Stand-Up Comedian

Stand-Up Comedian

Michael Kosta

Los Angeles, CA

Male, 30s

I'm Michael Kosta, stand-up comedian (yes, that's what I write on my tax returns). I've performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan, and Comedy Central, and I tour all over North America and Australia. Ask me anything about life as a stand-up.

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Last Answer on June 11, 2013

Best Rated

I've been a musician since birth and am branching into acting. I know the market is saturated though, so I'm also looking at entrepreneurship. I know that you need to work hard. How did you know to choose comedy? Were the odds against you?

Asked by Hunter over 11 years ago

Your going from music to acting? WOw almost as risky as going from professional tennis to stand up comedy! I hate to sound negative but if you are "deciding" if you should do comedy or not, it probably isn't for you. Go with what is burried deep in your heart (cue soft music). Think back to your kindergarden class when the teacher asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up. I remember I said "Pro athlete or comedian". The odds are always against you but if you are really doing what you want to do, and what you are made to do, it doesn't matter if you make it big, little, rich or poor. Hopefully that helps but I guess it doesnt ;(

When I graduate high school, i am planning on trying to do shows at colleges. Is trying to get into the college circuit right away a good idea? If not, what should the alternative be?

Asked by HardlyOffensive about 11 years ago

You just need stage time anywhere.  Clubs, bars, colleges, bridal showers, etc.  College circuit can be good but don't put too many limits on where you get stage time.  If you are brand new, which it sounds like you are, just go up go up go up, over and over again.  Different audiences, different ages, different environments.

Why don't comedy clubs drop the check AFTER the last performer is done?

Asked by That guy almost 12 years ago

OMG I wish they would! I work probably 25 clubs a year and I would say only 3-4 drop the checks after the show. I'm not a restaurant manager or club owner (maybe there is one on Jobstr you could ask!), I'm just a comedian so maybe its more complicted that I realize but when I am performing and they drop the tab, I see everyone's face go to the check, chat about it, pay, talk about the tip, how much they owe everyone, blah blah blah, meanwhile I've been doing comedy for 15 minutes and no one has heard a word! Normally I take a drink and chill out and talk to ppl because it can be very distracting.

How many performances did it take before you realized, "I got this"?

Asked by Tommo almost 12 years ago

I think you never feel like "OK I got this" but you do start to have more confidence that you can get yourself out of trouble if something wrong happens. I remember when I was starting I would have all my jokes memorized in an ACRONYM and I would have to go in that exact order... now as I have more experience I am moving things around and adjusting based off of what the crowd likes, or how I am feeling, etc. my experience with comedy is once you get cocky and think you have it figured out, you bomb your ass off and it bring s right back to "Man, do I have a lot to learn still".

I see comedians in comedy clubs, but do comedians ever get booked for private parties and events? If not, why do you think they don't?

Asked by Ed about 11 years ago

All the time.  Comedians get booked for corporate, private events, colleges, fundraisers, all that shit.  Agents that book the clubs also book the private stuff, some agents specialize in just private stuff.

Corporate gigs are the most profitable but you have to be the cleanest (in general) and wear a tie at some of them which makes me vomit.

What was your first time on stage like? Were you hooked immediately?

Asked by matt almost 12 years ago

First time on stage was pretty amazing. Not the actual jokes of course, or the venue, or anything other than the opportunity to perform. Like most people who first do stand up, I had been thinking about doing it for a very long time (maybe 15 years), but never had the balls, or the knowledge of how to do it. Somedays I still feel like I don't have the knowledge to do it but back when you start you are really lost. Once I got off stage I remember thinking "Well that's it, thats what I want to do with my life" after that everything just kind of made sense. Being called a class clown in first grade and writing jokes for a radio station in college and having people say to me at parties "you're funny" all that just kind of clicked after I realized how much I loved performing. So to answer your question, yes i was hooked. Now my very first joke, being called "Crotch Karate" that's a whole new question.

Can you maintain steady relationships while touring, or is it pointless to even try?

Asked by SkipperMo almost 12 years ago

Oh we are getting personal now!?!?!? First it was "How much do you get paid" and now its "what kind of boyfriend are you?" Whats next "Why did you abort that baby in high school?" Touring can be very fun with all types of distractions but as you do it more and more it becomes less and less "party" time. Netflix streaming has killed many a late night parties on the road. Now how is your relationship?