I have been on the road for a while and will be for the next fews. I took a few days off to recharge from some amazing (and sold out) shows in Arizona before headed to Oklahoma City this week, then Michigan and DC. Since things opened up again, I never took 3 days off in a row until this week. I needed it.
I am happy to announce that I get to headline one of my favorite clubs Zanies Comedy Club for the first time in a couple weeks, right here in Chicago (well Rosemont).
Last year, I headlined Zanies in Old Town Chicago and it sold out. I hope to do the same with this one. So please get your tickets and I hope to see you all there. Spread the word.
Do Comedians have any pre-show rituals or superstitions?
I can't speak for other comedians but I really don't have a pre-show ritual, other than listening to my prior sets while I travel to the shows (plane or car). I also will always try to watch my host and the comedian before me to get a feel for the crowd. I also won't eat 90 minutes before my set, which explains why I am so hungry right when I get off stage.
I also try to have a sugar free Red Bull before each show, but lately, I need to cut back as 10+ red bulls a week is not very healthy. I am down to five a week!
As for superstitions, I won't wear the same shoes two nights in a row. Ever. Even on the road, I pack an extra pair of shoes so this never happens. And I will always wear sneakers for shows, even if I have a show in a formal setting (I have a good sneaker game). Maybe it is fro years of wearing dress shoes to court as a lawyer but I just don't wear dress shoes on stage.
And I will never wear competing sock brands with shoes. So if I wear Nike shoes, I have to wear Nike socks. Neutral socks are okay with shoes but Adidas socks with Nike. NO EFFEN WAY!
What about you? Do you have any? #formerlawyer #standupcomedy #rituals
This is something I am often asked and the truth is I don't always know. For me, it mostly comes from my own personal experiences.
I know when something happens to me that is eventful, I try to make it into a story or "catalog" it for later use. For example, I was a victim of ransomeware years ago and, at the time, it was very stressful, but so many funny things happened when I was "negotiating" with my captors that I knew right away, I would have a joke sometime. A few years later, it became a staple of my set. Other times, I will remember a story from years ago and tell it to friends or other comedians to see if there is something funny in a personal experience that was usually sad or traumatic to me years ago. Often, if I am dealing with something stressful too, I make it into a joke, just for me to cope with it. Comedy is "tragedy plus time" after all.
More often, something random will happen to me or I will overhear something that I personally think is funny and I write it down or post it on Twitter or Facebook to see if others agree. If it gets a lot of traffic or likes, I explore to see if it can be a joke.
Lately, I have also been open to new, outside my comfort zone, experiences, thinking that even if I don't enjoy myself, maybe it will lead to some new material as well. But don't worry, you probably won't be in my act. #comedy #standup #formerlawyer #careerchange
Photo by Emilio Morrone
No. (End of blog entry. jk)
In all seriousness, it's hard to have a personal life with comedy. As I discuss often on my award winning podcast SINGLES ONLY (available everywhere - shameless promotion), if you are committed to comedy, you are going to miss a lot of "fun stuff" like weddings, parties, concerts and special events. I was used it from my days in music, having shows on weekends back then too. but comedy is its own animal, taking up most of the week, if you are a working comedian, like me.
As for dating, it takes a very spontaneous, supportive, independent and open minded person to date a comedian. On dating apps, you often see people talk about wanting to experience "new things" and and "dating a comedian" is often initially seen as a possible fun little excursion. Ultimately, most people can't adjust to the lifestyle. In addition to sometimes being emotionally unavailable, we are also also physically unavailable. We cancel plans when we get last minute stage time, which is more valuable than gold (bitcoin?) to a comedian.
At times when most people make plans, like weekends and dinner time, we are working. And unlike a "new restaurant" or flying a kite, comedy is its own "thing." I love it and live it and have dated people who appreciate the pro's of dating a comedian. The fact that they get to come see me perform live comedy with people they have watched on TV, sometimes meeting and hanging out with them afterwards, laughing harder than they ever will. I am sure the Picasso exhibit is amazing and kayaking has its health perks, but I will take laughing till my face hurts with the funniest people alive at Waffle House every single time. Laughter is always more fascinating to me than any art or museum exhibit or trendy new dining spot.
I once suggested meeting someone for dinner after my show, which in this case was 9:30pm and when I normally eat dinner (I don't eat before shows - thats another story for another blog). The girl was offended, saying something like "I am not a groupie, waiting for you to get done with your 'little' show!"
Of course, she failed to realize that my 9:30pm was me getting off work and no different from her 5pm getting off work and the fact that she belittled the concept of my work made me realize there was no point in trying to explain. Ironically, she fancied herself as someone who strived for new experiences. I'm sure she is ziplining somewhere with a successful but unfunny banker. Comedy is not for everyone.
#comedy #socialife #formerlawyer #dating #standup
I was recently asked if stand up comedy is fun. My answer is usually, “most of the time, yes.”The actual shows are most always fun. Obviously, you have a badly run show here and there, a heckler that ruins a show or just a bomb. But if stand up comedy was just shows, I think it would be so so so fun. But there is much more to it. When you get to a level where you are only worrying about shows and have assistance with the rest, I bet it is more fun. Until that time, however, the process is sometimes trying.
We have to monitor our social media, we have to promote shows to make sure we have seats are full, which is often stressful as an up and coming headliner. We have to schedule our travel and navigate hotels and airport delays. We also, of course, have to write new material
We call and send emails to venues for shows and, at my level, most calls and emails are not responded to or at least not in a timely manner. Sometimes it feels like disrespect but its mostly about venues receiving 1000s of emails a day from comedians. There is also the frustration of not getting certain shows or opportunities, which, at times, is a hard pill to swallow. The rejection, lack of responses or indifference sometimes takes a toll on your mental health.
It is a lot of work but would I want to do anything right now? No f**king way! #comedy #formerlawyer #standup #wednesdaywisdom
Paul Farahvar is a comedian hailing from Chicago, Ill.
Paul Farahvar Comedy