Making Your Talent Feel Appreciated

CO30Guest post by Brandon Collins and Mike Brown of Comedy Outliers. They offer advice to comedians and performers on how to survive and thrive in today’s competitive artistic climate.

A few years ago, when we were producing one of our first independent comedy club shows we were asked by a comic performing on my show, “So since you’re charging a cover how much am I making for my set?” At that time we were so ignorant to the business of stand-up comedy, we had no idea what they were talking about. But after speaking with some veteran comics whose opinions we greatly respected, we came to learn that the common rule of thumb with comedy shows is: if you charge a cover, you SHOULD pay your talent. Of course there are some show producers that don’t follow that rule and some comics don’t expect to get paid for every bit of stage-time. This is because stage-time and money are both valuable to a working stand-up comic. When we ran our “Comedy Outliers” show without a cover, there was never any expectation to pay our comics with anything besides a free beer and a sincere “thank you” for their time and talent. The only comic we would pay during that time was the headliner as they were usually a highly regarded comic who had several credits and added a certain amount of hype to help build the “Comedy Outliers” brand. We would pay for these comics out of pocket, which became expensive after nearly two years of being an entirely free show.

One of the main reasons we began charging a cover (we try to keep it as affordable as possible btw, use discount code “Summer” for $5 tickets) was because we wanted to be able to pay ALL of our performing comics. Another reason was to build the brand through better podcast equipment and merchandise, but we can only continue to produce great shows and content if we have exceptional talent. By creating a budget as producers and knowing our limits in what we can pay for talent has forced us to produce a much tighter show that provides a high quality experience for our audience. It is important to remember as producers that your talent needs to feel like their time and talent is being appreciated. When we were just a free bar show, the performing comics were just happy to be in front of a great crowd that was both diverse and energetic. Now we can offer that pay them for their time that they could’ve spent at another show. This has helped us build a stronger relationship with the comedy community in NYC that we love so dearly. They are always appreciative of the gesture and that’s a great feeling to have as a show producer. Keep that in mind when you produce your new show…spread the wealth!

Comedy Outliers’ next show is at Brick NYC (22 Warren Street) on Saturday, July 26th at 7pm. The show has a $10 cover with no drink minimum. Pay only $5 for advanced tickets if you use the discount code “Summer” for $5 tickets! You can also support their efforts by hitting the “Donate” button on their website or by listening to their weekly podcast.

 

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Comedy Outliers: A Million Ways to Deal With Venue Changes!

CO29final-normal fontGuest post by Brandon Collins and Mike Brown of  Comedy Outliers. They offer advice to comedians and performers on how to survive and thrive in today’s competitive artistic climate.

We Heard You.

We Listened.

We’re Back.

Those were the first three sentences in our first email we sent to our mailing list after the third showcase we held at Webster Hall. Based on the feedback we had received from our followers and our overall experience as producers, we came to the conclusion that our partnership with Webster Hall just wasn’t a good fit. The most difficult part about this revelation was that we had told our audience that it was essentially our new home AND we would now be changing the location of our show for the third time in less than six months. After a successful run of two years at Lilly O’Briens, producing a show for Yelp NYC and getting several guest appearances on popular podcasts we were hitting some rather rough speed bumps when it came to securing a new venue.

These things can happen and while it’s most important not to panic, there’s a few other things you should keep in mind as well:

1. Be optimistic and come up with an action plan! We followed up with our audience to let them know that we understood that they were not happy with Webster Hall as a venue and that we took their views to heart. We also knew that people appreciated our previous location at Lilly O’Briens in downtown Manhattan; a venue that was so random that they felt cool to be in the know about this unique event that took place every month. In the search for a new home, we knew we had to find a venue with owners that would not only be supportive of live comedy but would give us the ability to run the show the way it had always been successful.

2. Keep engaged with your audience! Using our weekly podcast and Twitter account to keep in touch with our following was crucial in making sure they knew about the changes we were making.

3. Don’t be afraid to admit when you made a mistake. We were initially very excited and proud of the opportunity to produce shows at Webster Hall. However after our first two shows, we realized that the venue didn’t quite understand what we were doing with “Comedy Outliers”. Our audience weren’t thrilled with the environment and as producers we found ourselves lost among the many other shows that the venue hosted. The decision to part ways with Webster Hall wasn’t difficult even though we didn’t have a secured new venue at that moment. We had to do what was best for our brand.

4. Be excited about the new changes! Finding a new venue required a lot of emails, phone calls with various managers and hitting the pavement to scope out potential venues. Finding the Wooly was a great success! Not only is it located only a few blocks from our old stomping grounds in downtown Manhattan but the manager is a strong advocate for the performing arts and really gets what “Outliers” is about. In our recent advertisements and promotion we have vigilantly expressed our excite about this “reboot” to our show with the new venue.

As a producer, there will be many successes peppered with a few setbacks. You have to be willing to adapt and show your audience that you are humbled by the experience. If they see that you’re doing your best to give them a great experience, they’ll come back and support you!

 Comedy Outliers’ next show is at The Wooly (11 Barclay Street) on Saturday, June 28th  at 7pm. The show has a $10 cover with no drink minimum. Buy $5 advance tickets if you enter code: “BPT”!  You can also support their efforts by hitting the “Donate” button on their website.

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L.A. Comic Richard Bain Crowdfunds to Aid Sister, Who Lost Home and Son

bainLos Angeles-based stand-up comedian Richard Bain is crowdfunding money for his sister Ashley, who lost her home and one-year-old son in a North Carolina tornado the evening of Friday, April 25. Additional information and donation links are available at https://fundly.com/help-ashley-bain

“My sister’s house was destroyed by a tornado Friday night,” Bain reported on Sunday. “The roof collapsed on her and her one year old son, Gavin. He was in a medically induced coma, but passed this morning.”

Originally from Edenton, North Carolina, Bain moved to Portland before relocating to North Hollywood in 2011. His credits include The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival and L.A.’s Riot Comedy Festival.

The scattered tornadoes hit North Carolina last Friday, destroying or 730a515a-31f0-47c1-b5fd-4429db3c9c4dheavily damaging around 200 homes and businesses. As you can see by the photograph, Bain’s sister’s home was completely destroyed.

While the money raised will never replace her infant son, it can, at least help her rebuild her home so that she can focus on her grieving. Our hearts go out to Richard, his sister and the Bain family. It’s hard to imagine what they’re going through right now.

If you can, please donate generously and help this family in need. The Fundly campaign ends on May 31st so donate now.

ad more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/04/27/4869343/gov-mccrory-tours-eastern-nc-tornado.html#storylink=cpThe Fundly campaign ends May 31.
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Austin’s Moontower Comedy Festival – Five Picks for 2014

MariaBamford_300x225Hannibal Buress, Aziz Ansari, Dennis Miller, Colin Quinn and 100-plus additional acts head to Austin, Texas this week for the third annual Moontower Comedy Festival, held next Wednesday through Saturday at venues including The Paramount Theatre, Cap City Comedy Club, The Parish, The Speakeasy, The Hideout and New Movement Theater.

Last year’s festival offered an inclusive, community spirit, not to mention great stand-up courtesy of Amy Schumer, Reggie Watts, Pete Holmes, Dana Carvey and more. In addition to a newly-added cookout and ping pong tournament, here are five of the most exciting events to catch at Moontower 2014.

4Eyes

7:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 23

Moontower certainly comes up with some unique groupings to differentiate its showcase offerings (She-Bang=female comics, Switch=LGBT comics, Unhinged=the more out-there comics), and 4Eyes is no exception. Not only do Andy Kindler, Mike Lawrence, Sara Schaefer, James Adomian, Ari Shaffir and Rory Scovel each sport corrective lenses, all are solid headliners in their own right. Badgeholders would have to be, er…blind to skip a lineup this sharp.

Maria Bamford

7 p.m. Thursday, April 24

Bamford is one of the most original, unique and unpredictable comics working today, and the Comedians of Comedy vet’s never better than when winning over new crowds. From the darkness of mental illness to the lighthearted absurdity of pterodactyl calls, fumbling family members to crushing societal expectations, she runs the full stand-up spectrum.
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French Comedy Nights: KALLAGAN en français à New-York

New YoPhoto_blog_editedrk City is the undeniable epicenter of American standup comedy. There’s an audience for everything. Latin Comedy Night, Italian Comedy Night, Jewish Comedy Night… every evening all over the city, clubs are full of crowds that love to make fun of themselves (and especially each other). No matter who you are, to stay sane in New York City requires an outlet for pent up frustration – and everyone loves to laugh. Even the French.

But until this week, there wasn’t a French Comedy Night to be found anywhere in the five boroughs. That changed on April 3rd at Greenwich Village Comedy Club with the first of what should be many French Comedy Nights from B.Productions. French people love the self-depreciating and often cruel sense of humor that comes from their homeland. Florence Foresti, Gad Elmaleh, Fabrice Éboué… But many have been forced to enjoy some of their favorite standup comedians by themselves because as their friends would affirm, watching comedy with subtitles just isn’t the same.

That’s about to change as the francophone minority in New York finally has an outlet of their own to gather and laugh with (and at) each other. Kallagan kicked it off last night and had no difficulty proving there was an audience for his humor outside the Métropole. He joked about passing through American customs as a “tourist”, the incredible ease of obtaining a driver’s license in America, and showing up drunk to his son’s birth. He used a speculum as a puppet and spent a lot of time questioning the gynecologist’s qualifications. He also hopes to use his accent to attract an American woman but so far has had no such luck.

Kallagan is a rare example of a near instant success story in the world of standup comedy. He has quickly built a loyal audience in France and abroad since his first show 8 years ago. He’s starred in televised specials, performed in seven different countries, and opened for some of France’s biggest names in comedy. Not bad for someone still in his 20’s.

B.Production’s first French Comedy Night was a big success, filling a vacuum for the city’s vast and diverse French-speaking population. Greenwich Village Comedy Club was packed with students, couples and “tourists” (hey, it’s been 3 months, time to renew that visa), some even traveling in from different states. For the next French Comedy Night, Kallagan will return on Tuesday April 8th for the last of two NYC performances before continuing his U.S. tour. Tickets are only $20 for a guaranteed good time. Get your tickets soon, show up early, and keep a look out for more French comedy journeying across the Atlantic.

Post by Victor Chovil, Brown Paper Tickets’ New York City Outreach Representative.

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Spit Take Saturday: Ted Alexandro

ted-alexandro-IDidIt-585x585Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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The title of Ted Alexandro’s new special derives from his proud declaration that he is “44, single, never married, no kids. I did it!” It serves as both a memorable joke and a fantastic setup for the beginning of his new special, filmed last August at The Creek and the Cave comedy club in Long Island City, Queens.



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Spit Take Saturday: Glenn Wool

glenn-wool-this-road-has-tolls_30342Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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An Edinburgh Festival Fringe veteran several times over, Glenn Wool has the art of delivering a multi-faceted performance down to a science. One can, for instance, kick things off with a light-hearted video featuring hand puppets performing Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog.” Tales of time spent abroad can temper bewildering experiences with transformative lessons learned. There’s also the option of utilizing as a backdrop a few Popeye slides, the purpose of which remains tantalizingly unclear until the closer’s big reveal. And who knows? An arsenal of geography-related puns might even earn several applause breaks over the course of an hour.

** WARNING! This video contains language that may be offensive to some viewers. **



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Hot Tickets: Seattle

valentinesdaydinneranddanceHere are this week’s Hot Tickets in the Seattle area. Check back every Thursday at noon, PST for stellar events that fit the interests of locals and tourists alike.

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Friday, February 14 I Valentine’s Day Dinner & Dance

“Accompanied by his four-piece band, Kline brings a little humor and a lot of swagger to the old standards with a fresh vitality and offers a great opportunity for couples to kick up their heels in support of a great local institution.”

“Get your kicks” on Route 66, but wine and dine your Valentine on Orcas!

Dust off your dancing shoes and get ready to swing to the sounds of Half Pack LIVE!, a Vegas-style show band that’s bouncy, fun and well-delivered entertainment reminiscent of the old Vegas Strip when Frank and Dino were kings. Veteran singer and entertainer Troy Kline will be performing in a Valentine’s Day benefit for Orcas Island Children’s House at the The Rosario Resort Beachhouse (Discovery House).

Accompanied by his four-piece band, Kline brings a little humor and a lot of swagger to the old standards with a fresh vitality and offers a great opportunity for couples to kick up their heels in support of a great local institution.

Local favorite Gene Nery will provide additional musical talent to the Seattle-based band! And look for additional local entertainment throughout the evening, including magician Matthew Laslo and young songstress Stormy Hildreth.

A silent auction will be held in conjunction with the event.


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The Pronto Podcast — Brown Paper Tickets’ Event Guide for Seattle

BPT_buttonWelcome to The Pronto! Brown Paper Ticket’s event guide for Seattle.

Tune in every Tuesday to check out a few of our favorite events in the Emerald City! You can check back to the blog every Tuesday at 10am or hit “subscribe” on the player and get each week’s Pronto delivered right to your computer.

Have a friend that’s visiting Seattle this week? Why not share this podcast with them and give them ideas of something to do? 

This week’s podcast features local comedy, a masquerade party, a drag brunch and tons of great film screenings.

Want to know the nitty gritty legal aspect when working with art dealers and galleries? Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 29, at Safeco Plaza is the place to be for Gallery Law. Sponsored by Washington Lawyers for the Arts.

Thursday, January 30, head over to the Jewelbox Theater in Belltown for Now with Dames Presents: 66% New Dames. This local sketch comedy troupe keep it fun with plenty of feminine influence.

Head down to Georgetown on Thursday, January 30, for Snowball 2014 at Seattle Design Center. This sixth annual silent auction and dinner benefits the Northwest Avalanche Center.

Splinter Dance Company is a group of dancers who are coming together for An Art of Justice Performance at Seattle University.  This one is all about community awareness of critical social issues. Thursday, January 30.

Friday, January 31, head over to the Lake City Community Center for Chinese New Year Celebration and Lion Dance. Martial arts, tai chi, acupuncture and the lion dance. Not your average Friday night.

Masquerade Waltz 2014 happens at the Century Ballroom on Friday, January 31. It’s a passionate night of waltz, swing, foxtrot and tango. Details on the site.

When I Grow Up I Want to Be Me happens at the Broadway Performance Hall on Capitol Hill on Friday, January 31, and Saturday, February 1. Check out the tunes of Diverse Harmony, the nation’s first gay and straight alliance youth chorus.

On Sunday, February 2, and pretty much every other Sunday, head over to Julia’s on Capitol Hill for the Queen of the Brunch Drag Show. Eat an omelette and watch the show.
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Spit Take Saturday: Morgan Murphy

514Vah5BY5L._SL500_AA280_Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.” 

Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!

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Morgan Murphy knows how to write a joke. She’s a Twitter phenom and has written for 2 Broke Girls, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live. She’s got a great comedic mind, and it’s clear why she’s done well for herself as a TV writer—her jokes are smart and her material covers, with equal weight, Planned Parenthood and How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days.



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