Sin City Symposium

Thursday September 23rd, 2010 – Las Vegas, NV

This is turning out to be a very fun event. I’m not sure if I’ll get anything out of it other than hanging with good people, but that’s enough for me. At least I’ve been able to renew some old contacts and meet some new friends. My seminar went over pretty well from all accounts, and I’ve had comic after comic approach to tell me they’d learned something.

That’s the whole idea. We all keep learning, but I’ve made the biggest mistakes and the smart people on the way up won’t have to make those all over again. I tried to be soak up as much knowledge as I could on my way up the ranks, but there weren’t people handing out advice to my generation of comics like I’m able to do. Times are very different now.

The whole comedy business has changed, because the world around it changed. Human nature stays the same, and those are the points that I try to stress in my presentations. I did one in Chicago with Bubba Muski earlier this month at Pressure Café and this one was an offshoot of that. I gave some unvarnished opinions and focused on topics few others do.

No matter how much any circumstances might change, the fact that it takes a lot of old fashioned hard work to succeed even a little is an absolute constant. Hard work combined with creative vision and a little luck thrown in there are what will ultimately define all of us as performers. These people need to know that, and hopefully I can paint the picture.

Most of the booking agents have been pretty approachable. They held a meet and greet in a big room and we all got to shake hands, kiss babies and hand out business cards. It’s very intimidating for a new comic to be in a room with all those bookers, and I remember when I was intimidated by it too. It takes a while to realize that they’re all just people too.

I renewed a few relationships with those I knew, and met a few others for the first time face to face that I’d worked for over the years. There was one that I wouldn’t approach, as I could see we were not going to hit it off. I had wanted to make some kind of peace with him, as I’d worked for his father for twenty years. He took over and started firing people.

Do I need him for survival? No, but it would be nice to have that work. It’s in my home region and in places I do extremely well. A smart person would know that and beg quality people to work their circuit, but nobody ever accused any of them of being smart. They’re in it for themselves, and treat the comics like disposable diapers. I won’t put up with that.

I turned the other way and avoided a confrontation. I could have gotten in his face, as he was part of the ugliness of the Giggles bounced check situation in Milwaukee, and I never did get my bounced check fees returned, but he’s not worth my time. He’ll run the whole business into the ground soon enough, and that’ll be it. He’s already started to mangle it.

I’ll outlast him, just as I have so many other imbeciles in the business. Wasting time on clueless halfwits has been a major source of my conflict over the years, and when I don’t listen to them and do my own thing it usually goes quite well. That’s the best solution.


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