Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Another Moron Crosses the Finish Line


Here's the thing.....

I book a comedy club. It's no big deal to me, it's just a job. My goal is to book the best comedians I can find into the club and to do so in a professional manner.

Sounds simple doesn't it?

It is most of the time, as long as the comedians I deal with are professionals. But some of the comedians out there find it very difficult to professional. Sometimes it's impossible for them. For the life of me I cannot understand why they don't get it. Comedy is a business and if you are going to be in it as a professional, you need to conduct yourself in a professional manner.

And there are a lot of people out there that call themselves comedians. They think that just because they can get a little stage time at their local club that they are a comedian. Now I don't want to sound like a snob but I will say this. Standing on a stage at a comedy club does not make you a comedian. In my opinion getting paid is what makes you a comic. I'm not talking about every once in a while either. We all do a little stage time for free. But if you are not getting paid for 90% of your stage time, I have a hard time seeing how you can really call yourself a comedian.

If you can't get paid for your work, then comedy is a hobby for you. You shouldn't call yourself a comedian. Maybe you could call yourself a comedian in training or an apprentice comedian.

You are also not a comedian when you work (get paid) less than 100 shows a year. For those of you that do not know a regular comedy week is 7 shows. To do a hundred shows you would have to work 14 weeks out of 52 in a year. That's just 26% of the year. How many other jobs out there can you work just 26% of the time and consider your self a professional? I know I came up with a pretty low number but I will use it for a baseline and I think I am being generous.

Now some will disagree with my definition and that's OK; but since this is my blog, we get to use my definition.

Back to my little story.

How can you expect to work for someone when you do not conduct yourself in a professional manner? I don't expect (nor do I want) people to kiss my ass because I book a club. I actually hate it when people try to suck up to me for work. I judge everyone on their merits. It will not help to brown nose me, that will not get you work. Talent and being professional are the only things that will get you on the stage of the club I book for.

This blog is on how to make sure you will never work at the club I book; compliments of Devin Barber.

Who is Devon Barber you ask? I really have no idea. He is just someone out there that calls himself a comic. I looked him up on the net and found no schedule for him. He has a web site that doesn't tell you much about him and as near as I can tell he's not on MySpace.

But he does have the email address for booking at my club. He felt the need to send the following email to me along with another 15 or so booking agents.

*******************************************************************
Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2006 5:07 PM
Subject: A great joke

Saw this one on Kingsolomonstoons.com

Why are democrats sexier than republicans?

Ever heard of a great piece of elephant.

Devin
*******************************************************************

So my reply to him was a polite one. I asked to be removed from his announce list. The address he sent this to is used just for booking. I know some bookers that get almost 250 emails a day! That would never work for me, so I try to keep my mail down. So here was my reply.

*******************************************************************
To: "DEVIN BARBER"
Subject: Re: A great joke
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 09:22:33 -0600

Could you please take this address off your announce list?

Thanks
*******************************************************************

I thought my response was polite and to the point. This was the response I received

*******************************************************************
Sent: Friday, September 22, 2006 7:14 PM
Subject: Re: A great joke

You are not on my announce list or what ever that is. I just thought you'd enjoy the joke.

*******************************************************************

Here's where Devin could have made things pretty simple. A quick, OK would have sufficed. No harm, no foul. I'm just trying to keep an excessive number of emails out of my mail box. Who wouldn't?

So Devin shows that he has no idea what he's doing when he says he doesn't know what an announce list is. He should, he sent this email to around 30 people. And he's telling me he thought I would enjoy the joke.

Well I didn't think it was that funny. So I told him so and my answer was brief.....

*******************************************************************
To: "DEVIN BARBER"
Subject: Re: A great joke
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 21:44:23

Nope.....
*******************************************************************

I thought to the point and non offensive. But instead of doing the smart thing and just removing me from his little list of emails. He send this

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Sent: Saturday, September 23, 2006 9:17 AM
Subject: Re: A great joke

Well, I guess your just an asshole then. Don't bother replying... I won't be opening it... asshole.
*******************************************************************

So I'm an asshole? Why? Because I didn't thing the joke was funny? Some Internet joke that has been passed around forever and this guy just found it and thinks it's a stoke of genius?

Please.....


So since Devin is not going to read my private email to him I suppose he has left me no other choice. I will have to answer his email in a public forum. On my blog. So here goes.....

To: "DEVIN BARBER"
Subject: Re: A great joke

Dear Mr. Barber,

I just wanted to apologize.

I'm very sorry.

I had no idea who I was dealing with. Had I known you were an all knowing comedy genius I would have never have asked to be removed from your mailing list. I could obviously learn from you.

How could I have been so stupid......

I took the time to look you up on the net and found your web site; devanbarber.com.

I wish I would have known all this before I challenged your comedy knowledge by asking to be removed from your list. After reading what was on your web site I now understand why you are in a position to tell me what is funny.

I didn't know that you have been doing comedy since February of 2004. How can I compare that to my start in September of 1992? You have obviously amassed quite a bit of knowledge in those 2 1/2 years. I wish I could have put my 15 years to as good a use.

And I had no idea that you have over 200 shows "under your belt" (that's what you said on your web site). It took me all of last year to do 200 shows. Now I will admit I was just headlining clubs all over the country. I had no idea that your 200 shows over the past 2 1/2 years were at open mics and bars throughout the Northwest.

This past Saturday night I was headlining at Laffs Comedy Cafe' in Tuscon, one of the finest comedy rooms in the country. Where were you performing? Your schedule is not online. Maybe you were at the lounge at Eastmont Lanes Bowling Alley in Wenatchee Washington? I am surely not on as fine a stage as you.

With your depth of experience it should have been obvious to me that you really do have a better idea of what is funny than I do. If you say an Internet joke is funny then it is and I have no place to say otherwise.

So I hope you will accept this, my most sincere of apologies and will keep me on your mailing list. I promise I won't send you any email. I understand that I have not earned the right to expect someone like you to read anything I've written.

I just hope you'll be kind enough to send another lame Internet joke my way. After all this stress I could sure use the laugh and we all know, you know what is funny.

Your new best buddy (I hope)

Vilmos

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