Comedians: 4 Lessons Learned in 2014

event-tips-comedy It has been awhile since our last Brown Paper Tickets guest post. The past few months have been a blur with lots of big things happening with Comedy Outliers. This year was very eventful in regards to the changes we experienced both good (being involved in the New York Comedy Festival) and bad (losing our main venue), but we have come out the other side feeling very confident for the new year.

We’d like to share event tips and lessons learned from 2014.

1. Networking Is and Always Will Be the Game

Always be ready to promote yourself. We learned to share our brand with new people we meet. Carry business cards, be prepared to speak about your credits and don’t forget to keep promoting. Each event we produced presented new networking opportunities. We tried to meet everyone in the room, from the waitstaff to audience members and cooks. You never know who someone knows. This year, networking led to working with Yelp, Webster Hall and Comedy Central.

2. Be Persistent, But Not Annoying

Trying to book talent for our show can be exhausting, even if it’s just on a monthly basis. There are specific comedians that we reach out to who are frequently unavailable to perform either because of conflicts, or unsure of their commitments that weekend. Eighty percent of the time, the comic will ask for us to reach out with a future date. Do they really intend to perform on our following show? We’re not always sure, but we still follow up. This has led to us booking some pretty impressive acts and gotten us on popular podcasts like Robert Kelly’s “You Know What Dude?,” “Keith and the Girl” and the Anthony Cumia Show.

3. Don’t Give Up When Challenges Arise

We experienced a few bumps in 2014 when it came to working with venues and managers to host our monthly showcase. Whereas at our original stable, “Lilly O’Briens” we worked directly with the owner, we found ourselves working with managers who believed in our “Outliers” shows, but the venue owners did not. This led to us having several one-offs at various venues throughout the year, which was exhausting and trying on our confidence. Our fans’ consistent support, despite venue changes helped us get through these hiccups.

4. Make Sure Your Following Feels Appreciated

This year, we began charging a small cover for our shows, changed venues several times, and took part in the New York Comedy Festival. We made sure our audience understood why these changes were happening and ensured them that our shows would maintain the same level of “Comedy Outliers” quality. With our recent New York Comedy Festival showcase, it was extremely important for us to tell our faithful audience how wonderful it was to have had their support over the past two and a half years. Allowing our audience to feel a part of our achievements was rewarding for us and them. It creates a sense of community that will hopefully drive us to even greater heights in year three. 

With the year wrapping up, it’s fitting that our upcoming holiday showcase brings us back to where it all started: Lilly O’Briens. Lilly’s has moved to a new location down the street from their prior spot, but like us they have bounced back and are ready to host our amazing show. So come out this Saturday night and have a drink and a laugh with us. 

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Comedy Outliers: Themed Shows Aren’t Hacky

CO31 finalAnother guest 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.

Stand-up shows are pretty straight forward. You have a host, you have a few comics go up and perform and then usually there is a headliner who does extended time to close the show on a high note. This can seem like a fairly simple formula, one relatively easy to execute. While some producers put more effort into perfecting this formula than others, there are always ways to shake things up a little bit and add some unpredictability to your show.

In the art world, fall is in full swing and for us at “Comedy Outliers” that means we get to start producing our themed shows. During the first half of the year, our show follows a specific outline that we have perfected over the two and half years we’ve been producing. During the second half of the year, we have producer Mike Brown and customer service manager Tatiana Albandos’ birthdays so we get to bring more of a party vibe to shows. Not to mention additional shows with a Halloween and winter holiday theme. These shows allow us to have a loose format, which includes performing sketches, musical numbers and even bringing in guest musicians to add a different kind of vibe. The addition of live musicians is always a hit with our audience as it is much more engaging than simply plugging in your iPod for show music.

It’s very easy to get comfortable and complacent when producing a show. But you should never be afraid of switching things up and keeping your audience excited for the next event. In the end, you should do what you feel makes your show work. However, as you continue to grow your production, you should begin allowing yourself more freedom to have more fun and in some cases get incredibly weird.

Comedy Outliers’ next show is at 22 Warren Street on Saturday, September 20th at 7pm. The show has a $10 cover with no drink minimum. Pay only $5 for advanced tickets if you use the discount code “Rasta” 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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Spit Take Saturday: Joe DeRosa

41vMBSiGlyL._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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At a minimum, Joe DeRosa’s You Will Die merits a listen purely because of the unique circumstances surrounding its production. The first disc of the double album is the 70-minute set that DeRosa intended to perform. The second disc, however, is an unedited hour of DeRosa’s failed attempt to record that same set. What went wrong? A drunken audience that continually shouted at DeRosa, talked to each other during jokes and stared into their glowing phones.


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Spit Take Saturday: Clean Guys of Comedy

CleanGuys_Talent_SmallJpeg-M-330x235Welcome 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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“Clean” is not generally an adjective that comedians use to describe their material; it conjures up images of “funny” pastors or children’s entertainers. Even performers like Jim Gaffigan or Brian Regan, who are known for eschewing harsh language and explicit subject matter, aren’t really using “clean” as one of their selling points. But former Full House actor Dave Coulier has embraced “clean” as a brand for his comedy (in contrast to Coulier’s former co-star Bob Saget, known for his vulgarity) and has put together a lineup he calls the Clean Guys of Comedy.


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Spit Take Saturday: Bill Cosby

cosby far from finishedWelcome 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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Comedy Central is a curious network. In its apparent effort to saturate the airwaves with as much stand up as possible, the comedy behemoth often puts up comics who aren’t TV-ready—comics whose sets either lack originality or are just plain unfunny. But every now and then the network makes a savvy decision, as it did in giving hour-long specials to underappreciated veterans like Kyle Kinane and the late Patrice O’Neal. Even in those moves, though, Comedy Central aimed for its target demographic: young men. So dedicating time to a 76-year-old who doesn’t curse and is best known to millennials for other people’s impersonations of him, rather than his actual comedy, could be considered a risky proposition.


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Comedy Outliers: The Three Books That Influenced Us

CO21final2Today we feature another guest post from Brandon Collins and Mike Brown of Comedy Outliers. Brandon and Mike offer great advice to comedians, or performers in general, on how to survive and thrive in today’s competitive artistic climate.

The Comedy Outliers have a show coming up this Saturday, October 26 at Lily O’Brien‘s in New York City. Their shows are free but we highly recommend you pick up tickets so you don’t show up to a full house.

If you’re in New York or headed that way, be sure to check out their show. It’s rare to see comedy of this calibre without a cover charge or drink minimum. That said, if you want them to continue bringing these great shows to the Big Apple, we highly encourage you to support their efforts by hitting the “Donate” button on their website.

So, without further ado, I give you Brandon and Mike of The Comedy Outliers:

We love to read and are always looking for books that will give us a unique perspective on comedy, life, and successful people. For this month’s blog, we figured we would share the top three books that have influenced our stand-up comedy and the way we view want the brand of “Comedy Outliers” to develop.
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