Building a career in comedy

Four comedians talk to ArtsHub about the challenges and triumphs of building a career in this competitive industry.

Great comedy often looks effortless on stage, but building a career requires reserves of perseverance and a capacity for hard work.

Cameron James, a stand-up comedian and Head Writer on SBS’s The Feed, says that there are a lot of unpaid gigs on the way to the top, even for seasoned, high-profile comics: ‘Almost your entire career is showing up somewhere for no money and no audience, trying out new jokes, and knowing that, on some level, it’s training for when you finally do get to do the good gig.’

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Daniel Herborn is a journalist and novelist based in Sydney. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Saturday Paper, The Monthly, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and others. He has also practised law at an Intellectual Property firm specialising in creative industries clients.