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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2001 5:35 pm 
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I'd like to point out to any promoters reading
that my absence from the London listings in
November was due to my being signed by a
very very VERY powerful agency for a 6 figure sum
and nothing whatsoever to do with my
going on an extended holiday to Italy - that's just
a rumour I put about so other open-mike acts
wont get jealous.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2001 8:11 pm 
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and the relevance to the thread is....?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2001 2:35 pm 
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Location: London
There are acts who have developed enough on open spot/new act nights to be making their way as jobbing comics (you know who you are!)

However many bookers in London read through the listings in Time Out's comedy section to check what big names are around that they might want to see for example, or what other clubs are up to, and as a consequence do notice names that pop up a lot as they scan through the listings.

If they see names that feature a lot in Open Spot nights they will assume that you aren't yet good enough to be getting much in the way of paid gigs, and therefore will follow what they perceive as the example of other bookers.

Simply speaking once you are a quite good new act - and you will know when you are because bookers of new act/open spot gigs will be ringing you and not the other way round - then they will increasingly be sufficiently keen to have you (as you will be raising the overall quality of their gig which helps to build audiences which is nice for the other acts and helps the booker cover his/her costs) that they will often agree to not name you in listings if that is the condition you place on accepting the booking. That way you get the stage time but will lose the label of new act. Simple really. (An alternative for good new acts is to ring round the new act/open spot gigs you like doing after TimeOut's listings have gone to press - the Wednesday before the Wednesday that Time Out comes out on - and ask if they might be able fit you in! Some bookers get really cross about getting calls like this so you have to have a sense of whether they'll think it's reasonable. Some bookers may be more amenable to you dropping in on the offchance - Jimmy Carr was a past master in that particular art!)

Negotiating to be "unlisted" is similar to top acts doing secret gigs - they want some unpressured stage time for some reason, and the gig gains kudos by association. For example, it's not so different from Frank Skinner being unlisted at AmusedMooseSoho on the last ten Thursdays.
Thanks Frank, and happy Christmas everyone!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2001 12:37 pm 
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Location: Nottingham
Must admit, I was quite surprised when I came down to do my first gig in London a few weeks back. As a somewhat provincial lad I've still less than ten slots under my belt since I started out in May this year. A London based comic tended to have upwards of thirty gigs in the same sort of timnescale.

The capital struck me as a bit of a comedy microcosm. Easy to get work but harder to be noticed? Does it put paid to the "If you want to succeed in comedy you have to be based in London" myth?

Sorry if this is slightly off topic but I find it fascinating. As far as the not doing new act nights thing goes? As a new act myself there's nothing I appreciate more than being to rub shoulders with someone that's made their way in the business. Really enjoy the chance to swap my extraordinarily limited supply of anecdotes and pick their brains a bit.

If snobbery of sorts is stopping some venues from booking certain acts for this stigma then it's very much their loss. At the end of the day talent will win through, good comedians will do well and those venues could well end up being snubbed by the folk they turned their noses up at.

Phew. Rant over...

Yours in relative ignorance

Chris

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2001 12:22 pm 
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Well, I started out of town and I found for
actual stage time it was better in some ways.
I got myself a compere/spot at a music club
more by accident than ambition
[not actually a comedy gig......]
because the bloke who was supposed to compere
had a drink problem.

...so I could just waffle/introduce the acts
do some material as needed which is a great way
to build up a back catalogue of material without
being under too much pressure. There wasn't
any expectation to be funny so when and if I was
it was a sort of bonus.

On the negative side without the pressure
there isn't the need to
tighten-up your material... and you can write very lazilly.

I found when I came to London
there's a lot more pressure for gags-per-minute.
Sometimes I think too much so....

While there were less venues
they were actually cheap to get to - my main one I could go
by foot - and it's easier to get on .................?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:42 am 
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LOOK

HILS JAGO posted on this thread.

How funny is that?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:53 am 
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Location: Nottingham
Thanks for reviving this thread. Very good reading.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 5:24 pm 
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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.


Your notion of 'small clubs' is very different to us Londoners Toby.

IMHO Kevin could do with cutting out some of the crapper clubs he plays and putting that time and effort into trying to move up the ladder.

It's about time you started earning some real recognition Kev!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:08 pm 
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Kevin Shepherd wrote:
I have recently heard a few comic's suggesting that in order to be taken seriously by larger clubs you should stop doing the smaller clubs.Is this the case and if so when should you stop and which clubs should you avoid.


Surely this is natural progression: Assuming you do as many gigs as you can, but you focus on getting better gigs first, then the number of better gigs you have will increase and the number of small gigs you accept will get smaller - thus demonstrating through listings that you're progressing.

As long as you're aspiring to better clubs and of a suffcient standard to play them it will happen naturally.

Just dropping small gigs and ending up with reduced stage time seems self defeating.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:50 pm 
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Won't promoters be reluctant to pay you some good quiddage if you played round the corner the month or week before for free?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 5:21 pm 
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Gumby wrote:
Won't promoters be reluctant to pay you some good quiddage if you played round the corner the month or week before for free?


If you're only gig is "Silly Johns comedy die N' dive" and you do it every week, and nothing else, then a serious promotor is going to build up a picture of you as someone who can only gig within that limited clique.

But everyone knows that comedians do free gigs. It's part of the job, especially when you start out. But at the level of most of the people on this site that's not the issue.

Giving up the practise and stage time of free gigs in case the big clubs are excluding you because of it, seems daft to me.



Your point is valid (there was a promotor complaining about this sort of thing on a thread only a short while ago) but I think it's a bit different.

Paid work has a stronger obligation than unpaid. It would be bad to double up a free and paid gig on the same night, and then hastle the paid gig to get away early.

Similarly If a club is basing it's whole night on your name and you're giving it away for free round the corner then they have a right to get grumpy.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:32 pm 
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Location: Fortress Wapping
Anthony Miller wrote:
Well, I started out of town and I found for
actual stage time it was better in some ways.
I got myself a compere/spot at a music club
more by accident than ambition
[not actually a comedy gig......]
because the bloke who was supposed to compere
had a drink problem.

...so I could just waffle/introduce the acts
do some material as needed which is a great way
to build up a back catalogue of material without
being under too much pressure. There wasn't
any expectation to be funny so when and if I was
it was a sort of bonus.

On the negative side without the pressure
there isn't the need to
tighten-up your material... and you can write very lazilly.

I found when I came to London
there's a lot more pressure for gags-per-minute.
Sometimes I think too much so....

While there were less venues
they were actually cheap to get to - my main one I could go
by foot - and it's easier to get on .................?


Why does Miller keep hitting the bloody return key? Is his screen only three inches wide?

At first glance I thought this post was alternative lyrics for Elvis Presley's 'Guitar Man', with its 'Well I started out of town and found...' instead of 'Well I left my job at the car wash', but then I realised that nothing else rhymed.

Not that this ever stopped Anthony writing poetry.

Sorry, as you were...

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 1:48 am 
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Location: South Oxfordshire
[quote="spikymike"]Thanks for reviving this thread. Very good reading.[/quote]

revived after being killed off by A Miller - how curious.

Basic rules apply though, if you are good for 5-10 minutes you wil shine for 5-10 minutes. If you can do better for longer you might just make a living.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 6:42 pm 
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Location: Londinium
I think you should stop doing the smaller gigs when you realise that you are in this business to do what you are told to do... not what you want to do.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 1:33 pm 
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Location: Blackpool
Having just finished my first full year of gigging I'm of the view that you have to take what's offered. Just moved up to ten spots but still happily take a five or whatever is offered because It's better than no stage time at all. I'm still new compared to most I know and maybe over time my views will change.

But yes there are already clubs I won't go to, It's nice to have at least one member of the audiance that isn't an act :roll:

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