THIS BUSINESS OF COMEDY
Often we forget that comedy is a business. While creative, the important lessons I often hear myself sharing is related to business. One of the advantages of starting comedy later in life is that I had real life experiences which not only included business, but specifically entertainment business knowledge.
I managed and booked bands for years for my company Shoeshine Boy Productions and much of that experience transferred to the comedy world. Booking mechanics are very similar in the sense that comedy clubs seek acts who are not only funny, but can sell tickets. Given that most of the bands I worked with were new "baby" bands, we learned how to hustle and create buzz and shows that could translate to ticket sales. Strategies I employ today with comedy.
Of course when I was managing bands, there was not the social media boom there is today, which actually helps get the word out on for creatives, much quicker than fliers and mass emails. And the social media game changes every week, if not every day with Facebook, Instagram and even LinkedIn changing its algorithms.
But contacting clubs is very similar to what I had to do when I would contact venues for bands I managed. And just like then, it just feels like a never ending cycle of gate keepers unwilling to take a chance.
One thing I am able to provide newer and specifically younger talented comedians is the sense that this is a business and avoiding pitfalls. I had a conversation with a younger (but far more talented) comedian who wanted to burn a bridge based on the lack of responses and what he felt was disrespect. I often fight the same urges but thankfully I prevent myself from burning the bridge and was able to help this comedian avoid that as well. It worked out for him as he secured a great opportunity. Perhaps that will be my legacy, if I don't become a household name with comedy.
#business #formerlawyer #comedian #standup #comedybusiness #comedy
Paul Farahvar is a comedian hailing from Chicago, Ill.
Paul Farahvar Comedy