Posts Tagged ‘Roger Radley’

Show Biz Is A Slow Biz

March 7, 2014

Thursday March 6th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

It has only taken three solid decades of traipsing back and forth across North America, but I am finally starting to get strangers seeking me out to perform at their venue. Word is getting out – or at least it’s starting to. I have been trying to get to this point since I started, so what took so long?

Unfortunately, everything takes time. It just does. Showbiz is slow biz, but so are most others. It takes years to build loyal clientele in any business, and I’ve been around long enough that I am starting to get name recognition. It’s not with everyone – at least not yet. But regionally, I feel it.

It took years for me to put an act together, and it’s taking even longer for people to notice that I can blow a room away with the best of them, and am far undervalued for services performed. My rate is a bargain considering all the experience I have, but it will take media exposure to raise it.

If I can find a way to get regular mass media exposure somewhere, it will raise my income by a significant amount in a short time. I can easily see hauling in ten times what I make now or more for doing pretty much the same thing I’ve been doing since 1985. It has taken that long to build.

Of course there are always exceptions to everything. My friend Trevor Burke is just twelve, but he is far from the norm. And when it’s all done, I predict he’ll be known for being an actor rather than standup comedy. It seems to be a stepping stone for him, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

I started as a comedian, and just when I’m trying to evolve into being a speaker that’s when the comedy gigs start coming to me. In the last couple of days I have been approached by four places to perform in the next couple of months, and I have no idea where they might have heard of me.

They’re the kinds of places booking agents used to approach about starting a comedy night, but for the first time in my long tenure I see the places approaching individual comics on their own. I can’t say if I like it or not as I haven’t seen the venues yet, but I’m glad to see work come to me.

It’s not huge paying work, but it will help tide me over while I work on the corporate bookings. I haven’t forgotten about that, and marketing is still my number one priority. But that takes time as everything else does, and it’s far too slow for my tastes. Too bad. It’s not going to speed up.

One smart thing I did today was make a phone call to a comedian named Roger Radley who is based in Central Wisconsin. We’ve heard of each other for years, and I even did a holiday party he couldn’t do this past December. We’ve had some email exchanges over time, but that’s all.

I’d been meaning to call him for months – probably actually years now that I think about it. He was online today, so I instant messaged him and gave him a call. We talked for about a half hour or so, and we laughed about how long it had taken for us to finally hook up. But now we did it.

It’s smart business for both of us to know what each other does, so we can send each other gigs when we can. If a customer uses one of us, they’ll likely want another act in the future. I sent out a full length DVD in today’s mail, and Roger said he’s sending me one too. It only took this long to hook up, but today was the day. Everything takes a lot longer than people think. It just does.

Building a name in show business or any career takes time. It just does.

Building a name in show business or any career takes time. It just does.

Trevor Burke is a comedian at 12. He's a rare exception.

Trevor Burke is a comedian at 12. He’s a rare exception. http://www.trevorburke.com

After many years of talking about it, I finally picked up the phone and called comedian Roger Radley today. www.rogerradley.com.

After many years of talking about it, I finally picked up the phone and called comedian Roger Radley today. I’m glad I did. http://www.rogerradley.com.

Christmas Comedy

December 14, 2013

Friday December 13th, 2013 – Antigo, WI

Who says Friday the 13th has to be full of bad luck only? I caught a major break with a comedy fill in Christmas party booking in Antigo, WI tonight, and I couldn’t be any more grateful. Roger Radley is a comedian from Wisconsin, and he originally got this booking but already had a gig.

These next two weekends are ripe for company Christmas parties, but unfortunately sometimes multiple opportunities come up that aren’t doable and need to be passed on to someone else. I’ve been there myself and it’s frustrating to have to leave money on the table, but there’s no choice.

Once in a great while there are two parties in the same area at different times, but that’s pretty rare. Next week I have an afternoon party on Saturday in the Chicago area, and then I do ‘Schlitz Happened!’ in Milwaukee that night. I get a double payday, and life is sweet when it works out.

More often than not it doesn’t, and that’s why Roger passed this party on to me. He’s working a show somewhere else for more money, and that’s great. I am thrilled he thought of me for this one, and hopefully he can come in next year and get the payday here. They were all nice people.

The company was called Volm Manufacturing, and my contact person was a lady named Tami Stueck who couldn’t have been easier to deal with. She was extremely on the ball, and I wish all contact people were like her. She got back to me immediately with any questions I had, and was always pleasant to deal with. She sent me a contract, and every detail was followed to the letter.

Christmas parties can be difficult for many reasons, a major one being that the company is not in the entertainment business. They know nothing about putting on a show, and often conditions can be downright nasty. Tami made sure I had a sound system and a DJ to give an introduction.

The DJ was a great guy too, and took great pains to get my credits so he could give me a solid introduction. Not many DJs will show that kind of respect, but this guy totally did. His name was Brandon Irish, and goes by ‘DJ Irish’. He gave me a stellar intro, and that always makes it easier.

There were several hundred people in attendance, and it was a wide range of ages. That can be an issue, much like trying to DJ a wedding. No matter what song gets played, someone will hate it. It’s a challenge to grab an audience like this and keep everyone for the whole show, but that’s the job so I did my best. In these situations it’s always best to err on the side of clean vs. dirty.

Indirectly I was representing Roger, but Tami was the person at risk because if I got out of line it would bounce back on her. She was such a sweetheart to deal with that I wouldn’t want to put her in that kind of a spot, so I found myself being extra cautious so I wouldn’t put her in danger.

What ended up helping was a lone Minnesota Vikings fan who’d had a few decide to pipe up at me from the bar. I easily put him in his place, but not in a nasty way and that got the audience on my side. I didn’t have to get ugly, and the crowd loved it. I’m there for them, so I’ll do whatever is necessary to please them. These aren’t career gigs, but they are decent money and every penny of what I made tonight after expenses will go to paying off my credit card. I’ll take bookings like this any time, and shut my mouth. I stayed in a nice hotel and got my check. Thank you Roger!

 Friday the 13th doesn't have to be bad luck only. Today Mr. Lucky caught a break and I'm grateful.

Friday the 13th doesn’t have to be bad luck only. Today Mr. Lucky caught a break and I’m grateful.

Wisconsin comedian Roger Radley had another gig tonight, but he recommended me for a Christmas party in Antigo, WI. Thanks Roger!

Wisconsin comedian Roger Radley had another gig tonight, but he recommended me for a Christmas party in Antigo, WI. Thanks Roger! http://www.rogerradley.com

Tami Stueck and everyone at Volm Manufacturing were both easy and pleasant to deal with.  A sincere thanks to them as well.

Tami Stueck and everyone at Volm Manufacturing were both easy and pleasant to deal with. A sincere thanks to them as well.