Emerson College students and alumni enjoyed a night of stand-up performances from three comedians followed by a discussion about building a career in comedy featuring an agent and booker during “Comedy: It’s A Living” at Emerson College Los Angeles on October 22.
Asked what advice he would give to students looking to mirror his career, comedian Louis Katz joked, “Set your sights higher.”
Katz, who has appeared on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, among other programs, told aspiring comedians in the audience that that they should be passionate about doing comedy because there are many ups and downs.
“You have to decide that you really want this,” said Katz.
Eliza Skinner performs a stand-up routine.
Eliza Skinner, a new writer at The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Solomon Georgio, who has appeared on shows such as CONAN and Last Call with Carson Daly, also performed stand-up routines before participating in the panel discussion.
“However hard you think [comedy] is, it’s harder,” Skinner told the audience, encouraging aspiring comedians to attend shows and collaborate with funny friends in their peer group.
“It’s a lot of unpaid hours,” Georgio added. “You should never stop creating. That’s the main thing about being an artist.”
Adam Eget, manager at comedy club The Comedy Store, and Adam Ginivisian ’07, a talent agent at ICM Partners, joined the comedians for the question-and-answer session, in which they discussed everything from what they look for in new talent to why it’s important to be a student of comedy.
Louis Katz, Eliza Skinner, Adam Eget, Solomon Georgio, and Adam Ginivisian '07 answer questions from the audience during “Comedy: It's A Living.”
“I want to find someone who is unique,” said Eget. “Someone who has a unique voice.”
Ginivisian, who took a stand-up class and helped co-create a comedy celebration festival while at Emerson College, said he was honored to come to ELA because the College meant a lot to him.
“To maybe help current students learn from the mistakes and triumphs of myself and my peers is an incredible honor,” said Ginivisian.
Ginivisian told students they should start creating their own opportunities now and work hard to get good at whatever medium they want to pursue.
One piece of advice Adam Ginivisian '07 told students hoping to be comedians: be open to collaborations.
Ben Peterson ’16, a Visual and Media Arts major, was in the audience listening to Ginivisian’s advice. Peterson said he attended the event because he was interested in writing a comedy or sitcom one day.
“Being able to make people laugh, knowing that something you wrote got that reaction out of someone, is a great feeling,” said Peterson.