Comedy Career Q & A, Part 2: Quitting the Club
Alicia: I couldn’t be in a bar anymore.
Alicia: I couldn’t be surrounded by 22 year old heterosexual dudes, smoking pot and drinking and a lot of the moments were really fun but a lot of them were kind of degrading and painful and I felt like little parts of my soul would die watching them or hearing their conversations.
Alicia: The other avenue is to carver your own path and to declare that you are at the next level and to find the ways to take your work to the next level that make you shine and that have you open and be funnier and brighter and bigger than you are. So, to me that means whatever show you’re at, you’re bringing your A game, your A level of professionalism, whether you’re trying new material out or doing the thing you’ve done a hundred times. The A game for the comedian means being both fully prepared in knowing what you’re going to do and doing it obviously as if it you’re discovering it for the first time and literally discovering it for the first time. Like, what would it be like if I, how can I be spontaneous or maybe something new comes in the moment as I’m telling this.
Alicia: So what of that speaks to you in terms of like how much of it you already are like yeah, well I knew that and how much of it feels new and then we can talk about what carving your own path looks like. I automatically made this assumption that you want to carve your own path but maybe you want to get up there and keep slugging it out. I don’t know.
Able: Well, the traditional path that you mentioned to me is quite familiar to me and it was echoed back by my comedy teachers and think that’s what I was trying to do before I took a break and did improv for a while but Joe who recommended that I talked to you is mentioning try to figure out what your strengths are and what makes you stand out and yeah, it sounds like you found your niche and I write a lot of musical comedy.
Alicia: Wow, cool.
Able: I’m trying to figure out, how do I market that and is there a way to put it out there without having to go through the typical bar scene?
Alicia: Maybe you can go through the atypical bar scene.
Able: Ha. Like…?
Alicia: Art bars, cafes, underground places. Maybe there are spoken word events or poetry events or like pairing yourself with an unexpected thing because your comedy is musical and so that is unexpected. So like maybe there is other communities. I’m doing house concerts a lot. I love it because I’m literally in a living room with people I’m hanging out with, and my friends invite their friends, and who I don’t know, so there are more and more concentric circles of audiences who are coming into my sphere.
I’ve been doing my comedy through my community rather than doing my community through my comedy. Does that make sense? Like, who are my people? I’m going to perform for and with my people.
Stay tuned for part 3…