Last week, I wrote a post about how Spokane (or similarly sized city) would make a great place to start your comedy career. As I said from that post, I would write a post about why it would not be a great place to begin your comedy career. Lets do it!
Limited Audience: A city like Spokane has about 250,000 people living in it (almost twice as much if you count the metropolitan populace). Out of that amount you have to start counting out certain groups, like people who don’t like stand-up or people to young to attend shows. That leaves you with an even smaller group of people in which to apply your trade. On a Saturday night, for example, only about 300-400 people are attending a comedy show in the area. Cities like New York or Chicago are seeing multiple times that many people.
Talent Pool: Spokane bleeds talent every year. Comedians get to a point where they feel as though they are stalling in their career and make the move to a larger city. This is one of the downsides to living in a town of this size. Just when the amount of talent in the city reaches a level where attention is drawn to it, enough people leave that it starts to effect shows. When your best comedians leave for greener pastures, the only comedians left may not be ready to get paid, but you have no choice sometimes but to put them up.
Small chance to make it BIG: Let’s face it. Spokane is not a destination for any of the late shows. No talent agent is going to Chan’s to look for a comedian to give a Netflix special to. That is why people go to NYC and LA and Chicago. You have a higher chance of being spotted or connecting with the right people and changing your life from just comedian on the side to full time comedian. No matter how cheap the rent is in Spokane, the possibility of making it trumps that every time.
Trapped in local material: There is a saying (one which I will be writing an article about soon) that goes: Local jokes get local work. Because Spokane and the surrounding area can be a comedy island, people tend to cater a little to much to the townsfolk and before you know it, you have a set that is basically all about Spokane and towns around it. That may work here, but once you go somewhere else, no one cares about how methed out Ritzville looks.
So, there you have it, some reasons why Spokane may not be the best place to start your career. I always like to give both sides to an argument, and I hope you will see both the good and the bad to being a comedian in Spokane. Remember, if you have the persistence and the talent, you can be a great comedian anywhere.