These days, the internet provides free exposure to every stand up comedian, so it’s worth thinking about how much to post.
Here are some of my ideas on the matter:
Understand the Benefits & Risks to a Stand Up Comedian
As a stand up comedian, making your material public, you become vulnerable to having your material stolen. You may not hear your joke being done at the comedy club in your hometown, but there are different parts of this country, and other English-speaking countries, where your material may get used.
That is one of the consequences of having your stand-up comedy material out there in the public.
On the other hand, YouTube is constantly scanning the internet and if their software finds any duplication of your video. If they discover any significant portion of your subtitle script, they’ll let you know. Being online comes with its own digital protection.
Posted material receives a time stamp, which serves as your copyright. If someone does that same material—word for word—you can call them on it and say, “Hey, I’ve got proof I was the first to perform this particular bit, so stop doing my material.”
Keep in mind, that many routines and jokes contain the same premise, or similar wording. But if someone is telling your joke verbatim, then it’s probably been lifted.
Learn How to Use YouTube
YouTube is a great platform for the Stand Up Comedian, for many reasons. You can use it to store clips you’d like to selectively send others, or to have clips of your performances that people can watch and start following you.
YouTube has three settings for uploaded videos:
1. Public: Once posted, these videos can be accessed by anyone.
2. Unlisted: These videos can be seen by anyone you send the URL to.
3. Private: These videos can be accessed only through your YouTube account.
Take Control of Your Subtitles
I recently discovered that approximately 80% of the people who watch videos on their cell phones keep them on mute and read the subtitles. They are also more likely to view the video to the end.
Have a look at this YouTube Video to get an idea of what properly done subtitles look like.
Take the time to correct the subtitles. YouTube automatically generates a subtitle script, but it’s often imperfect.
For example, the subtitles on one of my videos were so off the mark that someone wrote to me recently and asked: “What do you mean by ‘Nazis keep rattling me?’” What I actually said was, “I did not see the rattler,” referring to a snake in my garden.
If you’re going to post on YouTube, you need to learn how to edit your subtitles.
Otherwise, your jokes may not come across to your audience. Then the Nazis will keep on rattling!
Publicize Yourself Online
You should be putting into the public small clips of your stand-up comedy shows. Two or three jokes each, so if somebody does lift a joke, it won’t be horribly damaging.
If a booker or agent asks to see you, you can send them a longer, “unlisted” clip you have cued up in your YouTube account.
That’s a great way to stay both visible online and well prepared for booking opportunities.
Greg Dean's Stand Up Comedy Classes
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