w • Just now
It's interesting when legal and political issues come up and I hear people simplify dissect complex issues while quickly dismissing the opinions of entertainers. I read a TON of memoirs, autobiographies and biographies of famous people (Currently reading Molly Shannon and Philip Roth.) It's one of passions. These entertainers and sports figures have usually excelled in a field that is more competitive than typical jobs like accounting and law. And they come from varied backgrounds, most often that not, underprivileged and filled with trauma.
I actually believe we should listen to them MORE, if not less. They have succeeded where most others have not, taking risks that most people would never fathom.
For me personally, it's fun to see people quickly dismiss my views on legal and political matters when they see I am a comedian and, of course, I relish in the moment I can reveal that I have a law degrees and actually litigated many issues they are opining on, when I was an attorney. While I try to avoid discussing political issues and still do not miss practicing law, I still believe in the law and the legal system. As an officer of the Court (Trial Bar, Federal Trial Bar), some of the legal issues in the world, including the Supreme Court's recent rulings and the revelations of the January 6th commission are upsetting and tragic. And I have no problem educating those who need to be educated and opining on them when needed.
We discusses this a little in my appearance on WGN Daytime Chicago a few weeks ago. Link below.
#careerchange #formerlawyer #legalissues #comedian #legalissues #SCOUTUS
The answer is yes. I think most comedians will tell you the same thing or a different version of it, but everything we do revolves around our comedy careers, if the goal is to make this more than just a hobby. We have to "show face" at comedy clubs, take meetings for projects we know may never be made, do media appearances at ungodly hours, and lastly (and most importantly), spend hours and hours of time producing content for social media.
For me, I have always had an unhealthy amount of ambition in everything I do. I take that work ethic installed in my by my father and apply it to everything I do professionally. Before comedy, I did that in law and music as well. It earned my a successful music career with very little talent and countless wins and awards as a trial lawyer, again with very little knowledge and talent.
As for comedy, I left a very comfortable life, earning a very modest income to pursue comedy. A career that maybe one percent of people really "succeed" to the level of being household names. I am going to do everything in my power to pursue it and make it my life. So yes, comedy is basically my life and no, I can't go to that concert, your casino night and I will have to decline on that half birthday party as well. #comedy #careerchange #standup #formerlawyer #career #ambition
Its a hard line to navigate as a comedian without a manager, how often to send emails to comedy clubs or ask for help from a fellow, more established comedians. As a rule for comedy clubs, I have a system in place so that I check in every 3 weeks if its a club I have worked at before or often and once a month if its a club I never worked at. After a while, if I don't get a response I either stop messaging or ask the club if they are still considering using me and if not, I would prefer just stopping to send avails to save us both the energy. Its a lot of radio silence and sometimes, I just need to take a break.
As for comedians, I always feel bad sending follow up emails or asking comedians for help with contacts or recommendations. Its always hard to ask for help from friends or comedians I have worked with and I don't know how often to ask. Recently I had to ask for a few (5) comedians to vouch for me at a club and I was not sure they would do it or feel comfortable but within seconds, they all responded yes. That felt good.
On the flip side,I have never really been annoyed by friends who ask me for help so long as its someone I liked working with or that I thought was funny. I do get annoyed when its someone I hardly know or who never spoke to me before or someone who clearly is not ready for the work they are asking. Onward. #standup #formerlawyer #comedian #careerchange #wednesdaywisdom
I recently drove five hours to do a 25 minute spot at a legendary comedy club and then drove five hours back right after the show. The club offered me a nice hotel but I had an earlier fligt in the morning so I passed. To be clear, thats 10 hours of driving and well over $100 in gas costs. The crowd was light and the club was apologetic. It is clear people are all suffering right now with rising costs, high crime in cities and mass shootings.
That being said, the crowd of fifty or so people were delightful and we all had a blast. I experienced pure joy for 25 minutes (I actually did 27, sorry!) and then hung out with my friend who was the headliner for a cigar. Because I was just the feature (middle spot) after gas costs, I probably broke even. I actually sold a lot of "Better Call" Paul shirts but that money is earmarked for Parkinson's Foundation.
When all was said and done, even if I don't get a headliner spot out of the "audition" if you will, I would do it again and again. Thats how much joy comedy brings me. #standupcomedy #comedyshow #laughs #careerchange #ambition #workhard
When I asked a famous comedian I was working with, what his goals were, when he started comedy, he said he wanted to be someone's favorite comedian. I thought that was a nice goal to have. He surpassed that with multiple TV shows, credits and sold out theater runs. I have heard other comedians say that is their goal as well.
I have had people tell me that I am one of their favorites or I was their favorite comedy on a show often, but recently, someone came up to me and said I was his favorite comedian. At first I thought he meant, of the night, since it was a showcase show at my home club the Laugh Factory in Chicago but he then told me how he comes to see me when I am in town and that I am his favorite. He saw me over 20 times and he even knew some of my bits by heart too. Still, he came back to hear them (even though he knows them all!).
It was never my goal to be someone's favorite and actually when I started comedy, I never thought I would be in a place where I get to headline shows and tour the country, making people laugh every night but here I am. I am very lucky to be doing this. #blessed #comedy #standup #formerlawyer #careerchange
photo by ANF Chicago
Paul Farahvar Comedy