Listen to my kid try her best NPR impression. Thanks!!
Listen to my kid try her best NPR impression. Thanks!!
Like most comedians at this level, my goals are simple. I want more work! The problem is that this time of year, a lot of people will make goals, but not have any way of knowing how to get to those goals. It’s like wanting to lose weight, but not thinking about how to do that. When I set goals for myself, I try to think of the steps necessary to get there. All of my goals are not comedy related, but they do help me do more of what I love.
More sketches: The comedy scene as a whole started doing more sketches thanks to Steven Tye and Tom Meisfjord. What that did, was give comics another outlet to let their comedy thrive. I believe that doing more than just stand-up can help your stand-up. You will be able to act out more of your material because you have been working on sketch stuff more. My problem is that I tend to wait until someone else gets the sketch together. Going forward, I plan on writing and filming my own sketches. Hell, I have all the stuff. All I have to do is work on getting people, or, I can just do sketches with my child because she is mine and she can’t drive anywhere.
Leave Spokane more: I did this a lot this past year. I went to New York in March and LA in September. Leaving the place you do comedy the most, helps you get a sense of what is going on in other comedy scenes. Going to Portland and watching what happens and seeing what happens in NYC gives you a more full view of what comedians are doing to entertain people in their areas. It also helps you cull a lot of stuff out of your material and I think that makes you a better comic. It’s kinda like traveling the world. You get a sense of the whole.
Write more: These past couple of years, I have been getting lazier and lazier with my writing. Most of the time I don’t even write anything I walk up on stage with something and go from there. It gives me a rush to just wing it, but when I get off stage I feel as though I didn’t get the most out of everything I said up there. I will try to look my material over more and find places where I can add extra lines, and what that should do is get more funny out of each joke.
More acting auditions: I like acting, but where I live it is not easy to get those parts, unless they want a thug or body guard. I think I will actively go out and look for more acting, and I think that will help me complete another goal of getting out of Spokane more. I am registered to a couple of acting sites that send out request for people, but what I plan to do is actively look for things I can do and go out and try to get it.
Contact more bookers: Instead of saying: Get more shows, I want to actually get in with more bookers and people getting shows off the ground. Just saying get more shows doesn’t say anything about the work involve. What this goal will entail is actually talking to my comedy friends and seeing who I can get in contact with as far as work is concern. This also might mean taking shows that are not the best financially so I can show the booker that I am up to the task. This also means getting more involved with emailing bookers and getting my package out there for eyes. It sounds easy, but just getting the email to some of these guys is hard.
Record another CD: What I did a couple of weeks ago, I want to do again, but with my more edgier material. That means a little more written material, but I do have a lot of blue material that I don’t do as often. I want to take all that material that I don’t do all the time, and get it on a CD.
Get my current CDs onto satellite radio: I have two CDs now and I am on streaming services, but what I want to do is get them played on satellite radio. They have many different comedy channels on there, and I think I can get one, or even both of them played on there. All that means is sending them out and hoping that they will get picked up. I know some contacts, but I would like to do it without bothering my friends.
More festivals: I got into Laughfest in Boise Idaho at the start of the year. I don’t want that to be all I do. I am going to enter as many as possible. That gets my name out there more, which is hard to do when you are in Spokane. I have noticed that I get a lot of independent work by just doing my damn thing and talking to people along the way. The best way to do that is to go to where the comics are.
I hope you have goals set for yourself for the future. The key is to set your expectations accordingly. don’t set a goal of getting on last comic standing. Maybe set a goal of getting an agent first and then working on last comic standing. See ya next year!
Look, comedians are a cynical bunch. We watch the world and point out it’s flaws. So, if you are trying to become a comedian, it is common to have to hang out with a lot of these cynical comedians, and it is easy to fall into a hole of negativity. Comedy can be very depressing. You get up and have to work out these jokes that may not hit like you think they will. You can feel pressure from your family that think pursuing comedy is not a good way to spend your life. Not to mention the fact that almost every comic wants to be on TV and they will look at who they see on TV and compare themselves to them. I think we should talk about ways to stay positive.
I have visited small comedy scenes and large comedy scenes and for the most part there is the same level of negativity. Now the negativity can come from many different angles. From badmouthing to actual sabotage. Here is an example: There is a twitter feed that is operated by a guy in Seattle that does nothing but badmouth a couple of comedians. This does nothing to help their career and it makes the scene look petty.
The easiest way to stay positive in these kind of negative environments is to just ensure you are surrounding yourself with positive people. I try to hang out with people that have the same goals as me. It would not help me to be around people that don’t get off their ass to get what they want. I want to be around people that are always working to write a better joke and they want to work their way to a point where they can do this for a living. I also try to stay away from too much of the badmouthing and gossip. It is hard because sometimes you want to know who is banging who, or who stole a Carlos Mencia joke. The thing is that that type of behavior invites you to add to it.
It is hard to stay positive, I will admit. Sometimes I look at my calendar and I don’t see a show for long stretches of time and I get frustrated. Sometimes I don’t feel as though I have done enough to get to where I want to be at this point in my career. The thing is that I would rather internalize that instead of spreading it out so everyone else is as miserable as I am. What I try to do is honestly evaluate myself to see if it is me that is causing the problems. The thing is that if you have positive people around you they will help you see that easier. Merry Christmas and thanks for reading!
That is the only way to explain how he has so much money to buy kids all these damn gifts. He gives everyone what they want so the law will stay off his ass. He learned it from Oprah.
I haven’t done many of these Wednesday posts recently. I don’t even know why. I was busy a couple of times that I forgot to do one, but the other times I was just playing video games and being a slacker. I have also not been posting the photos of the week, but that may be because I was a little too under the weather to take pictures during the week.
The podcast is doing really well. I get about 70 listens a month, which is more than I expected. Podcast are not really a popular thing, and I am not a popular personality, so having anyone listen is a great thing. I enjoy doing the podcast. I feel like a radio jockey. You don’t know who is listening to your insanity, but you spew it out there anyway.
The Kid and I have been spending a lot of time together, and I enjoy it a lot. When I look at her I can see her mom in her facial features. It is weird seeing your DNA walk around and talk to you. She has her mom’s mannerisms and my dad’s temper.
My birthday is coming up and the only thing about birthdays that is cool is that people tend to give you free stuff. That is all. I don’t drink. I don’t want to celebrate the fact that I am too old to be the backup QB for the Greenbay Packers. I just want the gift cards.
If you have to get a gift for a comedian it could be a daunting task. You may not want to get them something that will just be inspiration for a joke down the road. Well, I ( with a lot of help from the Spokane comedy community check us out here ) compiled a list of gift ideas for the comic in your life. No matter what stage they are at in their career, I believe they will thank you for these gifts.
The Moleskine: Comics love carrying around notebooks with all their premises and jokes. If you get them some of these nice quality notebooks, they will thank you. Oh, I have added links to where you can get these. Don’t worry, I am not getting paid for it if you click.
An audio recorder: The picture above is of the Zoom H1 which is around 99 bucks. There are cheaper ones out there, but this one has such great audio quality for the price. An audio recorder for a comedian is a great choice because you can replay your set and hear an accurate record of the show. Did that joke really bomb, or was it because someone yelled something right before you said the punchline? Now they will know.
A smartphone mic: The picture above is of the Rode VideoMic Me. You don’t have to get this one (which retails for about 60 bucks), but it is a great choice for the minimalist comedian in your life. They can slap this on their smartphone, start up an audio recording app, and you have a recording. They can also use them for video recordings where their smartphone is the best camera they have, and now they can have great sound as well.
A tripod: You can use a nice table top tripod to get your recorder or camera off the table (or out of your friends shaky ass hands) so you don’t have to hear, or see, every time someone shakes the table. The one in the picture is a gorilla pod, and I like these because you can wrap the legs around almost anything and still get a good recording.
An iTunes giftcard: Make sure you find out what kind of phone or service they are dealing with. If they have an android phone get them a google play giftcard, and if they have a windows phone, get them professional help. They can use these for a ton of things. When I am in a hotel room trying not to blow money, I will rent a movie from iTunes and chill out.
A batterypack: If they are traveling all over the place, then this is a great gift. I selected the Anker brand because it is the brand I use. With this bad boy they don’t have to be chained to an outlet.
There were other gift ideas that I think a comedian would enjoy, like a subscription to Adobe CC, but that can be pretty pricey. It is really useful though, if they are the type that does their own promotions. Another great subscription idea is Evernote Premium. Evernote is a note taking program, that works on anything. Their is a free option, but with premium, you can download the notes that you took, and have them updated on everything you use to write jokes with.
Well, I hope this will give you some great ideas for the comedian in your life. There is one gift you can give them that doesn’t cost anything and is always welcomed. Support. It is tough enough to go out there and pursue your dreams, it is even harder when they people closest to you don’t give a damn about what it is you are passionate about. Just go to a show every once in awhile. Share their show details on social media. These tiny things means a lot to the struggling comics out there. Thanks for reading!