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Comedians from Britain, Russia and Kazakhstan on the genre development and earnings


Comedians from Britain, Russia and Kazakhstan on the genre development and earnings

Diane Spencer, 39 years old, hometown — New Malden, London, professional comedian

About career choice

I lived in New Zealand and worked as a product manager. I was engaged in comedy as a hobby for three to four years. During this time I have accumulated good material.

One day my friends offered me to go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It is the largest annual festival in Edinburgh. There are people from all over the world, perform their work in different genres. I quit my job and flew home to the UK.

I met a lot of people at the festival. I was embarrassed because didn't consider myself as a professional comedian. But after a month of performances and acquaintances, I realized all participants of the festival consider themselves professionals and devote their lives to it. Creativity is a life for them, and they like it. I wondered if I like to perform as a stand-up comedian, and the answer was obvious. I have never felt so alive.

Since 2009 I'm trying to be a professional comedian.


About comedy in the UK

Many places in the UK are regularly holding an open mic for comedians. Many people come just to talk, laugh at the problems with other people.

Comedians in the UK are different from their American counterparts. British comedians try to create a riddle, a problem that the audience must solve. Performance is measured and calm, the audience gets used to it. Many would not understand if you try to perform in America in a British manner. Americans do not try to smooth things over, to speak tactfully, so they are speaking straightforward. The performances of the Americans can be compared to a machine-gun burst that catches you by surprise. They like to repeat the beginning of the joke several times and finish it by raising their voices and with a final point in the joke.

In Britain, comedians give time to think about the joke, to digest it. And the audience often say with a serious face: "Great, it was funny, what's next?" after they heard a funny joke. Sometimes it is puzzling. However, do not be afraid, the comedian must be able to adapt the material for the audience and change the style of performance because we broadcast jokes to the audience.

The golden rule of a stand-up comedian is to write jokes for yourself, tell them to others.

About performances

Performances are always different, each meeting with the audience is a unique conversation. You are trying to talk to the audience, tell the story, make a point. Stand-up has no sense without all of it.

I love making people laugh. I love when people laugh in waves, you storm them with jokes, one after another and then give just a second to take a breath for your best punchline. After that starts hysterical laugh and the audience is in euphoria. It's a rare thing to make, but I'm thrilled when it happens.

Improvisation is an important skill for a comedian

Improvisation is an important skill for a comedian. Many moments during the performance when you need to quickly analyse the situation, to transfer the audience's attention to a particular person from the audience or to notice a funny moment. All this fulfils your performance with a uniting context, and your comedy will be remembered by them for a long time.

About working conditions

The work of a comedian is not easy. You are constantly in the process of creating material. I write at least three thick A4 notebooks to prepare one special for my YouTube channel. In addition, there is a check of the material, constant performances and other creative moments.

I perform about 170 times a year. This is a pretty good figure for a comedian, but most of the time it takes to write jokes.

It is necessary to love the process of creating material because it takes 90% of the time. If you want to become famous and earn money, then this job is not for you. I believe a good comedian is in love with the work and gives all to it.

I make 18,000 pounds a year, that's about 24,000 dollars. Not the highest score for a comedian, but I'm not trying to earn all the money in the world. I like comedy, food and clothes, and my performances provide me with these things.

For beginners, It's pretty easy to get into stand up comedy, as Britain is full of open mics where you can try yourself. Every performance teaches you to something and makes you better, so never be afraid to start.

About plans

I want to release another special on my YouTube channel and continue to do comedy. Also, I plan to make cuts of the jokes for the personal channel. I think it will be a fun creative activity.

Pavel Dedishchev, 28 years old, hometown — Kursk, educational psychologist, stand-up comedian

About career choice

At school, I decided to play KVN, and after that, there was no way back. I decided to become a stand-up comedian when I first saw Louis C.K. He defeated Maslyakov inside me. I am immensely grateful to KVN, but also insanely happy that I did not stay.

The first performance in stand-up was similar to the captain's competition in KVN. It was in Kursk, not in Moscow, therefore it was funny. The first performance in Moscow was at the stand-up festival. It was scary but also funny. Now the recording of the performance can be found on the Internet and assess.

About comedy in Russia and Kazakhstan


I think it's a great time in Russia to develop stand up comedy. Almost everyone knows what stand up it is a genre, not just a TV show with Ruslan Beliy.

Russian show business needs new stars — stand up comedians. For our industry necessary to have thinking people who can bring something new. In America stand up artists for many years have celebrity status and perfectly dilute show business party of the country.

The peculiarity of Kazakh humour in the Kazakhs. Azamat and Nurlan are top comedians. Kazakh charisma is a secret weapon.

About performances

I perform almost every day, four or five times a week for sure.

The comedian has to find a comedic beginning inside. Something that makes the audience laugh at you. Maybe charisma, but not the text and performance. Find this charisma and develop it. Another important quality in stand-up is honesty.

The process of creating jokes is always working, 24 hours a day. A good idea might come to mind somewhere on the bus. Some of the jokes came to me in dreams. Then you pick one joke and work on it like on a diamond. You're trying to process it.

The comedian has to find a comedic beginning inside

About working conditions

Newcomers are lucky as now it is easier to become a comedian than five years ago. Then there was no particular group of people and chose comedy just because of love. But now there is a big group, a huge number of comedians, so anyone can be a comedian. Another question is how to become a famous comedian.

If at the beginning of the humorous way focus on money, then unlikely that something will turn out. Pure enthusiasm is important here.

For now, I earn about 150,000 — 200,000 rubles per month. But that wasn't always. When I first moved to Moscow, I almost earned nothing — 20,000 — 30,000 was maximum.

About plans

Plans for the future are the internet. I am interested in the simultaneous development in the Internet and television.

Madiyar Nurmambetov, 24 years old, hometown — Almaty, screenwriter, stand-up comedian

About career choice

The beginning was typical — I was playing in KVN, loved the humour. For a number of reasons, KVN has lost its relevance for me, but creative ambitions have not gone away. Therefore, stand up became a kind of outlet for my creativity.

I always liked this genre and often watched performances of Western comedians. There stand up lives and develops more than 70 years, many celebrities started with the genre. This inspired me to become a stand-up comedian.

About comedy in Kazakhstan


It happened, that Kazakhstan's humour is warmly received by Russian-speaking viewers. A comedian may say an unfunny joke, but the audience will laugh because of the performing manner, the manner of speech. This is how we differ from our colleagues from Russia because the audience does not know what to expect from us in the next moment.

It is easy to become a comedian in Kazakhstan, as in the whole world. You just need to come up with a sufficient number of jokes and come to the nearest open microphone.

Kazakhstan's stand up is developing fast, but we are still ten years behind Russia. In the regions already begun to appear platform for an open microphone. As far as I know, the largest number of an open microphone is in Karaganda, Astana and Almaty. In Almaty, you can perform three or four times a week for sure.

About performances

I remember my first performance. It was interesting because in one day I performed on the stage of KVN and on the stage of stand-up, and I liked the last more.

The comedian must be able to adapt during the performance, to change the joke, translate the attention of the audience, be able to improvise. Not everyone has the skill of improvisation, but a good comedian is desirable to have such an ability. I try to perform as often as possible, but it turns out to perform only two-three times a week.

About working conditions

One of the most common ways to create jokes is to find your comedy buddy. A person who will be similar to you in the sense of humour. On that person, you can check the material and ask to evaluate jokes.

The process of jokes creating is happening all the time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I constantly write down ideas from everyday life. After, I spend a day or two to come up with these ideas full of jokes and script performances.

A comedian who puts money on the first place will have a long way to the purpose

I think that comedian who puts money on the first place will have a long way to the purpose. Monetize creativity is hard, special skills are needed for this. For example, I'm not able to monetize my performances enough yet.

About plans

Develop as a stand-up comedian and promote the genre in Kazakhstan.

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