~ The Checkerboard Guy's Blog ~

Comedy Clubs!

2009-08-26Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

I was reminded yesterday about pursuing gigs in Comedy Clubs by my friend Byron Bertram. Byron and Sharon Mahoney came in to the PNE yesterday to visit and at one point Byron described working in comedy clubs as ‘Third World Performing.’ When he said this I cracked up be cause I knew immediately what he was talking about. Many many moons ago in the first years after I’d moved to Vancouver I pursued work in comedy clubs and ended up getting booked semi regularly to work at Yuk Yuk’s. It was a decent enough club with decent crowds, and my variety act seemed to go over well enough in the space, but the ‘work to dollars’ ratio was so completely out of whack from what I’d been used to being paid for my show by other clients that it was a little tricky to get my head around it.

Around this time I heard a line that always made me laugh as well…

Question – “How do you tell the prop comic from the stand-up comedians?

Answer – “He’s the one who’s got a car and drives to gigs.”

Sad though it is, there’s a grain of truth to the statement as the pay scale for stand-up comedians is just so much lower than it is for other types of acts.

I never really had the guts to give up my juggling props at the time to pursue the fine art of stand-up comedy (I don’t think I could have handle the pay cut to be honest), but grew to appreciate the genre more by hanging out with comics who really worked their craft and material and killed when they walked on stage with just a microphone. I still have a huge amount of respect for guys who can, by shear force of will and funny ideas, deliver a killer set from things they’ve thought up and bent in such a way as to make an audience bust a gut.

Along with the ‘Third World Performing’ line that Byron told me today, he also called stand-up comedy a labour of love, because you really have to love it to pursue it because it’s so freakin’ hard to actually make a living from doing just stand-up.

That being said, I know guys who have made it and who are having successful careers as stand-up comics, so it is possible and even if you don’t want to go whole hog into pursuing the world of ‘stand-up’ comedy, comedy clubs do like to mix things up from time to time and bring in a variety act, so it’s yet another potential venue in which to find work. If you walk in knowing that you may get a bit of a pay cut, but look at it as an opportunity to glean some valuable lessons about the club environment, then the investment of your time could well be worth it, and if nothing else, you’ll likely find yourself laughing a lot at some of the other acts that you share the stage with.

3 Responses to “Comedy Clubs!”

  1. […] Comic Strip Live, Today Show, Numerous performing Arts Centers, Colleges, Renaissance Festivals, Comedy Clubs, Street Performers Festivals and Fringe Festivals. Mostly, but not exclusively, around the North […]

  2. […] Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/user/clopshop Venues Worked: Way to many to sum up easily. Comedy clubs, colleges, television shows, corporate events, festivals, fairs, and theaters. Big and small. All […]

  3. […] that. I don’t even like that. Venues Worked: Wouldn’t even know where to start. I started with comedy clubs and supplemented my income writing for comics. I branched out into corporate gigs when I found out […]

Copyright © The Checkerboard Guy. All rights reserved.