State of My Comedy Union

Well, I just did my round at the Magoobys Comedian of the Year Contest. It  could have gone better, but it could have gone a lot worse. I thought for certain that I would make the top 4 and move on to the finals, but it wasn’t in the cards this time.

I’m trying to stay optimistic and keep thinking how lucky I was just to get into the contest considering the fact that I was one of few in it that never actually won a monthly contest. I’ll email the owner in a few days to get his feedback on what I need to work on and then  I’ll plan my next attempt at cracking the code there.

Comedy clubs are a tough audience, and my material doesn’t always hit the average person as squarely as your typical “Relationships are hard, airplane food sucks” Type of stuff, but I always get laughs and I know I could  do well in a comedy club gig when I don’t have to worry about “winning.” I think I have material that would work for that crowd but I just haven’t figured out what it is yet. Besides, as a good comedy friend and quasi-mentor of mine has told me numerous times “those things don’t matter”

And that’s the truth. I’ve been told it by many other people from many areas of the business. Those things really don’t matter. If I’d been able to win the whole thing, I’d  have gotten some guaranteed gigs at the club along with 1000 bucks and an extra line to put under my name on flyers. Those things would maybe lead to new opportunities, but they aren’t guaranteed. There are no golden tickets, or overnight successes. No matter what, you have to put in the work and keep at it for years. I’ve even heard cases of guys who had a lot of early rapid success and then experienced a backlash that caused them to regress or stagnate, and 5 years later they ultimately didn’t end up much better off than their peers that started at the same time and worked their way up more gradually. In the end the only things I will really mourn in not winning is that it will take me a bit longer to pay off my credit card and I won’t be able to validate the time I spend working on comedy to my family by pointing to the accomplishment….

So What Now?

I have several performances this weekend to plan for and I’m definitely going to hit my goal of 100 performances in a year.

Saturday night I’ll do a 10 minute set amidst a bunch of musicians, at what I think will be a cabaret-ish type of show at a new venue called the Parlor…. My friend is hosting/ setting it up and she does a sort of comedy/ lounge singer parody act called “the Warren Sisters.”  I guess when she posted looking for acts to fill the bill they actually wanted music acts, but since she’s such a wonderful person she’s gonna let me do some comedy. I think it’ll be pretty great.

Sunday I should be able to hit two open mics that just started up across the street from each other before running up the highway to do a more curated gig as an opener for Seaton Smith, one of my favorite (formerly local) comics who’s been making big waves in NYC since he moved up there.

On Monday I’ll hit my usual Open Mic at Sidebar, and maybe even take in another new Mic that just started up across town last week.

And Tuesday will be the inaugural night of what will hopefully be a weekly or bi-monthly (haven’t decided yet) open mic that I’ll be co-hosting with my friend and What Weekly Contributor Ezra Lefko. This will be a great outlet for exploring longer bits, developing my hosting skills and showcasing more of my improvisational and crowd work skills. We’re trying to let it all develop organically, but we’re also talking about starting a monthly booked variety show if the open mic does well.

On top of all that I made a “Pilot” for a web video series that has gotten some good feedback, so I’m gonna try to make it a regular thing, and I’ve got a few other projects in the works  that I’ve recieved positive reactions to and I feel really positive will actually get some traction and take off in the next year. More on those later as they materialize.

Disclaimer: When I say “pilot” I mean that I improvised and recorded a
25 minute webcam video that I edited to a 5 minute video
and posted on Facebook.

When I say “good feedback” I mean that some people liked it
and shared it with others on FB, then some people (including my
mom… and she never lies or coddles me) shared some postive thoughts with me about it,
and then several people I encountered while out and about,
mentioned how much they liked it to me without me even
asking them… so yeah

AND Last Comic Standing is coming back this summer too, so that will be a wonderful opportunity… to stand in a really long line for a really long time.

So all in all, I think I’m in good shape.

It’s a marathon not a sprint