8 Tips for Managing the Business Side of Comedy as Presented by Felicia Madison and the Awesome Fema
Last week, Laughing Affairs presented Funny Business 2, a panel discussion for female comedians that reviewed insider tips on managing the business side of comedy. Laughing Affairs was founded by comedian, (and West Side Comedy Club’s 'New Talent' Director) Felicia Madison, who hosted the event at the legendary Friars Club. Funny Business 2 presented a group of panelists including Jessica Kirson, Abby Feldman, Luisa Diez, Jessica Pilot, Corinne Fisher, and Jodi Lieberman. About the show, Madison asserts “the goal is to help female comedians navigate a complicated and male-dominated field” – and they did just that.
Separated into two parts, Funny Business 2 featured the panelists answering questions given by moderator, Felicia Madison, followed by a briefer question and answer portion. The predominately female audience listened to the six panelists answer questions like “how do you find the work/life balance?” and “how do you deal with rejection?” The conversation quickly became an empowering and energetic, free-flow back and forth of tips, recommendations, and assertions. While they included A LOT of information and personal stories (and funny jokes, of course), I’ve summarized some of the most inspiring recommendations including:
Note: there is no differentiation between a male and female comic – just different energies. Channel the male energy and be confident, never apologize, never accept the first number they offer as payment, be direct, and don’t give phony compliments. Always professionalism.
Do your work diligently. Create a calendar with a small daily goal like ‘write one new joke every Tuesday’ or ‘reach out to one booker every Wednesday.’ Create, create, create, and don’t stop. Set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals, and keep going. Do. Something. Every. Day.
Listen to and watch yourself constantly. Try to film yourself as much as possible so you can observe yourself as an outsider. Know who you are and where you want to be – review these tapes to achieve that goal.
Become comfortable with rejection. It will happen everyday. Continue to push yourself into uncomfortable situations, take risks, and don’t be afraid to fall flat every once in a while. Do NOT take rejection personally and remain confident in your work. One panelist noted “rejection is God’s protection,” and I’ve been saying it non-stop for a week – it works!
Know who you are and how to market yourself. You are a brand. Brand yourself, find your niche, and then perfect your role within that niche. That will allow you to transition to other roles with ease and confidence.
Sometimes name dropping works. Sometimes attaching a somewhat well-known-name to your show or production can attract the attention you want or need to let yourself shine.
Fiercely support your friends. Create a strong network. Go to comedy festivals, shows, open mics – branch out and solidify a support group.
Remember to take time for yourself. Stay grounded.
If you’re searching for more tips and tricks of the trade, keep an eye out for Funny Business 3 and other productions from Laughing Affairs including their next F Comedy Club Show at West Side Comedy Club on May 15th.
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