Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Show Biz; the multilevel marketing of The Comedy Store

It is really very clever.  Originally I was opposed.  They want you to sell tickets.  What?  No.  My days of selling donuts door to door in high school for nefarious purposes are over.  I am sorry it got brought up.

Anyway, they have a big comedy show in LaJolla--which is, admittedly, an upscale neighborhood.
They sucker semi-popular acoustic groups or singer song writers to fill the first hour.  Usually they have three of them.  Also it has to be original because BMI and ASCAP have been shaking down small and medium sized venues for prohibitive fees.  So, all of a sudden, original music is requested, even if they still don't pay worth a damn.

I made it known from the start that it is not to be difficult or anything else, but don't count on me for ticket sales.  So we met with the headline comedian, and producer or the event.  If that guy is not on cocaine or other stimulant, then he needs tranquilizing badly.

And how can a guy who won Last Comic Standing, is on some TV shows and has been on the Tonight show (I think) , have no sense of humor?  I swear, we sat in starbuck's; Karen, Sande, and I.  And this guy was drawing upside down graphs so they would be right side up to us.  He has abbreviations for everything.  It is nuts.  seriously nuts.

Sande thinks it is a prestigious venue, and Karen was almost begging, continually assuring him tickets would get sold, we are always on time, and don't fight; every time some hypothetical or past band issue from the comedian's experience came up, Karen started a sales pitch on the guy.  Why I do not know.

I heard there will be an online link so people can do that.  I will just direct people where to go and what to say.  If they do it, fine, and if they don't---they will.  It really will be worth the price.  It's San Diego and $10 is not much, except to me and my no 'count friends.  But we are supposed to be getting a piece of the take.  I did the arithmetic.  Multiplication and division are still considered arithmetic, aren't they?

The place holds maybe 225.  That's another thing, he will overbook, just like an airline.  This is seriously nuts. But I am just the bystander.  I know a couple of people who played there.  So, all the however many comedians will sell tickets too.  Our band is supposed to sell maybe 34 between all four.  Karen says she can sell fifty.  Have at it.

I do things because the others seem to get charged up about it.  They are not too interested in my take.  This place has seen many big time comedians and such in their early days.  Some of the comics will be good, I'm sure  I have seen a few around.

The guy running it just does comedy about ethnicity.  Hey I am not white. hahaha. hey look I am ethnicity x. hahaha
He won that contest and he is actually doing OK.  Pandering and race pay off.

Actually I respect his passion regarding his system for do these shows.  It reminds me of the passion I had when I was in the cotton dust control business.  Or the business of creating machines that would do it well.  I was hyper focussed.  That can be unhealthy, and it can distort certain decisions.  In my case that was not good.

We play it on August 7th.  Right after playing the Gyspyfest in the desert on the 6th.  That's the clothing optional place.  Sure are a lot of bands.  They said they picked it for it's beauty not the nudist aspect.  So everyone is fine wearing clothes. Hahahaha.  I am laughing.  The bands have to wear clothes or else they hold you to stripper standards.  I am, pretty sure about that.

No need for us to sell tickets to the Gypsyfest.  I forget what it pays.  Something but nothing major.

The way I see the Comedy Store is that you are  forcing seven or ten friends and relatives come see you play, in exchange for the opportunity to play.  In my view, it is paying a place to let me play.  And allowing them to criticize me for not selling enough tickets to my amway friends.

That is why I would not commit.   I do not know if I will sell any.  Or try to.  I either don't want people thinking I am taking advantage, or my friends are musicians themselves and have thin bank accounts.

They do sell out their shows, but he will not bring a comic back, no matter how good, if he did not personally sell what is deemed the adequate number of seats.  I'm the harp player.  Along for the ride, if it doesn't get too damn hokey.

There is an ilk of small business operator who has a thinly veiled disdain for those who do not share his/her passion for whatever it is the business does.  They also tend to think everyone else is much less intelligent than themselves.  Others deserve ridicule even though the owner is ever the victim of his "ungrateful" employees.  Even in the comedy game.  But it has to be obvious that most who make it in show business, and comedy especially, tend to almost be bullies.  Pushy at the very least.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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