I’m a comic. I book shows. Here are my TOP 10 TIPS to do more comedy shows!
If you ask to do a show then bookers know you’re serious about working. It never hurts to ask.
From my experience, it seems that often comics are worried about being “annoying” for following up or they forget to follow up. I never get annoyed if comics follow up with me. In fact, it shows me they care. You’re not on my mind, so remind me! Some bookers get hit up like crazy, so follow up…you will stand out!
If you’ve followed up several times and don’t hear back from a booker then either be persistent or move on. I think it’s often situational. Some of these shows come and go, so try not to take it personal because there’ll always be other shows.
3.Simple Message to Bookers
Try to keep it short. Drop a nice line or a few sentences and have a 10 minute clip ready to send, but do not include the clip within the first message. I like messages that are quick/to the point, feel personal, and reflect on the comic's funny personality.
I take pride in the shows I book, so make an effort to make an observation about the show you’re trying to get on because most of the messages we get look like a copy and paste situation with a laundry list of IMDB credits. And most importantly, address the e-mail to the booker’s name.
I understand that clips are hard to nail, but it’s important that bookers can have a clip with decent sound and visual, so if you’re looking to do a longer set on a quality show have a solid 10 minute clip. If you’re new to stand-up and not there yet…be honest. I often let new comics (1-3 years) do a 5 minute set on my show because when I started comics did that for me, so as long as you’re honest where you’re in comedy decent bookers should be open minded.
Once you hear back from the booker try to be positive to whatever they say. Lots of times I’m booked up for a bit, let the comic know to follow up in a few months, and often don’t get a response. A simple, “Thanks for getting back to me,” can go along way.
One time, I let the comic know I’m only booking features and headliners at the moment. That person took offense because they feature, but I didn’t know that, so again, if bookers don’t know you, don’t take what they say personal. Let the conversation reflect on your character, so they’ll want to book you.
Bookers want a quality show, so don’t give them a reason to not book you again. That means, confirm and show up on time.
My personal acceptations to cancelling the day of or a day out on a paid gig:
1) Better paying gig 2) emergency.
*I will never hold those things against comics, but some bookers are different, so if you’re cancelling within a short amount of time the reason should be pretty damn good.
Bottom line, be professional and considerate…whether you’re cancelling, rescheduling, acquiring information just be honest.. We’re all trying to put on a great show and book talented comics, so be professional and honest and you will work more. One time, I caught a comic who lied about the reason he cancelled the day of and I never booked him again.
Just don’t be a pain in the ass. If you’re funny we want to book you, so don’t give us a reason not to book you.
I know as a comedian we do tons of shows and it’s easy to forget to say “thank you,” but as a booker when a comic sends me a thank you note it’s awesome! It’s a super considerate thing to do that reminds us why we love producing comedy shows!