I’m doing a show this Thursday night in the town I grew up in. It’s the first time I’ve ever done a show there, as I could never find the right venue to do it in the past. I’m looking forward to it as I’m a celebrity to my hometown peeps and it will be nice to run into some people I haven’t seen in over 30 years. Here is the local paper write-up if you are interested.
Now I know a lot of comics who read this site have a hard time getting more than 5 minutes of stage time. Here is my recommendation if you want to branch out some. Put on your own show at some bar and promote it to your friends and family. When I started I used to do a lot of these shows, as I wanted to do 45 minutes, but knew the most I was going to get was 15 opening at the local comedy club. I would book a couple other friends who were in a similar situation to open for me and then we would split the door. It was a great way to stretch out our comedy legs.
WARNING: When you do a show like this, you might find out you aren’t as good as you think you are. If you only have 30 minutes of material, don’t plan on doing that much, as you might discover the first time you stretch out this long 10 minutes of it isn’t really comedy. If you don’t want your friends and family driving home that night telling each other you need to go back to working at the Jiffy Lube, you need to do your best at not pushing your own personal comedy envelope.
Now I know a lot of amateur comics expect things will just happen. They expect that some magical agent is going to discover them and make them a star. The 80’s are over. Take a step into reality. If you want to raise your profile in the biz, book your own show and see if some headliner-type (like myself) will close the show for you. You help me make some money and show me that you can do a solid 30 minutes and I know that I would be much more likely to consider bringing you on the road with me for a gig or 10. Another idea is to put together the first show and then pass the room over to a major booking agent. By doing this you are really putting yourself on the radar for that booker.
Don’t just sit around expecting stuff to happen for you. I’m 2 decades into this biz and I’m still hustling like a Mug. You should get a retail job if you want to have someone tell you what to do all day.