Business Is Personal

Unlike most art forms, comedy is completely subjective.  In music, if you can’t hit the notes you aren’t a good singer.  If your face can’t show some emotion then you can’t act.  Comedy isn’t like that, but that doesn’t stop people from attempting to make it so.  I mean yes, you can talk about stage techniques and things of that nature, but that can be incorporated into your act.  What some think is funny some find it stupid.  One person could love religious material and another could hate it.  So, the business of comedy is this way as well.

Unless you are producing your own shows, the only way you are getting work is through a comedy booker.  If that booker doesn’t like anything about you, you are not getting any work through them.  They could not like your material or your stage presence or the shape of your head, all of that could contribute to not getting employed through them.  The thing you have to remember is that you can’t take it personal.  It is really easy to take this stuff personal.  Writing jokes (at least to me) is like letting people inside some of the dirty things you write in your journal at night.  If people say they don’t like it then what they are saying is that they don’t like what makes you a person (not really, but you know what I mean).  The same could be said for someone that writes a song and then everyone pans it.  It was a personal song to them that is getting trashed.  It is hard not to take things like that personal.

I was trying to get with a comedy agency about a year ago.  I contacted a lot of these guys and got one response that said that I was not at the level for them to pick me up as a client.  I felt really bad for about 15 minutes.  Then I realized the business aspect of this.  Why would they spend time on me, someone that isn’t well enough known, has no TV credits and has only been doing comedy in about two regions of the country their entire career?  They want something easier.  These big agencies are not in the business of developing people.  They are the major leagues. I am still in Double A (that was a baseball reference I hope you got it).

I have been thinking about moving ever since I got out of college.  I feel as though my talents are being wasted doing one open mic a week.  Whenever I am in Seattle I take it all in and I am really thrilled at the results.  I have a lot of comedy friends who tell me that I should move and get as far away from Spokane as possible.  That is easier said than done.  I have a daughter here.  I have a girlfriend who has a career and a family here.  It isn’t just me anymore.  When I make this decision I am actually making a decision for 4 other people as well.  My daughter and I have been seeing each other and I enjoy that.  I love my girlfriend.  These are not things you can just duplicate in another city.  That is why my actions have been a lot slower than others.  If it were just me, I would have been over there as soon as I got my degree and be done with Spokane.  Until I can make a move, I will cherish the weekly open mic.

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