This world is filled with unscrupulous souls just waiting for unsuspecting people to get within their grasp so they can screw em. Show business is no exception. Lets discuss those uncaring bastards that call themselves comedians.
The thing about Predatory comedians is that they have a lot of potential victims because of just how weird comedy is. Every couple of months or so, there are a couple of new comedians hungry for stage time and fame, and that is when these assholes strike. It is just like any con game, they gain your trust and next thing you know you are traveling the state with a chainsmoker that isn’t paying you or buying gas just giving you “experience”. Now, there is a lot to be said for experience. That is the one thing you have to go out and get, but no matter what, there are less expensive ways to gain it. Lets go over some of the major traits of Predatory comedians.
Praise: Have you been doing comedy all of three months and someone is already coming up to you telling you that you are the best thing since slice bread? It could be it’s true! It could also be that they are just softening you up so they can use and abuse you later. This is usually the first step. They get you alone so none of the other comedians in the scene (who have seen them run their bull on others) can hear them talk you up. Be honest with yourself. If they are piling on the compliments when before they didn’t even talk to you, it could be that they are gearing up for the next step in their plan.
Promises they can’t keep: People are always working on stuff that just falls through. I do it all the time. The problem with these guys is that they make it too unbelievable. Have you been doing it a short time and now they say they can give you 500 bucks for one show somewhere way out into the future? Then what they are actually doing is setting your mind up to allow them to freeload off of you for a bit because you think you are getting a windfall in a couple of months. People do this all the time in more classic scams like the Nigerian Prince scam that we all know about by now. The old saying, “Too good to be true.” holds here.
Asking for favors really soon after meeting them: So you talked to the scumbag on Monday and on Thursday they are asking you to drive them out of town for a show and they promise stage time? That may be really cool…unless they are not splitting expenses with you. If anyone wants to mentor you that is cool, but don’t let someone take advantage of you with the promise of stage time in a bar somewhere. Besides going out on the road may do you more harm than good. You don’t want your mind destroyed at a bar show in the middle of nowhere only to then have to drive back home and pay for gas.
My best advice is to have your head about you. Understand that there is no “get famous quick” scheme in comedy. Those comedians that you see on TV have been doing it for years before they got to that point so you have to accept that your road may wind like others. Now, there is nothing wrong with going out on the road and gaining experience with cool comedians. It’s just that a normal, none douchebag comedian won’t make you pay for the gas and food just so you can do five minutes somewhere you didn’t even know existed. Women have to be extra careful because there are some pervs in the industry that will make it seem like all they want to do is nourish your comedy, when actually what they want to do is put their penis in you. Again, if you want to that is your thing. Just be careful, and have a fun.