Summer is approaching and that means the kids will be getting out of school, bathing suits come out of the closet, and you…will not be getting much work. It happens. There is this thought that no one wants to see a comedy show because the weather is so good. I talked about how it is pretty much a myth here, but if you think it is a thing and have to keep the money coming in so you can feed your slurpee diet, then I will tell you things that I have seen that work pretty well.
If you don’t have any shows lined up during the summer months and you want them, then you may have to line them up yourself! The summer is a great time to plan a tour. The weather is good, so you can drive to the snowy parts of the country, and because people are usually looking for spectacles during the warmer months (movies, concerts, monster rising from the ocean to devour a famous landmark), you can go and make a nice little chunk of money. Here is the thing though, you can’t aim for the big cities. You have to look toward the smaller towns in the country. Why? Because everyone ignores them. While all the bigger comedians are playing a show in a big theater in some fancy city with their fancy motor cars, you can be in a bar in a small town making a nice little bit of money because when the sun goes down, people still want to do stuff, so that means being there with your notebook full of cat jokes.
You can also try to diversify yourself, and target niche markets that you never thought of going after before. I have a number of shows during the summer that would be considered corporate gigs. I looked at retreats and ceremonies that may be happening and I put myself out there and I got a few bites from people that are looking to spice up that boring ass summer team building meeting you always see signs for in hotels when you are there to bang in the swimming pool. They pay pretty well, and depending where you have to go for the gig, they may be willing to pay for travel expenses (YAY!!). It’s not all bubble gum and hover boards though, you will have to be working in the PG or PG-13 area of content. Remember, these are stuffy suits, not cool ass trend setters like you, so if you want this work you might have to lay off the taint talk for a bit.
Both of the above methods of keeping money in your pocket this summer involve a lot of prior planning. I didn’t plan the stuff I got, it just worked out with the first couple then I started to move when I saw that it was a thing. Another method, that may not require as much work is starting up a show in your area. Try to make it a big deal. The old club here in town would close during the summer, but once or twice a month would put on a show and a lot of people would turn up and money was flowing like Pepsi through the streets. You can do the same thing. Do you have a comedy club nearby? Ask them if you can promote a show on one of there off nights. You may have to rent the room, but if you try to sell it as a great event, and an awesome way to get out of the sun for a bit, you may see a nice turnout. It beats having a bar give you a set amount because you may make enough money that those one nighters seem silly (for now at least).
If your area is having an event, then you could piggyback off that and produce a show. In Spokane, WA, there are a couple of events during the summer: Bloomsday and Hoopfest. Both of these days brings in a lot of people and when they are done running and breaking things on their body, they will want to be entertained. That is where you can slide in and help them. The amount of promoting will change because if you do a little footwork (maybe flyers where the event is going to take place) then you can have a nice turnout which means cold hard cash in your pockets.
I hope this helps you out. I had to suffer many summers before I got information and started seeing what other comedians were doing. If you are not a name where you can just go anywhere this summer and keep the lights on, give it a try and let me know how you do.