So, you have been beating your head against the wall trying to get into your local club (other than at their open mic nights), and now you think you should produce your own shows. Not so fast power ranger! There are a lot to take in before you start performing in the corner of your friend’s bar.
The Proposal: You can’t just walk into a bar and say, “Give me 9,000 to perform here!”. You have to be prepared to answer questions and dampen expectations. You have to understand the business in which you will be intruding upon. They will look at it like this: Will I get a return on my investment? These are businesses, not charities. If you are charging an amount they can’t possibly make back then they will not want to do it. How many people can the bar hold…comfortably. If you want the show to be a success, you have to ensure that everyone can enjoy it. If you have 30 people standing, that is the area in the room that is gonna get loud and cause a distraction to all the other audience members. When you speak to the manager or owner of the place, you have to make sure they understand that just because you put a show on in their establishment doesn’t mean they will get a new customer base. The people that come into their place of business will be there for between one and half and three hours and that is when they have to sell their product to them. After that those people may never come back there again. Don’t tell them that they are going to make X amount of money. You can’t guarantee that and that will make it seem like you lied to them if they don’t. Let them know your job is to keep them there and their job is to sell their product.
Comedians: If you are planning a long term comedy spot, then you have to have a stable of comedians. If you live in a place with a small comedian pool, it may do you well to reach out and see if you can wrangle comedians that may be passing through, or looking to pick up extra work. The last thing you want to do is have the same comedians come through time after time. I have seen so many comedy spots rot and die away because the producer had such a small group of comedians to choose from that people were no longer interested.
Other Tidbits: Start on time! Don’t have people waiting for that imaginary audience. When you are talking price, make sure it is enough to attract people to the gig. If you charge too little, only the people in the immediate area will be able to do it, leading to your running out of comedians quickly. Try to get enough money to invest in advertising. That extra money could mean a couple more butts in seats. And finally, always remember to have fun! You are performing and getting paid! Enjoy it!