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
WHEN ARE YOU BACK IN TOWN?
This is the question comedians hear all the time, usually right after we have left town. Its sad because 90% of the time, we have been spending time, money and energy promoting the shows in the town in question. For me, I use social media and even buy ads to get the word out. I know a lot of comedians use email lists and blasts and I dod that in Chicago but even then, people miss the information.
Its hard to stay on top of everything with promotions and for most comedians, its our least favorite part of the job. If you like a comedian, follow them. Sign up for their mailing list, tag friends who may want to see the comedians you like and follow them on social me. (I am at @paulfarahar on insta by the way).
Anyways, I will be in Tampa, Detroit and Scottsdale in the coming weeks so come see me as well, ok? Also, I am headlining Chicago Tuesday April fourth at Zanies. #promotions #shows #standup #formerlawyer #careerchange
POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE ENERGY
I have had many different career paths in my life. I was a musician. I was involved in politics. I was a music manager and booker and I was a litigator. There is nothing that compares to comedy, in terms of how high a moment can be and then how quickly a low follows. After my post last week about the unsolicited woodshedding I received from a road comedian friend, it was hard to shake the imposter syndrome and self-doubt during the shows I performed on. If you saw me after my Friday or Saturday shows where I headlined back to back shows in Milwaukee (One was sold out), I was experiencing the highest of high. I tell people I am unbearably cocky after a good set. This was no exception. I wanted to call that comedian and tell him to go to hell and I thought about having the crowd leave him a voice mail after the show from the stage, but I am glad I didn't.
But then if you saw me after my set on Tuesday night, my lack of poker face would reveal only self-doubt and disappointment. I could not get new jokes to work and the crowd was simply not on my side. Thats the way comedy works. I think I speak for most comedians when I saw that a great set can get you through so much, providing you happiness and endorphins similar to those of the best drugs man can buy (no comment on how I know this). A bad set can affect your ability to breathe. You have to be ready for all of it and surround yourself with talent and positive energy.
So thank you for all those who were there for me and for all of you supporting us comedians. I hope to see you this weekend in Schaumburg as I open for one of my favorite humans Bret Ernst or at my upcoming shows in Chicago, Sarasota, Tampa, Detroit and Scottsdale! #comedy #standup #formerlawyer #careerchange #positveenergy
Paul Farahvar is a comedian hailing from Chicago, Ill.
Paul Farahvar Comedy