Many comics breaking in are eager to play all the clubs in NYC, including the headliner and showcase clubs. This is probably not the best move. For one, new comics are not ready to be a regular in those clubs which can take seven to ten years on the average if you’re exceptional. I’ve heard one owner say “Why do these new comics want to show EVERYONE they aren’t ready for the big stage!” Once you get a reputation as a new comic who really doesn’t know the craft, it’s hard to shake. You’re better off honing your skills in one club and auditioning for the bigger clubs years down the road when you’re ready. They will see you for the first time and think “Where the hell did this one come from?”
The second reason is loyalty, and it goes a long way in this business. We’re getting frequent calls from top entertainment companies, casting agents, and bookers. The first comics considered for these casting calls are comics loyal to Laughing Buddha Comedy. Loyalty doesn’t necessarily mean exclusivity. Every comic is free to work where they want. But spreading yourself all over doesn’t endear you to any one producer, booker, owner, or club. The comics that are loyal to LBC, have taken classes and/or literally brought audience members to us time and time again over the years, are reaping the benefits in a huge way.
I was producing shows in various clubs when a mentor of mine suggested I produce exclusively for one club. Since Broadway and NY Comedy Clubs offered me the most stage time it was a no brainer. Within weeks club owner Al Martin asked me to start a school, offered me weekend prime time dates, and then offered me the keys to the NY Comedy Club…LBC was born! Let’s take one of our regular hosts Adam Lucidi for example. Adam has worked with numerous producers and venues, but has been very loyal to us. He performed in our Monday and Tuesday Laughing Buddha shows for a couple of years, and was given hosting opportunities in those shows, eventually becoming a regular host in our sold out weekend shows. He took classes at the school, worked our video camera for numerous shows, (and still brought in audience!) and finally, after pulling some strings, we got him passed into development spots at Broadway and NY Comedy Clubs. Truth be told, I cannot, even if I wanted to, ask owner Al Martin to pass comics doing bringers or classes or working at other clubs; it’s not how the business works. So whether you work with us, or other producers, or other clubs, it’s probably best to put most of your eggs in one basket!