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Pursuing The Corporate Comedy Market – Part One

So you’ve been in the comedy clubs for a while. But, you keep hearing about all the good money comics can make when they book a “corporate” gig. Pursuing the corporate comedy market is worthwhile. Being fed steak, treated professionally, and getting paid as much for one show as you do for a whole week of shows at the comedy club is definitely nice.

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But are you a good fit?

There are many ways to ease into the corporate comedy scene and test the waters. I doubt there is one single best way. In fact, it might be easiest for me to tell you HOW NOT TO GET A CORPORATE GIG.

First, make sure you have multiple pictures of you passed out or shirtless on your Facebook profile. In fact, keep that profile pic of you in a JACK DANIELS costume with the shot glass for a hat. Looks great.

Second, try to use as much foul language as possible on all of your posts, Tweets and YouTube clips. Most corporate groups love to take a risk when hiring a performer. The event planner loves to play Russian roulette with her job. The boss likes to live on the edge and get complaints after the event.

Third, correspond with the client by using your e-mail address. Don’t return their calls promptly. And forget to send a contract. While you are at it, let them remind you about providing a w-9 form at least three times.

Fourth, make sure you haven't updated your web site (yes, you still need a web site) in a couple of years.

Sadly, the examples above are exactly why so few comedians get corporate work. When pursuing the corporate comedy market, like any other job pursuit, requires you to do your due diligence and make sure it is a good fit for your skills. If you are just chasing the money you will fail nearly every time.

So here is a short list of questions to answer before you think about pursuing the corporate comedy market:

  • Can I be dependable, professional and flexible?
  • Can I put the needs of the client ahead of my desires for a laugh?
  • Am I willing to dress sharp?
  • Do I have a show that is not only “clean,” but is also “appropriate?”
  • Does my show get off to a quick start and build to a memorable finish?
  • Are my Youtube and other videos representative of the show I am selling?
  • Does my online presence represent my brand in a way that is competitive with other comics already in that market?
  • Am I willing to show up early, stay late and follow up after the event?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions, you may indeed be a good fit for the corporate comedy market. In next week’s post we will look at the first steps you can take towards getting some gigs and finding out for sure.

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