Call the New York Comedy World Hotline at 212-501-3766 for the latest open mic, new talent and industry showcase news! Updated daily!

Blogs

Ways to get Stage Time

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

When I started in comedy, there were few ways to get stage time…Primarily, you performed at open mics till you were good enough to go to the auditions that the various clubs had..In between you might have tested your chops in some road rooms in the New Jersey, Upstate New York and CT. areas….But in general getting stage time was difficult.

One day, a group of comics asked me ” Al, how do I perform on a main show. ‘ ….I replied , look at my lineup over there on the wall….Back then ( early 1990’s) , it consisted of Bret Butler, Louis CK, Liz Winstead, Louis Black, Bill Hicks, Nick Dapaulo, Dave Attell, etc….I said look closely, when you are good enough for me to bump one of them for you then you are ready for my main show….Because the fact is we are in New York, the comedy capital of the world. So many great comedians perform here…If I put you on I have to take one of them off…

After hearing the response, one I am guessing they were not thrilled with, they responded if we bring our own audience to a show will you give us our own time spot…And viola the new talent show ( some call it the dreaded bringer was started at New York Comedy Club….

Now I have heard all the arguments about bringer shows, some say it is exploitive some say it was useful…It usually boils down to the ones who bring find it helpful , the ones who cannot find it exploitive..

My take is as follows….Most comics who are not ready for prime time, are not getting on prime time whether bringer shows are in existence or not….Bringer shows should be looked at as one of many weapons in the beginning comics arsenal.

Do clubs make money on these shows ?…Yes but in this tough economy, utilization of space is important…If there is a time spot not making money, from my view ( and of course it might be biased ) why should the club not add additional revenue….As for the comic who can bring an audience, it is a wonderful weapon…It allows you to get quality time in front of a real paying audience…If you cannot bring , well nothing changes…

There are some things about bringer shows that I find distasteful and try to discourage in my rooms.

!) Putting the comic who brings the biggest audience at the end..I find this abusive to the comic who busted their ass to bring in the biggest audience..

2) Lying about industry shows…Being a receptionist at NBC does not qualify you as industry…

3) After a comic brings 10 people one week, 20 people another he/she has a week where they crapout and no one shows….I try to make every effort to get these comedians up, even if it is reduced time….We try to foster a sense of community….

A little tip for those that have no friends to bring….I once stood outside a club and found 3 customers who i asked would you like to go to a comedy show , and i paid their admission and drinks….it cost me $50 at the time, but wow, it got me up in front of an audience, exploitive maybe, but in any career you have to pay your dues…in law, it is interning, medicine it is a residency, journalism interning. Plumbing, elecrical unions have their methods…

Which wow . Interning will be the subject of my next blog…

Till next time

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Mission Statement

New York Comedy World strives to be a one stop show for everything in the New York Comedy scene…It is a site where you can purchase tickets to some of New York’s best Stand Up venues…We also sell tickets to New York’s best Improv, Sketch and One-Person shows…

There is a Comedian Resource section…This is a place where comics may be able to see choices in Comedy Schools, Seminars, Open Mics, New Talent Showcase & Industry Showcases…It also features Gigmomma, a new and innovative site that matches performers with people looking for talent…

It is also filled with additional content…You will find info on stand up comedy festivals, great podcasts, featured articles by great columnists about the comedy business. And some very funny videos…We hope you enjoy!