Saturday is my birthday. I am not looking forward to it. It's a reminder of how much older I am than most of my peers who started comedy in their 20s (whereas I started at 38). I think I have accomplished a lot with comedy but I do feel at times that my age holds me back in the eyes of the gatekeepers. Like why would they take me for a show or a project when there is a comedian just as funny as me who is in his or her 20s? Its frustrating and it eats at me often.
On the other hand, age has its advantages. Like most people at comedy clubs are closer in age to me than most of the comedians on the show and I provide more relatable situations on stage. And when I say I hate getting older, it resonates better than a comedian who is saying that and is 29. I always love seeing other creators find their lane later in life because it gives me hope that maybe I can do that same and create an audience that can appreciate what I am doing.
Speaking of age, me and my MUCH elder peer Paul Ollinger (jk jk jk) are doing some amazing shows in San Francisco at Cobbs Comedy Club (the 22nd) and Zanies Comedy Club in Nashville (the 28th) this month so if you can make it or spread the word, it would be greatly appreciated.
In the meantime, go watch this week's WHY ARE YOU AWAKE Podcast with comedian Blake Burkhart on my youtube channel #birthday #gettingolder #careerchange #standup #podcast
It's important to celebrate wins, when we get them, especially as so called creatives. Someone asked me if I have seen a difference in the last year with my comedy and if its an upswing, then I should be happy. And it has been, for the most part. I am headlining more shows than I am opening. I am selling out rooms in new markets even though less of my followers are seeing my content. Yes, although my follower growth has risen, less people are seeing my content on Instagram. I don't know why and its my biggest concern right now. Help if you can, Instagram!
That being said, The wins are coming in and I need to work on stopping and smelling the flowers. I recently forced myself to slow down after a show and not rush to get off stage and instead look at the crowd and accept the positve feedback. I did it once recently and it was great (then I went back to rushing off stage).
One thing I am most proud of is my new podcast and the growth it has led to on youtube. I surpassed 1 million views of my content last week on Instagram, which is a huge win for me. If you don't follow me there, please to (link in comments) so I can continue to grow and hit 2 million this year? LINK--> youtube.com/paulfcomedy
Also thank you all for sharing my content and show dates. Hope to see you in San Francisco and Nashville and Detroit next! hashtag#growth hashtag#win hashtag#standupcomedy
WORK/LIFE BALANCE? Whats that? Someone told me I need to work on my work life balance. They were probably right. Since I graduated college, I was always balancing multiple work related aspirations and goals. When I was in law school, I coached a high school tennis tea while also playing in bands and workign at a law firm. When I graduated law school, I worked as a lawyer but also played in bands and then eventually started my artist management company as well. I eventually became a named partner at a law firm when I found my passion for comedy.
Through that all, I would miss family and friends' events like birthdays, marriages and even a funeral. I had almost unhealthy drive for success. Still do in a way. It's sometimes hard to keep that going when so many doors close or don't respond. While it sucks sometimes that I started later in comedy and I feel sometimes like my age hurts my career aspirations, I am also lucky to have started comedy later in life to be able to handle rejection and indifference. Other artists give up so much to achieve their goals. I am lucky to have had a less jaded journey than mosts. #standup #comedy #worklifebalance #formerlawyer #drive
It's hard not to feel overlooked when opportunities arise and the gatekeepers "forgot" to consider you. It happens all the time in every field I am sure, but in comedy its palpable when it happens to you. Your name is absent from a club's calendar or you are not auditioning for the latest festival or when your peers and friends are getting booked at a club and you are not. Of course, I have been on the other side where I look around and see that I am given an amazing opportunity that I feel I am not entitled to or that my peers who are far more worthy did not get. It's not always or even often a meritocracy. All you can do is grind away and hope for a break, whether its word of mouth or a viral clip or just someone discovering you.
I have been fortunate to headline multiple shows in 2024 alreadyl far more than I did at this point last year, including a "home" club, Mccurdys Comedy Club, I have never headlined. Not only did I headline 3 shows, but 2 of those nights were sold out. Thanks to all of you who told people about these shows.
I am off to headline another set of shows in Arizona and then get to co-headline premiere rooms in San Francisco and Nashville with my friend Paul Ollinger. Please continue to spread the word. Every little bit helps! #standup #comedy #formerlawyer #ontheroad
In comedy, you can be come a headliner when you have over an hour of material or can put butts in seats, or, ideally both. In today's social media era, a lot of comedians got a large following on TikTok or Instagram and were able to pack comedy clubs. Other comedians who have been road warriors for years also kept their ground with growing mailing lists and word of mouth. Word of mouth is always the best way to fill a room.
I don't quite have the social media following to sell out rooms in any city but I am slowly getting there. I do, however, have the material that fills over an hour of time needed to headline a show. And this year I am finally seeing more headline dates than support dates on my schedule. That doesn't mean that I am "crushing it" For every 1 confirmed weekend of shows on my schedule there are over 20 emails unanswered from clubs and promoters who have not shown an interest in having me at their club, or, at least, not a priority for them to have me at their club.
Excited to announce that I will be headlining my "home away from home" club Mccurdys Comedy Club in Sarasota this week for the first time. I was scheduled to headline this club once during the pandemic but the show was cancelled because people were just not ready to come out at that time. This is one of my favorite clubs in the country, not only because its where most of my family lives, but because the staff is like family for me there. If you know anyone in the area, send them my way (ticket link in comments). Otherwise, I will be New Smyrna Beach, Flagstaff and Prescott and Chicago later this month.
#standup #2024 #headliner #formercomedian
Paul Farahvar is a comedian hailing from Chicago, Ill.
Paul Farahvar Comedy