I remember when I was younger, I always hated New Years Eve. I thought it was the night all the "non-partiers" came out, drank too much and acted like lunatics. Of course, at that time, I essentially made a second career out of drinking too much and acted like a lunatic, so I am not sure why I was upset seeing it happen all at once. Because I partied so hard and so often, however, I was able to control myself and more often than not, I would avoid making big plans on New Years. I thought it was overrated.
When I was a musician and a band manager, I loved working on New Years because I felt like I was at least, being productive. As a comedian, I have have been lucky to find good paying work every year on New Years or at least, career growing work. I do look forward to the New Year and hope I am able to continue to grow my base and following while performing better shows and creating better content, incluing my new podcast WHY ARE YOU AWAKE, which I release on January 1st. You can find it on Youtube/paulfcomedy and wherever you listen to podcasts.
Incidentally, this blog you are reading was voted top 20 best "Stand Up Comedy Blogs" by Feedspot! Thank you Feedspot!
#newyearsever #standupcomedy #careerchange #formerlawyer #newpodcastalert
The ups and downs of comedy are the only consistent part of the job. One week you have a great week, receiving confirmations for upcoming shows at comedy clubs while also performing headlining shows. Or writing and performing new material that pops, which is the greatest joy of comedy in my opinion. Maybe even booking a small role on a commercial or getting a writing job or having a joke on social media go viral.
And then there are the down weeks; Opening instead of headlining shows where you have to do the "hits" and can't work out new material and you are doing just 10 minutes instead of an hour and the crowd not only does not know you, but is not vibing with your material.
Recently I did a week of shows where I headlined 6 shows, some of which were at capacity which resulted in pure joy and a bunch of new fans. I had people see me before and bring their fans to share in the fun. Then I drove 6 hours to do a show for 10 minutes for a group of 9 people who clearly did not want to be there. The lack of energy from the crowd resulted in my screwing up my own jokes on stage. Then two of my shows were cancelled because of low tickets sales and the holidays. And the rest of the week none of my new material worked. Oh and a heckler that would not shut up. LOL.
Comedy is not for the faint of heart. #standup #formerlawyer #comedian #holidays
It's hard to be a night owl. As early as I can remember, I have been a night person. When I was a kid, I hated going to bed early and felt like I was missing out, especially since everyone else was still awake. My parents let me stay up late in grade school and middle school to watch the opening monologue of the Tonight Show (maybe why I love talk shows). Staying up till 10:45 is pretty late for a child, I guess.
When I was in college, I could not get up for classes before 11 and always picked the later classes, even if it was a class I really wanted because I could not wake up in time. The only classes I ever missed in law school was the early ones and, its no surprise, my lowest grades were always in early classes. Even in high school I just could not wake up early.
As a lawyer, I would go directly to court instead of going to the office before to get that extra 30 minutes of sleep in the AM. When I was moonlighting as a comedian, I would always ask the Court for later slots, when possible for return court dates, again to avoid having to wake up. I even turned down a lucrative law firm job because they had "mandatory" Wednesday morning meetings at 8am. I am convinced that I would still be a practicing lawyer if I didn't have to wake up for Court calls in the morning.
Comedy life has helped me lean into my night owl tendencies, so I can work after my shows. Ideally, I would love to go back to radio and have a midnight show, but until then, I have started a new podcast called "Why Are you Awake" where I talk to other people who are night owls or used to be night owls. It is a fun journey and I hope you will join me. The first episode will be released next week so if you can do me a favor and go subscribe where you podcast or subscribe to my youtube page, you will be notified when it is released. Look forward to sharing this with you all.
#podcasting #formerlawyer #nightowl #standup
When ever a comedian is brought up by the host, they usually ask (as they should), "What do you want me to say?" For years, my "credit" way my podcast SINGLES ONLY as well as being a regular at my home clubs (or if I am at one of them, I make sure they don't say the others - thats another post for another day). This year, I had a DryBar Special credit and now I have a new album coming out next year as well, as well as a new podcast WHY ARE YOU AWAKE?
One purpose of a credit is to hype the audience up to know this is gonna be a great comedian. Most of comedians credits, especially the ones that are worthy, like a Just For Laughs credit, mean nothing to most of the audience. Unless its Netflix or a talk show appearance, it means nothing. I liked to push my podcast(s) since if they like me, they go listen or watch the podcast so its a way to promote.
My friend Clark L. Jones once said when a comedian tells a host "It don't matter", they will likely kill. In my experience, thats been true too. Its almost like saying, "they will see me and decide if I am worthy or not." I love that confidence and try to mimic that sometimes, especially if I am not headlining. The truth is, it doesn't matter. the material and the comedian's act should speak for itself. In my case, most people don't know what my credits are, especially in smaller towns.
When I'm asked by hosts now, I just say 3 things; my podcast, my city and my special, but after say "if you forget it doesn't but my last name is pronounced Far Uh Var". That usually does the trick. #comedy #standup #formerlawyer #comedyblog
I have done shows with a "novelty act" comedian who do, not just comedy but performance art and incorporate other forms of entertainment, like music or dance, into their act. I have also worked with musicial acts and magicians who do comedy. I know some stand up comedians look down at comedians like that but not me. I think its great that they have created a form of entertainment that, while not traditional stand up, is making people happy. I could never do that myself but I can never fault or judge entertainers who have found a niche in this otherwise overcrowded market.
Another up and coming comedian and I were working with a novelty act comedian once and this newer comedian seemed upset by it and I didn't understand why. The novelty act had sold out shows and a die hard fanbase and gave it his all for over an hour. I was impressed. Not to mention we got to open for his crowd and may have gotten our own new fans from it. While it may not have been my cup of tea, it was still entertaining. The other comedian was not only not entertained but seemed offended. I asked why and he didn't seem to have an answer, other than the fact that he could not respect the comedian.
As a former musician myself, I have been tempted to bring my guitar into my act and maybe once day I will. In the end, I will always side with a comedian. People already attack comedians for content who are not comedians. The last thing we need is other comedians attacking comedians for their style and choices on stage. #comedy #formerlawyer #formermusic #standup #art
Paul Farahvar is a comedian hailing from Chicago, Ill.
Paul Farahvar Comedy