Ever since our inaugural Comedians on the Loose show back in October 2016, there is one question from comics that consistently comes our way: “can I be on your Gotham show?” Before we get into the logistics of getting cast, let me give you a brief layout of how the show started. The first Gotham show Sonja Savanovic and I technically produced isn’t even considered part of the COTL brand. It was just a fun “reunion” show we did in July 2016 to get our friends from our 2014 Gotham Comedy Club class together so we could perform and get on stage. Once that reunion show was finished, we were approached by the club to continue producing; recognizing the opportunity, we took the jump and it really started there. Two years later, the show now features talent from all over whether it’s the talent we’ve seen at our open mics or talent we’ve met on the scene. At this point, the show is in a residency with monthly shows dates through 2019. With various shows sold out or packed, the frequency of requests to be on the show intensifies. So how does one exactly get on the Gotham show? Here’s how. Your set is solid and can be done without notes. On the Gotham show, we offer featured comics an eight-minute spot for a lineup of eight comics (including the headliner and host). It’s also crucial to be able to do this set without notes. Headliner spots are cast differently in that we need the comic to have AT LEAST forty-five minutes to an hour of a polished material, just so they always have something to pull out of their hat during their twenty-minute set. Additionally, we would prefer the headliner to have some type of credits or projects occurring. Our shows are kept within the time frame of ninety minutes so a tight set is essential to not only fit into the lineup but to also showcase your best material. At our shows, we also offer a free tape as part of performing so we want you to develop a set that not only does well for the audience but is also something that you are proud of so you can use that set to do other things (i.e. submit to festivals, shows, etc.). Believe me, comics from our shows are utilizing the tape we offer so it definitely is a valuable resource. We’ve seen you perform. At least 80% of the comics we cast on a Gotham show are comics we have seen at our open mics; this is the best way for us to see your talent. Seeing you in person allows us to better assess current readiness and which lineup you would best fit. Now, just going to a mic doesn’t guarantee being cast. Some come to us with an already established set whereas others take time to build up and become confident on that stage. You bring an element of diversity. Diversity can mean a lot of things, but for us diversity means you bring something different to the show. The shows are primarily built off of the energy of the comics and what they have to offer in their stand-up. We’d rather have our show be a blend of different comedic styles as opposed to the same type of comic going up on stage. That gets boring really quick. Emphasizing diversity means there is something for everyone in the audience to relate to whether it’s political, gallows, or blue humor. You are professional. We cannot emphasize this enough, but professionalism is key for booking a spot on the Gotham show. While we run a professional show regardless of the venue, the Gotham show, in particular, is one where we are expected by the club to follow certain guidelines and for comics on the show this entails being punctual, not running the clock, and overall being easy to work with. Being professional makes the experience better for everyone and is usually what tips the scale in our decision-making process. Overall, our Gotham show focuses on quality over quantity. This is why the show is cast the way that it is with only a certain number of comics; with a premier club, we want you to showcase your best set so you feel good about it too. Got questions or comments? Write below and tell us your thoughts!
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