Photo Of The Week: 5-29-15

Taken before a show in Seattle  

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Koala Bear Stew

I used to have a stuffed koala bear that I pretended to go on adventures with.  I had a theme song and everything.  I don’t know what happened to that thing.  Probably got taken by one of my thieving fucking cousins.

I went over to Seattle to do a show.  It was in a really cool bar.  They had books.  I like reading material when my friends are getting wasted and getting closer to the devil.  I didn’t have to do to much time.  I was a little off in the beginning, but I pulled it off in the long run.  I hate going up with recently written jokes and trying to pull them off.  I had a unicorn joke that worked really well.  So I feel accomplished.

I didn’t have a lot of time to do other stuff.  After visiting the camera stores like I usually do, I had a big ass headache.  I think it was from the smell of one of the damn camera stores.  It smelled like a cougar came inside and pissed on everything.  I need to get out and do more photography in the city.  I hate having to park my car and having to trek around, which is what you have to do to take photos of stuff. I can see the irony.

I had a discussion with a local comic and we both agreed that Spokane comedy has a problem with worth.  There are a lot of comics in the area that are working for little to no pay and I think that gives a perception that the work we put out isn’t really good.  People look at me like I am a weirdo because I want to get paid for my work.  I think it is the other way around.  Comics should not do their work for nothing.  For instance, I was asked to do a show at the Bing for a group called “Friends of the Bing”  it is a non-profit group that puts on shows there.  The problem is every show I have been involved with that also involved them, has been a loosing proposition for all of the talent.  Take a guess on who got paid though?  Why should everyone else get paid except the reason people are even there?  The people who work the lights get paid.  The people that work the sound get paid.  Why can’t I get paid?  I expressed that to the person that was tasked with wrangling talent for the group and I don’t think he really understood what I was getting at.  I think it comes from the perception that the city isn’t known for comedy and these guys are not confident in their abilities.  So they go into these places and when the owner doesn’t cave to there commands of some sort of payment they flip and next thing you know they are running a show for free or they are putting on shows and no one is getting money.

That is another reason I try to stay out of the comedy scene.  I used to go to these shows and when I would talk to the comics none of them were getting paid much if at all.  The place would be packed and people are buying food and drinks, but the reason they were even there weren’t getting any money. That really turned me off to a lot of the stuff that is going on in the city.  I can understand an open mic not getting money, but if you are putting on a show on a Friday or Saturday the comics should be compensated. There doesn’t have to be a cover.  If they bar wants to give you a set amount then that is fine.  These places have to have something invested or they will not respect it.  I have done shows where the bar didn’t put up any signage.  Hell, they won’t even turn the TVs off!  Why? because they don’t respect it because they have nothing invested.  The moment the money is coming out of their damn pockets is the moment the flyers go up and the bar staff will be informing the customers of what’s going on.  It is a problem with almost all of the guys that got their start in Spokane.  They get to a point where they can get paid and they will just accept anything. Now, you will have to do shows sometimes for little to no money, but that is in an attempt to get something out of it.  They don’t seem to be doing that.

I want to do a short film with my daughter.  Just a little something.  Not even speaking.  I still don’t know what she is going to do.  All I got so far is her waking up in a park or something and then trying to find her way home.  Hell, it’s an excuse to play outside with my kid.

I really want an electric bike.  Or a scooter. scooters get the ladies.  Ladies love scooters.

This Is 100.

This is the 100th post of this blog.  It has had it’s ups and downs, but recently it has been mainly ups.  I started this blog way back when as just a blog.  It had no purpose really.  Just me rambling about stuff that no one wanted to read.  It was a way for me to write without feeling like I had to finish something. If you look back before 2014, it was a random mess.  There would be some post here and some post there, but it was not consistent.  A good friend, Tory Kirby, told me I should write at least weekly, and so I made an effort to do just that.  I can’t believe I was able to do it every week for that long though.  I usually get bored of things and move on to other stuff.

The reason I made the blog more about comedy than my life is that my life and comedy intermingle. They are one and the same.  My life is in the pursuit of the next stage, the next joke, the next laugh, so it made sense to write about comedy.  I made it more of an aid for comics in my position mainly because that is what a lot of them were looking for.  That does put you in a weird position though.  I am not a Kevin Hart or a Chris Rock.  I am a guy that gets maybe 3-4 shows a month.  I am like a lot of guys on that cusp of getting regular work, but haven’t gotten there yet.  So I dispense wisdom from what I know and seen.  I have seen guys that have made it and I have seen guys that are not working in comedy anymore.  That is all I can do.  I never try to be something in these posts that I am not.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I started writing this on a consistent basis.  I am surprised with the readers of the blog.  I doubt anyone of any statue in comedy would read my scribbles, but I feel as though it is a nice thing to have for the guy that has time and ambition and wants to make a go of comedy as a profession.  Everyone looks at the big comic, but it is the middle level guys that make up the majority of the profession.  These are the guys that come to your town on a weekly basis to tell yuk yuks and sell merch.  If you want to get to that level then I can tell you my observations and what I have done.  I hope it helps people that may have questions to stuff, but have no one to turn to for answers.

I started to expand the blog recently to allow for a more traditional post where I talk about other things and I have even started throwing up pictures from the week.  This is all in an attempt to people and entertain them mainly when they are at work and want a couple of minutes of something else.

What is in store for the next 100 posts?  I will continue to take adventures to other comedy scenes and I will scope them out and bring them back here for you all.  I will take pictures of random things and I will have more pictures of pandas strewn about the place.

There are also things that I want to change about the blog as well.  I will do a better job of proof reading my writings.  I will also try to make it more light hearted.  I will also have more pictures of pandas.  This is certain.

I hope you have enjoyed the musings of a guy that has a dream like every other person on this planet. I hope that with the more experience I gain, the more wisdom I can jot down for your entertainment.

Tie Dyed Nipple Clamps

Ok, I will come clean before we go any further…I don’t even know what the titles means.  I didn’t know what to call this week’s post.  I’m sorry if you came here to see nipple clamps that have been tie dyed. You are on the internet and you are an adult…you are used to disappointment.

This spring has been the most lucrative of my career.  Lots of private shows and big pay out shows.  This only means one thing:  I won’t get another gig until 2016.  You have to be ready for the drought.  If you are trying to be a comedian and you blow every nickel that comes your way you will see very quickly that the 3-4 months where you aren’t getting substantial work will be even worse.

I think I am gonna crank up the podcast this Friday.  Because of the nature of my podcast, I can’t record episodes ahead of time.  I can’t predict what movie or book will be number 1.  So I am thinking of releasing the podcast on Saturdays, or Friday afternoons.  Whichever I can swing.

I haven’t been out in the comedy scene as much as I used to be.  It’s not because I don’t like it.  I enjoy the comedians and everything I just feel a burden that is misplaced.  Like I am a bother to everyone else there.  Like this past Monday I hosted the comedian debates and every time I touched the mic I felt like I was just being a dick.  It’s a weird feeling feeling like a douche, but it was there.

The Chrysler has seen better days.  I have put a lot of money into making it better, but it still needs work.  I have a mistrust of mechanics.  They know stuff that I don’t know, so that means they can screw me over.  I am thinking about just trading it in for something newer, but I am also cheap as hell so I am trying to find that balance between new and not driven to the ground.  I mean if I just want a 2009-10 then I can get one.  If I want one with less that 90k miles that is a different story.  Where the hell are these people driving?  Narnia?  I saw a 2014 with 120k miles on it.  It must have belonged to an insurance agent or some car rental place.  I don’t want that.  I know with my credit I can’t walk into a dealership and get a brand new car (I wouldn’t want one anyway), but I don’t want something that can’t get me to my shows.

My daughter sang her solo last night and it was great.  She sung “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera.  She souled it up a little bit.  That is a black trait.  She makes me want to do better.  I feel like so far I have failed her.  The older she gets the more I can feel her not wanting to be around me.  That may be a manufactured feeling, but I feel it all the same.

I think I have written enough.  See you Friday!!

 

Should You Put Your Sets On YouTube

Comics who start out in the area usually ask me this.  I think we all want to appeal to a ton of people and gain a ton of fans and stuff, but in the end it can do more harm than good.  There are times when you absolutely need to have your video online and there are times when you would be best served to just leave it for your private consumption.

Let’s go over scenarios first.  If you just started out and don’t really have much material it is probably best to keep it off the internets.  If you want your friends and family to check out your stuff then you can upload it and set it to private and send them a link to it.  If you are thinking that it will attract tons of fans and start you on the path to stardom then it may not work out like that for you.  The internet is already awash with cat videos, and videos of dudes falling out of trees, and even more important to us comics: other, more well known comedians.  See you have to think of it like this:  If people are looking at videos they have to go through all the videos of people punching a shark or getting ran over by someone in an electric scooter.  If they are specifically looking for stand up then it is even less likely that people will see your video and decide to watch that when they can watch a clip of a comedian they have seen on television and movies.  Now, if they do happen across your video because you have an interesting topic or something, then you have that person judging material that you may not have worked out properly.  In truthfulness, I put up videos that have jokes that I stumbled across while at an open mic, but I watch it to make sure that it is something that I would laugh at.  If you are just starting out and it is one of your first sets, it doesn’t show you in a great light.  People won’t know that that is your third time on stage, and even then because it is the internet and everyone on the internet is a cumsock (patent pending…) they will ridicule your material and you, and that may hurt your confidence way to early (let comedy naturally destroy it).

Ok.  You have been doing it longer than three weeks and you have some material that you want on the YouTubes (I calls it what I wants).  Maybe you want to see if you can get a bunch of views and a tv deal. Well, the tip here is don’t put your entire set up there!  I see so many comedians put their entire 10 minutes on YouTube as if it will help people come out and see you.  The key with YouTube for a comedian is to entice people to come purchase the product.  That means getting them to come see you live.  You aren’t getting anything out of it if they can see your entire show from the comfort of their cell phone.  If you have 5 minutes that you want to put online think about just 2 or 3 minutes. That way the person looking at it will want to see more of you and may just come see you live instead.  What I do is if I have a set recorded that I want to put online then I will find a good section of jokes or maybe just one joke and throw that up there with a screen showing my information.  That way if they like what they see they can come check more of me out.

The final scenario is the person that wants to feature or headline and they get work and just want it mostly for promotional purposes.  First off, give me some of your contacts…I’m begging you man!..er…The same as above applies, you want to tease the audience, but now you have to have a clip or two of your material for potential bookers.  I have several videos on my YouTube page that I send out with my promo package.  If you want to read my post on the video submission just go here.  The key here is to have a video that shows your best side.  If you are trying to get booked with a cruise line then you should not send them a video clip of your pretending to fist a mermaid.  You may want to show the family friendly side of your show.  I have a normal clip where I say the word shit (not just the word shit, there are jokes splattered about) and I send that to clubs and bookers that book those types of rooms where language isn’t that big a deal.  When I am sending stuff off for tv and stuff, I send them my set where I am not cursing.  I have a 3 minute video and a 10 minute video.  This came about because of necessity. I was sending my 3 minute video out to bookers and a couple of them asked for more. I then had to find 10 minutes and I will send them that one if they request it.  The reason I have 3 minutes instead of 5?  I don’t know.  I think that was the stuff I wanted to showcase and I know that these guys aren’t watching an entire 10 minute video.  On the off chance that they are…I got em.

I hope I didn’t come across as pessimistic about putting your material up online for the world to view. There are instances where comics have had their material stolen because they had a good premise and a joke that showed promise, only to have someone in another part of the country snatch it and fix the things that would have probably been fixed naturally and then they watch comedy central to see some guy do their stuff word for word.  When I started putting videos up there no one told me what to do because all of this stuff was still new.  I would put material up and have it shredded to pieces. I wasn’t ready to have that material represent me!  It was online though so it showed anyone looking at comedy my sorry ass telling jokes about drop kicking santa or some dumb shit and that will leave an impression on people.  Now what I do is if I have a bit that I want up, I will put it up there and put in the description that it was from an open mic.  I also stopped putting stuff online that I didn’t really like after watching it again.  Now, I may just be a jaded comic.  I only have about 6k views on my channel. You may fare better.  I hope you do.  I don’t want to see anyone fail, I just want you to understand that it isn’t as harmless as you think.