Friday, May 8, 2009

Thanks For Coming

Comedian Matt Ruby recently posted about producing a live comedy show, and the things he wished he could say to people hounding him for stage time, but that his good manners and business savvy keep him from blurting out:

I'd like to be honest with you though. I'm extremely picky and I turn down the majority of people who ask to be on the show. If you wind up not getting booked, here's the most likely reason: It's not clear to me that you're funny enough.

Click here to read the whole post. It is very interesting.

On the heels of that idea, I would add that as a producer of a show you are also not supposed to tell people why you choose not to have them back. In the interest of providing insight into these decisions, here is one imagined response to a re-booking request.

Well LOOK who it is,

You have a lot of nerve requesting a spot again. (Pours glass of whiskey) Are you sure you know your way to the show? Because you cancelled twice for getting lost, once for going to the wrong show and staying there, and once for bad weather and so you sent a friend in your place. (Swigs drink. Sets glass down.) We have now booked that friend regulary over the past year.

Let's talk about your contribution to the show on the night you came. (Gets up, walks over to blinds. Looks out window.) You requested to go early so that you could hit another show afterward, and then you were late, which caused us to delay the opening and rearrange the lineup at the last minute. You regaled us with a bit on edible funderwear, whatever that is. (Turns around.) The rule of threes does not apply to the number of times you should say, "Y'all look bored". I take it you did not read the e-mail that reminded you not to swear. The first few F-bombs came unconsciously. In all fairness it IS your adjective of choice when you have no idea what to say next. But once you realized it, you brought attention to it, which prompted you to make fun of the venue and the audience. (Wags finger in visitor's face) Get back on your motorcyle, and go knock up some other town's teens you rebel!

You hated your time on stage so you did not thank us for the spot. (Pacing) You don't recognize us, the co-producers, outside of the show and continually confuse us with other comedians. (Sits down) You heckled the host, you abused the equipment, you left early and with a lot of noise. You smell like feta cheese, and you make me sick. (Gets out of seat and lunges at visitor across the desk) GOD CURSE THE DAY YOU WERE BORN! (Composes self) Get out of here and don't you ever come back! Wait just a moment you self-absorbed, knock-kneed parasite. I do have one more thing to say to you, you dispicible piece of marinated garbage:

I hear the show you do is great--got any open spots next month?

Photo of Matt Ruby at The Living Room Show by Aemiessence Fine Arts


mark said...

Ha! This is great.

Matt Ruby said...

Damn, I now realize I sacrificed my good manners and business savvy with my post. On the bright side, at least I don't smell like feta cheese. Who is this masked comic you refer to!? It's Mike Lawrence, isn't it?

mark said...

No, this is the story of how she met luke. Oh!

mark said...

kidding, kidding.

soce said...

Great post, both Matt's and yours!! I definitely think it's a combination of all of the above. As a fellow comic, I am constantly trying to get people to book me for their shows. Some people do book me, and others don't.

It doesn't bother me when I don't get booked. I believe in Matt's philosophy that you must become so good that it would be silly not to get booked, and if someone hasn't reached that point, then you can still get there (or maybe not!).

I'm happy that at this point, I have enough to do between people who do book me, interviews, videos, writing, studio work etc etc that I can keep myself busy.

If there's anyone out there with lots of free time because they're not doing enough shows or other performance-related activities, then there are plenty of ways NYC can take care of that. You gotta be your own coach and make it happen.

Abbi Crutchfield said...

@ Mark: thanks! And this exact echange was followed by Luke's proposal.

@ Matt: yes. Actually we haven't had Lawrence on yet, so it's a matter of time before he gets his. I'm pitching his new pilot to NBC, "So You Think You Can Fist-Bump?"

@ Soce: Yeah, keep busy and you won't notice what you're not doing. I've found by the time you're good enough for a certain show, it's been cancelled.

soce said...

LOL!!! That's so true!!!

Crutch said...

one name: michael richards

there goes matt ruby's booking theory.

soce said...

Not really.. Certainly people will be more likely to book famous comedians, even if they might not be that great.

I've seen many random shows where the final comic will be super famous, and I'll be all "yay!!!" and then he will do a terrrrrrible set, and I'll be all "awwww, nutz :-("

Even if that person does a bad job, you can still say things like "wow that must be a high quality show if they can get ____ to come and do a set". Whereas if it's someone who's not well known, people would just say, "Wow, this show books terrible people."