Last Wednesday night was special. Not only was the comedy tribute show an unpredictable success (and I had fun doing it!) But it was also my 100th comedy show I produced under the Sidley Standup umbrella. That’s 100 nights of comedy that I’ve booked, promoted, physically set up, and performed on (minus a few cases). I’m proud of myself for reaching this milestone, and tired enough that I'm thinking about crawling back into bed.
Since piloting this idea last November there's been a ton of ups and downs (as one would expect). A lot of bizarre things have happened (stay tuned for future posts) but along the way I've learned a lot about myself, my expectations, and the industry. A mix of my observations and insight:
Will this newest step be the final answer? I don't know, but its at least the answer for now. You can only play the cards you have in your hand, so I'm excited to see where these cards take me.
I’m rather uncomfortable with the act of self-promotion. There’s something about it that feels so dirty. I was okay with selling my improv comedy because I was promoting the unit, the team, the squad, but just me? Convincing people that I’m worth their time and money, that my entertainment measures real value. I know I believe it to some degree. I like my comedy, other people do too. I’ve gotten good at consistently making audiences laugh, and I regularly reach out to bookers to get on their shows. Oh and if you’re a booker reading this, please put me on your God Damn Show(s). But I digress...
This discomfort around self promotion may come as a surprise as I’ve been blasting myself all over social media for the past three years. I guess everyone has their own idea of what's acceptable. For me, posts were fine, casual conversations were fine, but anything beyond that was a big no-no. I’ve shot myself in the foot by not having a website (until now!) A few veteran comics have told me to get my act together, but I’m honestly not in love with the content I have. None of my better shows (nor amazing ones) seem to get recorded. I remember this one time I was so pumped coming off stage and my friend literally said, “I missed recording your set while flirting with this girl.” Crushing. This other time I was using my go-pro and instead of filming my set I took 250+ pictures. But that seems to be par for the course..
Everyone has their own approach for handling new and uncomfortable things. My gf for example takes baby steps. She will dip the tiniest part of her pinky toe into something new, pull back, evaluate, then decide to quit, or try again with a slightly bigger toe. I’m not one of those people. I sit there looking at the water, imagining what could be underneath, alternating between feeling waves of fear and excitement. But after three years I’ve finally jumped in screaming at the top of my lungs! Here’s to hoping I float, and there are no sharks in the water.