Sometimes I headline. Sometimes I feature. When I headline, it sometimes falls on an off night and then I stay to feature (middle slow after the host) for a comedian who is either a friend or a draw, or both. I love headlining because I have the freedom to do an hour and work on my material and also work in new stuff and let jokes breathe a bit. The downside, is the show is sometimes not a full house. I have to promote a lot in cities and rely on friends and followers to show up when I do come to the city and thats often hard for folks on a Sunday or Thursday. If a group of fans don't show up, it affects the show. I recently headlined a show for 7 people. While fun, I would have much rather done a show for 100 more people, especially after driving a few hours for the show. And recently, in some markets, I actually have a following which is nice. I now recognize people who come back to see me.
Featuring is a lot easier because I usually do only 20-30 minutes and just show up. I don't have to promote as much (although I always do) as the crowd is not there to see me. It's a chance for me to gain new followers and fans, many of whom have probably never heard of me. In recent times, I had the opportunity to open for a couple friends who are selling out rooms around the country. After the shows, I usually gain some new social media followers and the hope it that next time I come to town to headline, they will be there as well. Hope to see you at the shows! #careerchange #standup #formerlawyer #comedian
I have always loved driving. I remember not being able to sleep the night before I was going to get my license. Even before that, my dad would teach em to drive around the block when I was 13 and I even took the car out without a license when I was 14 only to be apprehended (but not charged) at 1am by the Oak Brook police department. In high school, I used to drive around aimlessly listening to mixtapes I made for the sole purpose of driving. Gas was cheap and I had all the time in the world.
When I could afford a parking spot downtown, I would drive to work as a lawyer in lieu of public transportation. I liked the freedom of controlling when I could get to work or court as opposed to being late with the bus or el.
Driving is a part of comedy as a road comic. If a gig is less than 7 hours away, I will most definitely be driving. Eight hours is where I need to make a decision or perhaps book other shows to make it a mini-tour. I love to catch up on podcasts, call and just listen to music. I also find the peace of driving helpful with writing. I will listen to my sets and come up with tags or re-wordings while also coming up with new ideas and premises. Part of the reason I could never live in NYC is the fact that I would not be able to drive anymore. #drive #standup #comedy #formerlawyer #blog
TO DO LISTs
I am obsessed with to do lists. Always have been. I kept them when I was a music manager and later when I was a lawyer too. It kept me organized and made me sensitive to time management. My "To do list" game is fire. I have a monthly to do list, a weekly to do list, a daily to do list and a "tomorrow" to do list. It has items from health (work out), personal growth (writing, play guitar) and business (booking, travel, promotions, social media). All in one. Or all in many, given the multiple lists.
Very little gives me more joy than crossing off items off the multiple lists I have. Sometimes I "cheat" and list something, only to cross it off. Thats why when I went on what turned into a couple days of vacation, I was lost. I did nothing on the to do list(s). I went out and enjoyed myself and "smelled the roses" as they say, and then, two days later, I was back to the lists. Playing catch up. It was stressful!
People tell me, I should relax for a couple days and I did. Sort of. Without the lists, though, I honestly lost track of the days, felt lost and coming back was so stressful. For me, the "relaxation" comes at the end of the day when I have a list with multiple items crossed out. Its the best joy as it gives me a sense of accomplishment. It also keeps me organized and on top of my game. I strongly advise and recommend to do lists, but maybe my monthly, weekly, daily, tomorrow list is a bit much?
#lists #todaylist #careerchange #comedy #formerlawyer #standup
Lately I have had a few stressors happen that made me realize the importance of representation. First, I had cancellations last minute for shows, which made me rush to find replacement work, as I don't like to have multiple days away from the stage. Then I did some shows where the comedy club reduced my time as the feature (opener before headliner) in order to give their local comedian, someone with less experience than me, some additional time.
YOUR FIVE PEOPLE
Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I subscribe to that and try my best to surround myself with people who provide positive energy and bring something to my moral compass. I noticed that when I am surrounded with comedians, especially established comedians, I usually feel lighter. I am usually laughing or talking about what an amazing show we had or even reflecting on a show that didn't go so well.
As I delve more and more into comedy, you also lose contact with the "normals" in your life who are not comedians; your friends from high school and college, your next door neighbor and even family members. I try my best to balance my time to see those people as well, but shows get in the way. I miss birthdays, anniversaries and weddings on the regular. I am used to that, since that also happened when I was a musician, but with comedy I am more busy than ever before (thankfully). The last five years, I have been in four different states for my own birthday. But who celebrates their birthdays after 30 anyways, right? I still stay connected to people who help shape me, even if it means a phone call on the drive home from a show.
My top five, while mostly comedians and varying, is also grounded with folks I could not survive without. I ask my friends all the time who they surround themselves with mostly. Something to think about. Who is in your "top five"? #careerchange #top5 #friends #formerlawyer #standup
Paul Farahvar is a comedian hailing from Chicago, Ill.
Paul Farahvar Comedy