Thursday, 21 July 2016

Thanks for the spot

Stage time isn't easy to come by. I don't know what it's like in other cities, but here in the 780 (that sounds cool, right?), there are more comics than there are spots. Most shows have waiting lists to get a spot on, and book a few comics in advance for each week. Most also offer "draw spots" the night of the show. This is literally a "pull a name out of a hat" method to fill the last couple spots on a show, and you spend many nights driving to shows, just to enter a draw and hope you get a spot. It's fine with me, and most of us, as it's a fair way to dish out stage time. And it doesn't have to be fair. People running shows put a lot of work into them, and they're 100% entitled to decide who gets to be on it. Leaving a couple spots open for anyone to have a shot at is very generous, IMO.

This would be one of my first pieces of advice for a comic that's newer to this than I am. ALWAYS, ALWAYS thank anyone that is willing to put you on stage. They've sunk a lot of work into their show, and would totally be within the rights to just let their friends be on it every week. If you're a new comic, nobody in this industry owes you a damned thing, especially stage time, and they're taking a big chance letting someone brand new get on stage in their room. They obviously want to put on as good of show as possible, and there's a better than average chance that a new comic isn't going to light the world on fire up there. I've never understood the mentality of any comic that complains about how long they have to wait between spots, or where they're scheduled on a list. Stage time is the single most valuable commodity out there for an up and coming comedian, and if you don't show any appreciation for a spot on a show, the powers that be will have no trouble finding someone else to put on that will. 

If you don't like the way people book their shows, start your own room. I assume you'll find out it's not nearly as easy as it looks.

That's really it. I was just eating lunch at work, and started thinking about this. We're very lucky in Edmonton to have as many great rooms as we do to perform in. Make sure you take a moment to thank the people responsible for them. And to any and all of you that have taken the gamble of giving me a spot on your show over the last 6 months, thank you very much. I do my absolute best not to waste them.