Friday, January 2, 2009

The dudes you abuse on the way might meet up on the way down...

Being a comedian, I obviously meet a lot of comedians. I find it interesting how many of them are arrogant, obnoxious,conceited, jackasses.
They drop names and brag about what they are doing and how funny they are. They talk smack about other comics, sometimes ones in the same room. This is a common problem and I find it very interesting. I come to the show to do one thing. Try my best to succeed on stage and entertain the people who paid good money to see a good show. That is the purpose for what I do. That is the job description. When other comics approach me and ask what I have been doing, I usually respond vaguely with an answer like "I've been around, doing this and that". First of all, they don't really care what I have been up to. They are hungry stage whores looking for gigs. The better I get, the more they hate me. The jealousy among comics is fierce and ridiculous. I am way too old for this kind of nonsensical behavior. Don't get me wrong, there are a handful of fellow comics that I genuinely like and will talk to on a personal level. Unfortunately, it's only a few.
The arrogance seems to be most common in young comics. Guys and gals who have only been at it for a short time (less than two years). They seem to feel it necessary to tell everyone about all the success they are having and how freaking hilarious they are. I always make it a point to watch these types on stage. 99.9% of the time they are awful and unpolished. 100% of the time they come off stage and blame the audience for their lack of delivering a good set.
The other thing I don't get is don't they realize that when they build themselves up so much before a show, they raise the expectations of the booker watching them to an unattainable level?
They always fall short and eventually, this attitude will kill any hopes of a career in business that is so difficult to succeed in.
I come in, very unassuming without any snooty airs and go up and do my thing. What I say before a show means nothing. It's what I do on stage that matters. I can't speak for my act. My act has to speak for itself. If it doesn't, then I have to fix it. I have to get better. No excuses.
If a comedian, or any entertainer thinks he is good enough, then he will never get better. He will slowly fade away.
BOB DYLAN even admitted in a recent interview that he is not happy with some of his output. He said something that really stuck with me. "A true artist is never satisfied, he is always in the state of becoming" BRILLIANT words.
I book a few shows on my own and I use comedians that are good at what they do, but most importantly, I avoid these arrogant idiots. I wonder how many other bookers, or potential future bookers they turn off with this behavior? A lot. Like any business, this is about relationships. Bookers and agents don't remember who was funny, but who was difficult to work with. It's a very small circle and they all talk to eachother. Why make it harder than it already is?
Will they ever learn?
I think it's a mental problem. Like any person with this kind of problem, they have to admit it exists first. So, new comics out there. Stop and listen to yourself before you develop diarrhea of the mouth. The only person that you need to impress is yourself. Once you do that, and it takes years, your confidence will show through your actions, not your words. See you at the clubs, hopefully a little more humble this time.

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