Part 1 of this blog introduces the idea of having a house concert for comedy. Here are the nuts and bolts.
Here we go.
- Find an enthusiastic host with a hospitable home. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy. Just big enough to host the size crowd you want. I prefer intimate spaces where 20-40 people can cozy up together on couches and pillows. The closer people are together, the better. They laugh and bond that way.
- Decide on your goal for the show. Do you want to make money? Do you want to workshop a show? Do you want to create community? Make sure you and your host are on the same page. I want the most people to see the show possible. And I want to get more house concerts. And I want to rehearse for my filming. So I let my hosts know that I want to charge money for the show (you don’t have to, but it can bring a sense of higher value to the event if you do). And tell them (usually) that I am ok taking the whole pot of money, or splitting it, or having the whole event be a fundraiser.
- Make sure that host is excited to invite their friends. Their enthusiasm about having a great “party” will make or break the show. Make sure they plan to pack the house. Ask if you can also invite your friends. Ask if they want the show to be private, semi-private, or public.
- Create tickets. I used Eventbrite for these.
- Create tiers. Build momentum by making the first few tickets sold low-priced. They’ll feel good knowing they got a deal, you’ll feel good knowing you have people coming, and when the first tier sells out, it’ll inspire the next folks to buy tickets faster, so they don’t miss out on the deal.
- Create a Facebook event or other similar platform event and invite everyone.
- Do a live video and post pics letting folks know about the show if your host has opened the event to strangers. If not, do it anyway, but just to let the world know you’re doing a private show in Malibu (and don’t give away the details, obv.)
- Find an opener (or two) who is aligned with what you’re doing, who will warm the crowd up, and who you enjoy being allied with. Pay them something (but not more than you’ll be making.) You can offer them a percentage of the door. If it’s a public event, ask them to promote as well.
- Rehearse. Obv.
- Visit the space. Decide where you’ll perform. Decide where the audience will go. Do they need more chairs? More lights? Decide if it’s a big enough space that you need a mic and amp. Rent or buy a mic and an amp. Can you light yourself, but not the audience? How much of the furniture is movable? Will you be serving anything? Will your host do that? Will they be worried about food or drinks spilling?
- Ok, I know this all seems like a lot to consider, but for whatever reason it feels like less work than negotiating with a theater (especially for a one-off show), booking a date months in advance, putting up rental money, and getting the audience there all on your own. There are a lot of advantages to house concerts.
Did you read Part 1?
And check out Part 3!
And Part 4!