Posts Tagged ‘The Simpsons’

Brand New Heroes

December 18, 2013

Tuesday December 17th, 2013 – Island Lake, IL

I’m finding myself thoroughly enjoying my focused pursuit of improving the marketing aspect of my career, and I predict enormous improvement in 2014. I’ve got a whole new area on which to focus, and it’s one that has been painfully neglected over a long period of time. It won’t take a lot to show significant improvement, but I’m shooting a lot higher. I want to be one of the greats.

That means I need a whole new set of heroes to emulate. When I was focusing on comedy and little else, I studied as many of the greats as I could in that field. I had my personal favorites like Rodney Dangerfield and George Carlin, but even if I wasn’t a fan I’d study anyone that had had even minor success. I watched everyone I could, and learned a lot even from the less than stellar.

The same is going to be true of my pursuit of marketing excellence. I wouldn’t put Dane Cook in the top 500 of comedy acts I’d study. He doesn’t make me laugh in the least and never has, but his marketing prowess fascinates me. He came along at a time where he saw how to use internet tactics to garner a loyal rabid following. He’s a master marketer, and one of my new templates.

I’ve always loved Jeff Foxworthy personally, but his marketing prowess makes me admire him that much more. He’s always been razor sharp in that department, and I am going to revisit what he did to put himself over the top. I respect the guy onstage and off, and there are lessons for me in what he did. I’m studying attributes in people I’ve never really paid close attention to before.

Jay Conrad Levinson is the father of Guerrilla Marketing, and sadly he passed away recently. I was fortunate enough to meet him at my friend Steve Olsher’s “Internet Prophets” event not long ago. I got to spend a few minutes with Jay, and really enjoyed his demeanor. He was charismatic.

Dan Kennedy is another name in marketing gurus. So is Jay Abraham. There are others thicker than bugs on a trucker’s bumper all over the internet, but I’ll start with the top recognized names and work my down from there. I am soaking in all I can, and loading my gun with new bullets.

I’ve always been fascinated by master marketers and promoters, but from afar. Now I’m doing it from a much closer point of perspective, and hope to become one myself. Names 99.9% of the public has never heard of but still became multi millionaires such as E. Joseph Cossman, Melvin Powers, Joe Karbo and others are the ones I’m going to study and model. Those are my heroes.

It honestly doesn’t matter to me if I ever get famous. I’d love to be well known, but that’s not the same animal. Matt Groening of ‘The Simpsons’ is well known. The Unabomber is famous. It doesn’t always pay a dividend to be famous. Infamy is technically fame, but I want no part of it.

Gene Simmons of KISS has always fascinated me. His marketing acumen is off the charts, yet their music is iffy at best. I’ve never been a KISS fan, but I love how they have created a money machine and I’d like one too. It doesn’t have to be as big, but steady cash flow would be sweet.

There are many others I haven’t even heard of yet, but for now I have a giant pile of articles to read and digest, and PDF files I’ve been compiling on my computer for years. I’m going to dig in and get to work. A lot of people have a big head start on me, so I have some catching up to do.

Can you identify this person? It's ok if you can't, he can buy and sell you and me like railroads on a Monopoly board. He's done ok for himself.

Can you identify this person? It’s ok if you can’t, he can buy and sell you and me like railroads on a Monopoly board. He’s done more than ok for himself.

Here's another face you may not recognize, but Jay Conrad Levinson made a huge mark with his 'Guerrilla Marketing' brand. He was a giant in his field.

Here’s another face you may not recognize, but Jay Conrad Levinson made a huge mark with his ‘Guerrilla Marketing’ brand. He was a giant in his field, and his work will live on.

Melvin Powers started the Wilshire Book Company and made millions over a fabulous career in mail order. I bought books from him, and eventually came to know him personally. He's a very generous person and extremely successful, even though most people have never heard of him. www.mpowers.com

Melvin Powers started the Wilshire Book Company and made millions over a fabulous career in mail order. I bought books from him, and eventually came to know him personally. He’s a very generous person and extremely successful, even though most people have never heard of him. http://www.mpowers.com

Friday The 13th

September 15, 2013

Friday September 13th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

Another Friday the 13th passes quietly into history, and I have no shows to do. That bothers me. I never like to be off on a weekend as it is, but this one especially hurts because there aren’t very many Friday the 13th opportunities to be able to exploit to my benefit for manufactured publicity.

This year has two – September and December. I have a tentative holiday party on the books for December, but that’s in the afternoon. I have nothing at night as of yet, and I hope to land a show somewhere so the year isn’t a waste. Next year there is only one – in June. There are never more than three in any given year, and there is always at least one. I have to make the most of them all.

If I’m going to play the stage character of ‘Mr. Lucky’, it’s an ideal way to stand out. It should be a special event to have Mr. Lucky booked on Friday the 13th, but I’ve yet to be able to sell that idea to bookers. From a promotional standpoint it should be a no brainer, but nobody has bitten.

Maybe I need to sell the concept to them more, but something’s definitely missing somewhere. I will go to my grave believing in the potential of the premise that someone being the unluckiest person on the planet is funny, but for whatever reason it hasn’t caught on with a mass audience.

Am I not selling it correctly? Am I the wrong guy to play the character? I sure hope not. What a crushing disappointment it would be to have somebody else play on stage what I’ve been living in real life since birth. That would really be a Mr. Lucky scenario, only I wouldn’t be laughing.

I know there’s enormous comedic potential with this character, and I have to believe that it can catch on big time with a mass audience. It’s universal. Who doesn’t think they have some kind of bad luck in their lives whether it’s bad parking karma to lack of ability to choose a correct mate?

The more wildly wrong someone else’s life goes, the funnier it is to those watching. There is a cruel but undeniable comfort in knowing somebody else is doing worse, no matter who it is. I am fine with playing that character on stage, but it’s been a bitch and a half having to play it in life.

I once submitted a recording of my act to a comedy record label, and the guy in charge said he didn’t like gimmicks as a rule, but mine fit. He didn’t sign me to a deal, but I was encouraged by his comments. There is definitely something there, but how do I plug into it? That’s the mystery.

Maybe Mr. Lucky should be a cartoon character or even a comic strip. The advantage of that is that the character never ages, and there is a lot more creative freedom. That’s what’s great about animated shows like The Simpsons or Family Guy. They can blow them up, send them into outer space or anything else they want without consequence or added expense. It opens up new doors.

I’ve got to open up something. Doing what I’ve been doing isn’t working to my liking, and it’s not going to change by itself. I know I have a solid act and solid character, but what I’m missing is a solid business plan in place to sell it correctly. Once people see it, they will be able to relate.

Or, maybe I’m completely off base and nowhere near hitting anything. Sometimes it seems that way – especially on a Friday the 13th when I think I should be doing sold out shows somewhere.