Sometimes, I just name these blog post after things I want to search for in google images. Today…it was badgers.
Someone linked this blog to reddit and it BLEW UP (relatively speaking)! almost 500 views this week. That is a two month span for me normally. I don’t know who it was, but I have always wanted to put this up there to see if someone else would like to read it, but reddit…scares the shit out of me. Yeah, it’s a great place to go to see funny memes, but I don’t want to wander into /r/coontown and have my faith in humanity destroyed.
Since it’s so slow comedy wise in the area, I think a lot of comics just decide to stay home. I think this is a mistake. If you are still developing an act, I think you should still be going to open mics and working it out, that way when the shows pop up again you will be ready. Nothing bothers me more than watching a comic disappear for 3-4 months and then show up when they think there is money to be made in comedy in the area only to not get any of that work because they “lost” it. I don’t even know why it bothers me. It’s a simple system here in the area: The one club in Spokane has an open mic. The people looking for work get up and try to impress the runner of the club enough to get him to pay them. The problem comes when you have been floating the river for 3 months and decide to come back and do comedy…you are not sharp like you are if you have been doing it at least every so often. So when the club runner sees you up there with the same stuff he knows you are not ready. This also applies to independent shows that take place during that same time. Comics put other comics they have seen lately on their shows. If they haven’t seen your ass in forever they are not putting you on.
I get it. No one wants to do a show in front of 6 people when they can be drinking beer in their backyards. The weather is great and no one wants to come inside. If this is what you want to do though, you have to be willing to sacrifice that extra couple of hours to work your material in front of those 6 people. When I was just starting out I went to every open mic, even if it wasn’t really a comedy open mic. I performed in front of small crowds and crowds that didn’t want to hear jokes. Why? So I can work on my material, so when it does come time to perform I got my shit down. People work and have children, and that is fine, but you also can’t complain when you aren’t just being handed paid work. My kid used to hate it when I had to leave to get to the open mic, but I did it because I wanted to at least try and be good at it. You get what you put in…I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
What I have been seeing lately though is this is just par for the course in Spokane. I think there is a little self defeat in most of the comics (and businesses) working in the area. They feel as though they are on an island that will never be visited so they just slack off until they hear that something is happening. Life doesn’t work like that though. That is why it is so easy to tell the people that want it and the people that don’t in this town. The people that do want it, show up to empty rooms or rooms that can chew your ass up, and they work on their stuff and they eventually leave because they realize that everyone here is just mailing it in. Then you have the people that bring the same shit they have been doing for three years on stage and they don’t write and they don’t try new things. All they do is sit around talking shit about why one comic got on a show and they didn’t.
I have been lining up more photography gigs and it is basically covering the lost income from the lack of shows during the summer. The thing is I never thought about photography as a money making venture. I just wanted something to record my YouTube videos and the next thing you know I am doing people’s head shots.
I submitted my application to be in the San Francisco comedy competition. I will find out in August if I was accepted. A part of me wants to go do it (exposure), but another part of me (the part that hates competitions) really wants to avoid these things. It is not cheap to spend a week in San Fran. Hotel, food, hookers, that all adds up. When I did the Seattle competition, there were people that were basically hobos for that week. I want to be more prepared than that. I want to have a comfortable place to stay and relax and focus on the task at hand. The task of world domination.