A New Comedy Strategy
Last week was an extremely busy week for me in comedy – a welcome change from the stagnation that has been my 2012.
First I was on Huffington Post Live to discuss my last blog “10 Things In Stand Up Comedy That Should Be Retired.” I was excited when I heard that the panel had Neal Brennan, co-creator of Chappelle’s Show and Ralphie May, Last Comic Standing finalist. However, my excitement appeared to have been misguided because I thought we would be having a fun discussion about a list that was about 80% serious and 20% tongue-in-cheek. Although I tried to make light of it, about halfway through I wanted to yell, “THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AN EXHIBITION!” in the spirit of Rocky IV. Between Brennan’s condescending tone and May’s defense of everything on the list, I ended up trying to be humorous on a discussion that was being thrown into the extremely serious. Had I known that it was a fight to the death I would have come ready to do battle, but I did not want to spoil the general tone of the show out of respect to the people of HPL, who were nice enough to ask me on.
If you want to access the blog or the video – check them out at this link:
Then it was on to the more traditional, yet dwindling part of my comedy career, performing. I had two shows with Comedians at Law. The first was at Pace Law School last Thursday, which went great. The second was at a conference in Chicago, which went even better, and allowed me to check in to Midway Airport, which, other than my apartment, a local bar near my apartment and the dessert aisle at my local Food Emporium, has been the place I have visited the most in 2012. These are not the gigs I want to define me by any means, but it was nice money from receptive people before a big swing of clubs in October.
For a quick clip of me at Pace Law, watch here:
But the biggest part of my week came when I recorded my weekly podcast with friend and fellow comedian Josh Homer. As someone almost as angry as me, but even more steeped in comedy business and knowledge, Josh came on the podcast to break down my career and offer constructive criticism, mostly as a way to encourage me to keep pursuing stand-up. Over the tears of my mother I conceded that I would give myself one more year (as opposed to 8 more months) to try and implement his advice, if only to tell him in a year when I have diabetes and occupy a homeless shelter that he was wrong. For a listen to the podcast (and to subscribe on Podomatic – so you can listen on any computer, not just one with your iTunes account) click here:
One of the things Josh recommended was to make my movie reviews a little more detailed and engaging. So the first one under the new, still low-budget, but a little more effort plan is for TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE – enjoy:
But more importantly than that – I have decided to adopt Josh’s strategy against my will. In order to build up my movie review, podcast and blog fans I am going to offer the only thing I can – free CDs (not to mention my plans to record one around my birthday in 2013). Here is the deal (and if you are a friend, a fan or just someone that occasionally reads or watches my stuff you can all help me and I will try to help you).
The Righteous Prick Podcast – I am currently at 17 ratings on iTunes and 16 Podomatic followers. If I can get to 100 ratings (just click the stars (5 please) on the iTunes page http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/righteous-p***k-w-j-l-cauvin/id504139550) and 65 followers on Podomatic (click the “become a follower” link http://righteouspk.podomatic.com/) I will make my second album, DIAMOND MAKER, free for download.
J-L’s Movie Life – I currently have 31 fans on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jlcauvin?ref=tn_tnmn#!/JLMovieLife) and 13 subscribers on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/JLMovieLife?feature=watch). If I can get to 100 fans and 50 subscribers I will make my first album, RACIAL CHAMELEON, free for download.
Fan Page – I have a fan page for my blog. I currently have 150 fans. because this is consistently the most visited part of my site I want to raise the stakes and say if I can get 500 likes on this page (https://www.facebook.com/jlcauvin?ref=tn_tnmn#!/RighteousPrick) then I will make my third album TOO BIG TO FAIL, free (again) for download.
When I record and release my next album in 2013 I will come up with something creative for that, but in the spirit of trying to adapt from some of my old school, cranky (pure) ways I offer this to you guys:
If you are one of my several thousand monthly visitors or one of my super duper 30 or so fans who read, watch, listen and share my stuff consistently I am asking you to help spread the word. All I can really offer is free stuff that cost me money and a handshake/hug/round of tap waters/the occasional comp of admission when I am in your city. But if any or all of that is stuff you want me to keep creating and sharing then please spread the word about this stuff and get me a bigger audience.
I know the big piece of advice from everyone in this social media strategy business (including Josh on the podcast) is to get e-mails. You can sign up for my newsletter at my site, but I don’t want to use it as a carrot. E-mail is a sacred place for amazon.com receipts and penis enlargement pill ads and I would prefer you to only welcome me to that world by your own free will. So I will keep offering free comedy content in all its forms if you can help grow my support. Thanks. And fu*k you Josh Homer.