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Navigating Privacy and Setting Boundaries: Best Practices and Handy tips for Comedians

Updated: May 2

Stalkers, Harrassment, Stand up comedy, comedy scene, Perth, WA Comedy Week, Oasis Comedy Club, Con Plebsworth, Sexual Harrassment, Rapists in Comedy, Protect yourself, Privacy in Comedy, Branding, Mediation, Dealing with creeps and perverts in stand up comedy

Comedians constantly balance the public's interest with their own privacy. Social media is essential for reaching out to fans and professional networks, as well as fellow performers, booker, promoters and industry stakeholders on varying levels, but it comes with challenges that need careful handling. Here's a guide to help comedians protect their personal information and stay safe without losing that vital connection with their audience.

Protect your Personal information

Your personal information is as valuable as your jokes. To protect it, keep your private contact details separate from your professional ones. Set up distinct social media profiles and email addresses for your comedy career. It keeps things professional and stops any accidental oversharing.

The Double-Edged Sword of Social Media

Personal Safety and Harassment in Comedy

Setting Boundaries for Physical and Digital Interactions

Balancing Being Personable and Staying Safe

Simple Safety Tips

Have warnings and responses ready or kept forward in mind

Focus on Learning, Not Judging

Practical Solutions

The following are some Do's and Don'ts. This is based on real things that have happened in the past, and without including specifics, this will come in handy in terms of some baseline things to do. This list will be updated over time.

  • Develop a plan about how you want to have a public and private ringfenced with your social media accounts - this means possibly setting up private posts, share to friends, or setting up a whole separate social media account to engage. Look at whether to post something on IG Stories vs Posts. What location information would you disclose, what personal family information would you post?

    • Real Scenario: A very friendly female performer posts a lot of her personal life regularly, including pictures of her kids, or targeted posts inviting prospective audiences to interact with her. Unfortunately, a new performer in the scene scraped enough data to identify personal location information, and took it upon himself to visit her at work to engage face to face. Since then, she's removed sensitive and personal information and identifiers, and produced a plan around communication to room runners as well as developed more suitable privacy techniques to continue her welcoming persona, as well as maintain safety protocols.

  • Identify your targets - are you marketing to comedians, are you marketing to followers and prospective customers? What kinds of information are you willing to share. Now that you're looking at building a career, a MASSIVE % of your career lives in the digital construct, whether you like it or not. It is important to maintain a strict approach about what you disclose online and how you wish to be perceived.

  • Use the Facebook Locked Profile feature

  • Create a separate email for comedy, and never disclose your mobile number to anyone except Room Runners and anyone requiring to contact you professionally based on your work you do with them.

  • Only give out information if you have to.

  • Unless you trust the person, assume your messages are being screenshotted and shared.

    • Real Scenario: There are some sociopathic-like tendencies from certain people in any entertainment scene, and unfortunately defamatory behaviour is an encouraged source of currency for showmanship, clout, and social climbing. This is a systemic problem which will only get worse. Be extremely careful about personal information shared, as things can be put out there with zero context, solely to pin them to a wall.

    • How can I tell if someone is disingenuous? Takes time, but identify their behaviours and interaction towards others, how far they'll go, whether or not they opt for following due process as a first pass, or if they go straight to the "last resort options". There's a saying of "How you do anything is how you do everything", and there's always a pattern of behaviour with people. Be patient and cautious, it only takes time before they're exposed.

  • Re-direct people to this page - there's a hugh source of information here - as we're the biggest comedy network in Western Australia, our goal is to ensure growth and sustainability and mental health in the scene for the hundreds of people who perform in our rooms and our ecosystem.

This list will continue to grow over time, and progressively evolve to shape around reported scenarios as they come through. But we hope these basic principles can support your protocols and keep you mentally and physically safely enjoying your journey!


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