Comedy gets a bad rap.  People, from the outside, view it as a hobby.  The issue is, a lot of comedians treat it that way.  There's not a whole lot of strict rules, but there are rules that you need to be aware of.  For example, wear pants on stage.  Always wear pants on stage.  The only exception for me is that I'm part of the No Pants Players, and we wear shorts.  Otherwise, I wear pants.  Thanks to Johnny Dam for pointing that out to me a couple of years ago.  Also, I now feel like an idiot for not wearing pants, unless it's a NPP show.  I didn't believe him at the time, but hey, the more you do, the more you learn.  I've watched comedians perform with shorts on, and 99 percent of the time, they aren't very good.

If you're part of a show, and other comedians are performing, shut your mouth.  The rare exception is when a comedian has called you out and is asking for your opinion or a comment.  Even if they call you out and make fun of you, don't react with words.  You'll get your chance to talk about them on stage or talk to them after the show.  If they are getting laughs at your expense, tough luck.  Grow some thicker skin.  One of the very few exceptions to be talking during somebody else's set is if you are getting other people who are being rude and loud to shut up.  That's always ok.   The comedian may not hear them and be aware that they are disrupting the people around them.

Coming up to stage and back off.  Shake hands with the host and put the microphone in the mic stand.  Sometimes there isn't a mic stand, and you need to do something different.  In that case, adapt.  Otherwise, there's no reason to not put the mic back in the stand.  This one is really simple, and it catches me off guard now, because I, for the most part, work with people who are professional enough to do this.

If you are working on show somebody else set up, don't talk to the manager about changing something.  Talk to the person who worked with the manager to set this thing up.  Let the person who booked the show, run the show.  If you don't like it, go find another venue, or a different night at this venue, and set your own show up.

If you are doing a show, I don't care if you are in a bar or in a major theater, but respect the stage.  Don't be hanging out on the stage before the show.  It just looks bad.  It looks like you are just trying to soak up as much attention as you can and takes away from the professionalism of the whole event.

You don't like how much (or if) you are getting paid, then don't do the gig.  If people are beating down the doors wanting to see you do comedy, then you'll be offered plenty of money to do comedy.  It's part of the grind.  It's why it's hard to make it doing comedy.  If you don't discuss money at all before the gig, then assume you aren't getting paid.  I often sign people up with no money. If they bring in a big crowd or do a great job, then I will try to throw them a little money, whatever I can afford.  That's my personal preference.  A lot of people aren't like that.  If I don't know how much money I'm making going into the show, then I assume I'm getting none.

These are just a few random notes from my past few weeks of observation.

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