a booker, I also like bios to include pronouns, so I don’t fuck it up when I meet you in person and introduce you on stage. Your bio should be written in third person so she/they/he will be easy to toss in. As a bonus, writing in third person is helpful, as it will make it easier for you to talk about how awesome you are. Just picture how a kind reviewer or promoter would write about you.
Easy-peasy, right? Right? No? Okay, let’s break it down even further. So far you have your full name and pronoun written in third person. Here is an assortment of other facts you can choose to include:
- Where you are from.
- You’re new.
- Where you do comedy.
- Comedic style.
- An interesting fact about you.
- You’re a recent comedy school grad (only if you are, obviously).
- Where you’re at when you’re not on stage (job, hobby, quirk).
- Your social media handles.
So your bio may follow a variation of a template like this:
[First & last name] is a/an [up and coming/new/fresh faced] stand-up comedian with a/from [your style of comedy/weird stage habit/defining characteristic/your hometown]. [She/They/He] is a recent grad of [program]. When [first name] is not on stage, you can find them [insert interesting fact about your day job, a hobby or reveal something odd about yourself].
Look them up on [social media @]
So, let’s try this with a bio for a fake comic that I totally just made up.
Candy LaFleur is a recent Second City stand up program grad with a biting wit and sarcastic nature. When Candy’s not on stage, you can find her demanding extra pickles on her Big Mac or ugly crying over dog videos.
Follow @CandyLaFlower on Instagram, Facebook and twitter.
Danny Smithson is fresh new comic who originally hails from the faraway land of Alliston, Ontario. You can find them performing stand up at bars, coffee shops and bus stops across the city. When Danny’s not telling tales about their dysfunctional family and oddball encounters with strangers, you can find them wasting away their parents accounting degree while serving you lattes at Starbucks.
As you can see, the above bios are written in third person and only run a few sentences. Your bio does not have to be funny but at least until you get some experience under your belt, it’s really is a good idea to show a glimpse into your personality.
If you found this article helpful, come back next week! I’ll cover the topic of How to Choose Your Bio Photo!
Darcia Armstrong is a stand-up comic with a style that’s been described as “Story telling with punchlines”- whatever that means. She is a Second City graduate of both the stand-up program and comedy writing program, and has performed on some incredible stages across the Ontario, including the common rooms in women’s shelters. Darcia was a semi-finalist at Comedy Brawl Toronto and a finalist in Clash of the Comics. She co-produces several shows across the GTA as part of Black Sheep Comedy, and can be seen as a regular guest host of Comedy Appetizer .