What an amazing week of shows, headlining full houses at one of my new favorite clubs - CG's Comedy Club in Bolingbrook! I was also able to run through my talk show "Stuck with Paul" on Sunday night. While the talk show did not bring out large numbers I had hoped for, the people who attended had fun and I was able to interview comedians in front of a live audience, something I hope to do regularly in the future. Wrapping up the month, I was again able to raise another $1,000 for Parkinson's Foundation through the sales of my "Better Call Paul" shirt. For September, in honor of Suicide Awareness month, I have teamed up with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to raise money for suicide awareness and prevention, with fifty percent of all proceeds from my shirt sales going to the ASFP. You can buy the shirts by emailing me, going to my website or at my upcoming shows at Laugh Factory Chicago (tonight), The Loony Bin in Oklahoma City (9/1-9/4), or Loony LR Little Rock next week. Onward #careerchange #parkinsonsawareness #suicideawareness #standupcomedy #chicagolawyer #blessed #mentalhealth
I don’t have an agent or a manager for comedy, so I make decisions on my own and I live with the consequences, good or bad. Recently I booked a lot of shows to ensure that I have a packed schedule. I was then offered "better" shows and opportunities after. I hate to to cancel shows and burn bridges, so I usually stick with my original schedule. Having been on the business side of entertainment for so long, I never like to cancel. But sometimes, you have to take the better show or opportunity, especially if its a big one. My rule is to not cancel unless its a huge opportunity but recently I stuck the course with the original booking only to be burned with changes in the schedule and a partial cancellation. Live and learn! Looking forward to being back in Chicago for the second installment of my new show, Stuck with Paul. Hope you can make it! #entertainment #opportunity #chicagolawyer #comedyisback #careerchange
THERAPY ON STAGE
This week, I said goodbye to my childhood home where my parents lived for 39 years. It was stressful and emotional. My parents are elderly, so I dealt with all the movers, estate sales, contractors, lawyers and closing matters. I subconsciously loaded up on stand up shows - sixteen shows in five days- to keep occupied and sane. It worked. In addition to staying grounded, I ended up joking about the process at shows, specifically my parents and the removal items hoarded for 39 years, and sometimes never used. It was therapeutic and hopefully funny. Onward #stage #chicagolawyer #change #careerchange
One of the great rewards of stand up comedy is receiving immediate feedback. Unlike other professions where you can't always gauge your individual performance, you know within minutes or seconds how well you did. Barring being unprofessional or difficult to work with, you would assume that if you have a great show with the most laughs, you'd be rewarded. Sadly, that's not always the case. Comedy clubs considers other factors to merit more shows or a promotion which includes the ability to fill seats (that’s where social media comes in handy) and of course the booker’s own bias. Even if the crowd enjoys you the most, the booker may not, or may have someone who may not objectively perform as well, but can do a "good" job and is a friend. In some cities, they prefer to hire locally grown comedians who may not get as many laughs, but do an adequate job, sometimes at half the price. If you like a comedian you see, make sure you follow them on social media and let the venue know they were your favorite. And go to their shows! And while it's frustrating working hard, doing well and not getting opportunities, messages like this make you realize that the people that matter, the patrons, know you are talented. #comedy #chicagolawyer #careerchange #feedback
I promised myself during the pandemic that I would stop to smell the roses more when we returned to normalcy. I have to admit, I am back on the grind, performing, writing and seeking new opportunities and not looking at what I have achieved. I look back on my comedy clips and nearly every time I did very well, I rushed off the stage instead of just soaking it in. I don't like compliments either. I am working on changing that; now at least I stop and stare into the audience sometimes after a show, if I remember, to absorb the appreciation. I am thankful for my drive but also know its a curse. I do believe that luck is where persistence meets opportunity and I am always grateful when given an opportunity to showcase my abilities. I know I am always prepared for any opportunity I am given and I hope that I am given more chances to shine in 2021. I may not be the talented person in the room, but I will always work harder than any other person in my field to succeed. I am working on focusing on myself and the opportunities I have been given, instead of those given to others. Hope to see you at a show!
Paul Farahvar is a comedian hailing from Chicago, Ill.
Paul Farahvar Comedy