In the past few years i have seen my fair share of good and bad shows. Hell I've had my share of good and bad shows. Here is where it gets tricky....... You see it is a subjective thing to like one persons type of humor and you can''t make everyone happy. BUT!!!! You should be able to make most of the room happy OR at least smirk during you show. I love it when performers say well they just didn't get me or I was to edgy. Maybe it's because you sucked. You see failure makes you try harder and change the way you are doing things. Dellusion makes you stay the same path over and over whilst everyone around you listens to your stories of success and where you are working and with who. Great! My opinion is we all start somewhere but the difference with this business is some people can Never really ever say that they are not ready for this or that yet. What I mean by that is..... Just because you have rode in the front seat of a plane doesn't mean that you can fly a commercial jet. If you are a open mic'er you shouldn't be doing corporate gigs "Yet".
But Why I kill at Open Mics and the last Guest Spot I did?
Here is why in a nutshell. That last "GIG" you "Killed" at was a crowd that had a vested interest in being there. They had a idea that comedy was going to happen at some point. Therefore they are ready to laugh, Does that make a difference? Yes, just imagine walking into a group of people that are at a event talking about old times and then someone that they know says, "Hey everyone please be quiet while this Comic tries to make us laugh." HOLY SHIT is that what they Say???? NO! But I assure you that is what some people at that corporate event hear. You better have more then your 30 minutes of tried and true stuff cause if not...... You are about to get a lesson. See that first 10 minutes better grab some attention because you lose them fast, Oh by the way as you stumble and stutter thru material that you thought would kill... REMEMBER ya better keep it clean. Well heck a few people told me to be dirty. Yes, they may also be the same people that hate the manager or the boss and are trying to shake up the Holiday party. Now half way thru the show you notice people stop watching you and carry on normal conversations at their table. What Now!!!! Swear More to get their attention... Genius! After that show that you got paid for and did terrible at what is your conscious saying? Is it saying " Wow I'm not ready for those yet." or
" Thanks goodness the pay was good cause that crowd sucked." This is where you need to check yourself. Sure the money is good, just like pay for Management or Seniority at a job, Those people make the better pay because they have EARNED and PUT IN THE TIME to get it. Have YOU!!!! Every other Thursday doing sets in front of friends doesn't mean you have.
Who Cares If I do Bad at a Corporate Gig?
If that is a question you honestly wonder well then here is your answer, Bluntly!!! I Fricken DO as does the other Comics who MAKE a LIVING performing. You see we have taken the one nighters in the middle of nowhere that we drove to thru snow and ice only to get paid a measly amount then drive to the next one because lodging wasn't included. Better yet we pay ALL of our BILLS with the income we earn from these gigs. Here is where the biggest problem comes into play. Ever had a bad sandwich or experience at a restaurant and not wanted too ever go back? Guess What! That is what happens when someone stinks up a Corporate Gig..... They look at is as not a good idea for next year or the money goes way down because some comic came in last year and talked about sex or Masturbation and the owner's wife was appalled. Trust me it happens! That is a huge problem when it happens. You see it doesn't help anyone out in the profession you want to succeed in. It actually hurts the ones that thrive on those gigs and have honed their skills to be a great Corporate entertainer.
Well They Chose me over you so not my Fault?
That is a great point and glad you were thinking it. * Some of you were Thinking it* Well did they choose Price or Product. More then likely they went with price and NOT product. Then to that I say to the person that saved money for the company. " They also just got a education." Next time they may be better served to spend a little more or at the least do some research on the Performer they gave the keys to fly the Jet. Why not get Minute Steak instead of Prime Rib for the dinner while you are saving money, Sites like GIGmasters, Etc.... all have one thing in mind, booking the gig so they get paid. They don't care how good the Performer is all they care about is there percentage of the take. And when you are booking it are you looking for the least amount to pay, If so remember you get what you pay for, If your job depended on it would you take the lower amount and hope it went well. JUST SO YOU KNOW!!!!! My Job Does Depend on IT going Well? This is what I do to make a living. I CARE deeply about how well your group is entertained as do the other Performers that make a living at this. WE have the mentality " That if it is to be its up to me!"
Why So Angry?
It is not anger it is just something that needs to be said. If you asked most professional comics these things I spoke about you would more then likely get the same answers, I don't hate other comics and want them to fail.... Precisely the opposite. This job is hard and not for everyone. You realize when it is your source of income that you better not suck..... I have complete respect for any performer that earns there living doing what they love. My point was for the Corporate Bookers to know that here is what you are paying for in that check for the Show.
- Years of Travel on the road
- Miles upon miles on vehicles
- Time away from loved ones
- Time crafting their comedy
- A portion going to their income taxes
- Food, Mortgage, Insurance, Kids
- Sound Equipment, Gas,
- Psychiatrist, Anxiety Medication
- ETC >>>>
Some Comics may read this and think what a Jerk! Well am I, or am I just telling it like it is. I once was scheduled to Headline the Des Moines FunnyBone on a off night. To which I thought "Hell YES". Well after speaking to some one who shall remain nameless, he told me I was not ready for it "YET." Now, I could of taken this one of two ways. 1. I'm booked already and he doesn't know what he is talking about so I'm doing it. OR 2. Hmmm, Maybe he was right and I am not ready to do this yet.
I Choose #2 and it was hard to swallow my pride and call them and ask if I could feature instead of headline on that day. I will say this that it was some of the best advice I ever got in this business, WHY? It made me work harder at my craft. Write better material. And most important it kept me from never working that club again. If I would of went in and sucked I would of probably never had the opportunity to headline there again. So with hard work and continued improvement I have been able to headline Funny bones. I took that as a great learning experience in my career and I still learn new things all the time about this business. To all of you in this Crazy Business..... Stay Safe and Happy Holidays!