Thursday March 6th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL
It has only taken three solid decades of traipsing back and forth across North America, but I am finally starting to get strangers seeking me out to perform at their venue. Word is getting out - or at least it’s starting to. I have been trying to get to this point since I started, so what took so long?
Unfortunately, everything takes time. It just does. Showbiz is slow biz, but so are most others. It takes years to build loyal clientele in any business, and I’ve been around long enough that I am starting to get name recognition. It’s not with everyone - at least not yet. But regionally, I feel it.
It took years for me to put an act together, and it’s taking even longer for people to notice that I can blow a room away with the best of them, and am far undervalued for services performed. My rate is a bargain considering all the experience I have, but it will take media exposure to raise it.
If I can find a way to get regular mass media exposure somewhere, it will raise my income by a significant amount in a short time. I can easily see hauling in ten times what I make now or more for doing pretty much the same thing I’ve been doing since 1985. It has taken that long to build.
Of course there are always exceptions to everything. My friend Trevor Burke is just twelve, but he is far from the norm. And when it’s all done, I predict he’ll be known for being an actor rather than standup comedy. It seems to be a stepping stone for him, and there’s nothing wrong with it.
I started as a comedian, and just when I’m trying to evolve into being a speaker that’s when the comedy gigs start coming to me. In the last couple of days I have been approached by four places to perform in the next couple of months, and I have no idea where they might have heard of me.
They’re the kinds of places booking agents used to approach about starting a comedy night, but for the first time in my long tenure I see the places approaching individual comics on their own. I can’t say if I like it or not as I haven’t seen the venues yet, but I’m glad to see work come to me.
It’s not huge paying work, but it will help tide me over while I work on the corporate bookings. I haven’t forgotten about that, and marketing is still my number one priority. But that takes time as everything else does, and it’s far too slow for my tastes. Too bad. It’s not going to speed up.
One smart thing I did today was make a phone call to a comedian named Roger Radley who is based in Central Wisconsin. We’ve heard of each other for years, and I even did a holiday party he couldn’t do this past December. We’ve had some email exchanges over time, but that’s all.
I’d been meaning to call him for months – probably actually years now that I think about it. He was online today, so I instant messaged him and gave him a call. We talked for about a half hour or so, and we laughed about how long it had taken for us to finally hook up. But now we did it.
It’s smart business for both of us to know what each other does, so we can send each other gigs when we can. If a customer uses one of us, they’ll likely want another act in the future. I sent out a full length DVD in today’s mail, and Roger said he’s sending me one too. It only took this long to hook up, but today was the day. Everything takes a lot longer than people think. It just does.
|Building name recognition in show business - or any other business - takes time. It just does.|
|Comedian Trevor Burke is only 12, but he's a rare exception. www.trevorburke.com.|
|After many years of meaning to, I picked up the phone today and called comedian Roger Radley. I'm glad I did. www.rogerradley.com.|