In this article, The Business of Stand-Up Comedy: Promotional Kit – Part 4, I’ll make suggestions on how to write a proper biography for your promotional kit. In my previous article, The Business of Stand-Up Comedy: Promotional Kit – Part 3, I discussed how to get a great headshot for your press kit.
The bio should be in the form of a press release. I’m not going to include an example of a press release bio as they can change over time. If you don’t know the current format, then Google it. The reason for this is the Booker may get a request from a local paper to do a story on you.
• Tell the Truth
If you lie about your credits or your experience and the Booker finds out, you’ll be marked as untrustworthy. People don’t like to be deceived. Also, the radio, TV, and newspaper interviews may be using your bio as the source for their questions. If your bio is a lie, then you’ll have to lie even more in these public forums. The problem is that lies require more lies, which require even more lies. Tell the truth and keep things simple for everyone.
• Make Sure it Fits on One Page
It’s too daunting for a Booker to read your life history. He wants to be able to glance down one page and get the gist of your background and career. Leave the epics to the Russian authors.
• Keep the Information Relevant to Your Comedy Career
Include things that are related to your show or comedy. For instance, if you’ve written a funny book or recorded a comic CD. It’s also fine to state that you’ve had an unusual or interesting past, like having been a policeman or if you’ve worked as a carnival barker. Avoid details about you being the funny person in your hometown. These may be quaint, but they’re also unprofessional.
• Include Any Quotes from Newspapers or Celebrities
If you have a real comedy review from a newspaper, by all means work a quote from it into your bio. Also, if any celebrity has said something flattering about how funny or talented you are, make sure it is visible. These are endorsements, which will pique the interest of the Booker and make him want to know why these people liked you and your show.
• Put the Impressive Credits Near the Top
Often people will want their bio to be in chronological order, the early stuff first, their latest work near the end. This often causes their most impressive credits to be buried too far down their bio. If you have recently appeared on a sit-com or done a comedy special, place it near the top so the Booker will read it right away.
• Be Prepared to Discuss the Information in the Bio
The Booker may want to discuss something he finds interesting in your bio. Also, your bio could be used in the ads, newspaper articles or sent to TV or radio stations. You must be prepared to discuss all of the things in your bio, because this is all the interviewer knows about you. It’s best to have a funny story for each notable item. For instance, if there’s a funny story about how you got the quote from the famous person, be ready to tell it to the Booker or interviewer and you’ll come across as a professional.
In my next article, The Business of Stand-Up Comedy: Promotional Kit – Part 5, I’ll discuss the importance of business cards and reviews.