In more cases than not, it will be the comedy agent, talent booker or other talent professional that approaches the comedian based on their performance ability (more so in the beginning of a comedian's career).
So it seems prudent for a comedian to know what talent professionals look at when considering a comedian for a paid gig:
To recap the information provided in the video along with some additional information, here are the basic but most important aspects that comedy agents and talent bookers look for when considering a comedian for paid gigs:
Performance proficiency. The first thing a comedy agent or talent booker will consider is the comedian’s ability to generate laughter throughout their stand-up comedy routine.
A talent professional will instinctively make a note of the number of laughs and the intensity of the audience laughter a comedian generates.
Performance consistency. The second thing a talent professional will look at is consistency as far as their stand-up comedy act goes.
While there are always exceptions, I should mention at this point that most talent professionals won’t usually make a decision to hire a comedian based on a single performance.
The reason is simple. They want to see if a comedian has significant impact and consistency with their stand-up comedy routine with a variety of audiences.
Let me put this another way. A comedian could have one exceptional show where everything is in sync and the audience response is great, then have subsequent shows where the audience response is not so great. That why agents and talent bookers usually want to see a comedian perform multiple times.
Stage time a comedian can deliver. The third thing a talent professional will consider is how much stand-up comedy time a comedian can do and still retain a high level laughter response. This can affect the type of gigs a comedian can be considered for.
Stand-up material content. The last thing I want to cover in this video that talent professionals will look at is the type of material a comedian is doing, specifically as it relates to the audiences an agent or talent booker is hiring for.
In the comedy clubs and comedy club style one nighters, this usually isn’t much of a consideration because of the prevalence of adults only material frequently delivered in these environments.
Where the type of comedy material will be a consideration is usually involves performing environments outside the comedy club scene (ie: corporate gigs).
There can be more subjective aspects of a comedian’s act that a comedy agent or talent booker will take into account as they are reviewing comedians for hire.
But what I have presented covers the basic, primary elements that almost all talent professionals look at when considering a comedian for hire.
Let me also say this: Talent bookers of all varieties can be at any show at any particular time including open mic shows.
This is one of the reasons that I encourage comedians to be prepared to deliver a professional stand-up comedy performance no matter where they are performing because you can simply never know who will be in the audience and could offer a paid performing opportunity in the future.
The faster a comedian can develop and deliver a high impact stand-up comedy routine, the faster they will attract the attention of agents and talent bookers
And as I mentioned in the beginning, until a comedian has gained momentum as an established comedy entertainer, it will usually be the comedy agent or booker that approaches the comedian for paid gigs.