A common question I get is how do I submit for a comedy festival? Or I keep submitting to festivals and I never hear back.
A lot of times the problem lies in the quality of the tape. You should really look at the guidelines before submitting. Producers of comedy festivals typically don’t care about “best of’s” or a tape that in your eyes is really really good but 2 minutes over the time restrictions.
Tapes are typically 5 minutes for submissions and the majority of the time are not watched all the way through. Especially if 1. The sound quality is bad. 2. The video quality is bad. 3. The jokes are not landing. 4. No one is laughing. 5. The intro is too long.
The best way to submit is to cut the video to where your comedy set starts. Also, find a video where you get a laugh in the first 30 seconds. If you don’t have a good tape yet, record yourself. For every show and mic you do and watch it back, until you have a nice tight 5 you think is good enough to share with the world!
How do you find these comedy festivals you say? Some great resources are the comedy festival submissions page on Facebook. There are also regional Facebook pages for most comedy scenes in the U.S. People in the Midwest seem to still use Facebook hard, so places like Ohio, PA, and Indiana post a lot about festivals on facebook.
Another great resource is https://www.thereitispod.com/ they post monthly the upcoming festivals and due dates opening that month. You can also go back to old months and see what other comedy festivals are out there.
Ann Van Epps is a female comedian based in NYC. This November, she was accepted into the ladies Room Comedy Fest, where last year she was a finalist.