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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 1:48 pm 
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Last summer after I'd got back from surgery I drastically cut my gigging schedule down, no longer playing clubs that wouldn't either cover my expenses or progress onto actual paid gigs and my work rate went right down, to the point where I'd not enough regular stage time to keep the act ticking over, and it was a struggle, but it's getting better and more frequent, if I do have some space where I don't have a gig I have been doing some of the open mic club gigs, but I'm now wary and mindful that not all stage time is equal and sometimes it's pointless playing a gig to a bunch of comics who've already heard your set just so that you can give it a quick run through.

From my admittedly limited experience I've found that most of the big clubs will take a look at you especially if they've heard your name, but that it doesn't matter where books you for paid 20s they've all still got their own progression system and there's no real way of bypassing that.

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 1:55 pm 
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I'd say never stop unless it's not financially viable. As time goes on though, just use new act nights to test out new material.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 9:05 pm 
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Location: London
Move on.

Get 10 mins of good material and keep doing it free until it's really special.

Keep doing the above 10 whilst you write another 10.

Do the new 10 free, and keep amending it until it's really special.

Contact promoters and let them know you've got a good 20.

Start working on another 10!

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 10:19 pm 
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Location: London -Millwall SE8
After getting a solid 10 you should be offered paid gigs if not doing them already,once you have a 20 then the gigs will come if your solid.Aside from gigs to get paid ones eg red raw ,rawhide and the spots {10s} at jongleurs or the store their comes a point when you have to take the next step and value your time as by now youve probably did 100s og gigs and thousands of miles.
Though everyone is different and has different goals eg like doing it/want to earn a living from it/be the one of the best.When you dont do open spots anymore its still cool to have a few clubs where if you have a important gig and want to do your set prior to it you can still turn up and do the gig gratis because they were good with you when you were a open spot,also handy for new material being smaller intimater gigs
for me oxford street saturday night 40/50 comedy literate people brilliant if i can and im doing a gig in london ill go along and double up for the buzz of the gig fuck all to do with money.Everyones different but their comes a time when you have to decide to not do them and do as many paid spots as you can this will lead to more if you do well{in theory}

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:32 pm 
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I think that kind of attitude is bullshit. To me, it smacks of forgetting your roots in the comedy community and of a highly individualist approach which I loathe. Help people out. It's much nicer and you'll come off as much less of a twat. I find it constantly bemusing that some stand ups seem to unable to operate as part of a lovely network where everyone can give each other a hand.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 2:02 pm 
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You can feel as though you are endlessly giving everyone a hand but when it comes to the crunch there seems to be little on offer. It is supposed to be a job afterall. You can't stay an apprentice forever and promoters can't be surprised when comics want to move on and be rewarded for their efforts.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:39 am 
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True enough, I've got nothing against comics earning a living, but I think quite a few people lose sight of what's really important when they move up the scale. I don't think endlessly giving people a hand is a bad thing, as long as the favour's returned and it's based on mutual trust within a community.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:10 am 
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paul_case wrote:
I don't think endlessly giving people a hand is a bad thing, as long as the favour's returned and it's based on mutual trust within a community.


Like gay sex.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:06 pm 
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A LOT OF TOP COMICS HELP OUT ON THE FREEFRINGE BY DOING GIGS.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:06 am 
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I don't think you should ever stop doing the smaller clubs. That's where the big comedians come from in the first place. When they finally get wherever they want to be, they can be a big help.

Plenty of top comics are more than happy do little clubs. Partly because they need the excercise, partly because it's often more fun, and partly because... erm...

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 Post subject: Act
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:05 pm 
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Well as a new act with over 20 wonerful shows, when do I stop being a new act? and become act. Over 100, 200 spots.
Some 100 gig people I've seen are still "new acts" or comeing back from a break is the reason they gave :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:42 am 
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Location: South London
there are next to no comedy clubs in south africa.
whenever new nights are started up. some of the old guard of comics here will not play the evenings.

why?
cos they are snooty and think that they are too good for them.

If you are going to new act nights to do your regular set (that you are paid for) then why not just stay at home, enjoy a nice meal, bottle of wine...chat to your friends,missus or whatever.

if you are playing your same material..then its a waste.
a pro act should be able to do at least ten minutes of new material at a new act night...and still be the best performer of the evening.

I did my same act over and over and over again. Got so bored of it. I mainly compere and write for my one man shows these days...it allows total freedom to just sprout shite.

to step up and be noticed amoungst the HUNDREDS of comics in the UK, needs more than just a tight ten minute set. You might as well have several sets. allowing you to hone your skills and play your audience.
(or moody promoters who thought you were shit the last time you did the same set for them)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:01 pm 
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Well what I'm gathering from most is keep in touch with small clubs but its a case of progression. People do this stuff becuase they enjoy it, but most want to make a living as well, I know I do. Doesn't mean you have to ascend a golden stairs and fuck off.

I've been at new act nights and established comedians have turned up unbilled to have a crack. In Nottingham, Tony Law arrived at a half-collapsed pub with the audio capacity of a guitar amp because 'apparently' a local club had messed him about and he wanted to just do his bit freely.

Really its deferentiating between a good small club, and puntless open mic nights that offer nothing much in experience and certainly offer nothing in reputation.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:58 pm 
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I like this thread, some interesting reading.

I am of the belief that if you are doing unpaid spots at a 'small club' and do a good job when you are there, then a decent promoter will start to offer paid gigs to have you back. Im not saying this is mandatory for a promoter, but if you are performing well at their club then I think this is only right.

I know that I would feel like I am ripping off the act if I knew they were storming my club everytime they were down and paying them wasnt on the agenda.

After you have that initial paid gig, stick it on your C.V and start to look for other paid gigs.

If and/or when you have made it as a jobbing comic then it would be fantastic if you could repay the 'small' clubs who showed you the belief and trust when you were 1st starting out.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:21 pm 
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Location: Essex
toby the third wrote:
What a load of bollocks, who are these people because they should be taken outside and shot. The vast majority of household named comics will still play smaller clubs to try new material out and to feel closer to an audience, small clubs are a vital part in the comedy network and should be encouraged and supported by higher profile acts, without these venues and nights, the comedy scene would dry up very quickly.


Hear hear etc.

There's a fair few audience members at the smaller clubs I've been running over the last 7 years who may not have heard of the acts booked but turn up because it's an affordable and friendly night out - then are willing to pay to see the same acts when they turn up playing the big venues in town or to tune into shows on telly featuring them.

I love it when audience members text me to tell me someone who's played the Funny Farm is either on telly or doing a show at the arts centre or theatre in town... it's almost as though, out here in the non-London sticks, by having done an ahem more intimate venue an act generates more loyalty in their potential following.

I'm such a bloody hippy... :oops:

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