It seems that during this recession there has been an increased number of amateurs in entering the world of stand-up comedy. With high unemployment rates and therefore less financial risk for some, more and more wannabe comics are choosing to enter the fray.
“If you’re bringing home a nice paycheck, and you’ve got a nice executive position and you announce to your wife or your parents that you’re giving it up to become a standup comic, they’ll think you’re insane,” Stephen Rosenfield, director of the American Comedy Institute told the Associated Press. “But if you’re in a recession and you’re unemployed and jobs are hard to find, they’ll say, ‘Oh, that’s interesting.’”
New York’s Gotham Comedy Club recently hosted more than 1,000 amateur comics as they tried to win a spot on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham. “We’ve had financial people, attorneys, garbage men, right down the line,” club co-owner Chris Mazzilli said.
Similar events take place across the country, at the Laugh Factory in L.A., where people will line up around the block in hopes of landing one of the 30 non-paying open-mic slots.
Rosenfield said that it is likely this increased interest will wane, as many amateurs will quit, and the recession will presumably end eventually, allowing some to head back into the regular workforce.