Producing Comedy

I had the distinct pleasure of being a guest speaker in clubhouse just now for a talk on producing. You can listen to Clubhouse replay here:

On the panel was club owner, Al Martin, with over 30+ year experience. Myself, who has been producing for nearly 20 years, and a few others that have been producing 1-15 years each, with unique perspectives of their experience.

I realized we mostly spoke about how we got started and some things to consider when producing but maybe artists should hear WHY you might want to produce a show, beyond creating stage time for self.

To recap, the most important thing in considering a show, is filling seats. How will you build an audience?

Without an audience you don’t have a show. You might as well film it and put online, and for many that may be a smarter avenue. It takes a lot of work to get 20 warm bodies into a theater to see your show. It takes a few minutes to film a TikTok that might get hundreds of views, if not millions.

I started producing to showcase my talent, looking for agents and casting directors to put me on TV. Over the years producing became an avenue for so much more.

Benefits of producing your own show:

  • Stage Time!!!! You need to get on stage to grow as an artist. You can take a class, go to open mics, volunteer your time to bark on another’s show. But producing guarantees you stage time, and if you do it correctly, wo costing you a penny.
  • Networking!!!! Having your own show provides so much networking experience. You can book bigger names to network up. You can trade spots to network sideways with other up and coming comics. You are in the club longer and get to know the boomers in the room nextdoor or before/after you.
  • Developing your list!!!! As a producer everyone that buys a ticket online or gives their email at the door, YOU capture their info. This list you build becomes your ability to sell tickets to future shows, or market other products: classes, private shows etc
  • Controlling your destiny!!!!! Because I produce my own shows, I work all the time. I now have weekly gigs performing / teaching. I have repeat clients going back 15+ years. When the pandemic hit I had clients follow me onto Zoom for shows and classes.

I started producing shows in 2002. By 2005 I was full time producing/performing wo a day job. My day job became producing/performing/teaching Improv Comedy at corporate events, schools and live in Times Square. And hundreds of artists have worked for/with me since 2002. Many now work on TV, Broadway or produce their own shows in NYC and beyond.

I’m not living the dream I expected, as I came to NYC with aspirations of Broadway/Opera, performing on the big stages. But I think I’m happier making folks laugh from smaller stages. And I have an amazing team that makes me laugh. The road has been bumpy, the sweat equity has been a real hustle, but I have few to no regrets.

Feel free to reach out with more questions. Come see a show in Times Square. Come take a class. Bring us to your community. Let’s make the world a better place one laugh, one smile at a time!

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