Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Zen and the Art of Sales

Upcoming dates
Wednesday, October 5 - Yuk Yuks (guest spot)
Sunday, October 16 The Comic Strip (guest spot)

-It looks like I'll be celebrating the anniversary of my first year in comedy on the same stage I started on--a five minute guest spot at Yuk Yuks. What a year it's been. When I think of what I've learned, the people I've met, and the new opportunities I've enjoyed, I can say without exaggeration that comedy has changed my life. Thanks go out to STEVE MCCARTHY who got me started on this adventure as well as the other comedians and club staff who have gone out of their way to help me develop.

-I also have to give a thank you to LARS CALLIEOU, who offered to put me up at The Comic Strip on the 5th if I didn't get a spot at Yuks, despite me not being on the schedule. It was something he didn't have to do, and I appreciate the gesture. He's also a very funny guy, and while I'm told he'll be reducing the amount of Edmonton shows he's doing for the next couple of months to avoid overplaying the market, if you're in the Edmonton area and you want to see him, your best bet is to call The Comic Strip and ask when his next show is.

-Random Ramble: LARS CALLIEOU, KELLY SOLODUKA, ANDREW IWANYK, POWERMANN, and I were sitting around at the Sidetrack on Monday, when Andrew pretended to answer Lars' phone and proceeded to have a five-minute imaginary phone call (Doing these sort of thing is one of Andrew's favorite past-times. When Yuk Yuks mis-spelled my name on their marquee, he spent nearly five minutes insisting that their's was the correct spelling and that I had been mis-spelling my name my whole life). In writing that doesn't look like much, but what was funny about the whole situation is how Andrew tried to convince us the call was real even though it clearly wasn't.

This made me think two things. Thing one was to keep Iwanyk away from my cell phone.
Thing two is about something called Selling.

I have no definition for the word selling which is weird, because it's probably the single-most important skill any performer can learn. Selling is the point where the performance meets the crowd, where you do what you do with such conviction, that they get swept up in the moment and forget that they're watching a show. People aren't stupid: they know many of the comedian's 'spontaneous comments' are usually carefully rehearsed and the fortune-teller can't really read minds and the stripper isn't going home with them at the end of the night no matter how much money they throw at her. But a good Sell creates that moment of doubt which allows people to leave reality behind and enter into the world you're trying to show them--and that's what makes the performance not the jokes you tell, or the moves you do.

I was going somewhere with this, but I forgot. I think it was--if you're a performer and you want to be succesful, before you do anything else, learn to Sell.

headLINES for September should be posted shortly.

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