There has been a lot of uproar in the comedy community lately.
You know what I’m talking about: the recent announcement of the Stormy Daniels comedy tour (insert eye roll).
If you aren’t aware of Stormy Daniels, here’s a little briefing: she is a pornographic actress involved in a legal dispute for an alleged affair with Donald Trump. Nothing spectacular.
She had no hint of a background in stand-up and even some prominent names in the business are making it a point to express their disdain for this occurrence.
Many find this occurrence troubling as comedy takes years to cultivate and someone with a few glaringly embarrassing credits and virtually no experience is having it handed to them on a silver platter. While it is unfortunate, it does bring up a bigger topic: sellability.
Are we as comics sellable?
This is a business FIRST.
I can visualize how the Stormy Daniels tour will go. People will go and watch based off spectacle alone and then see maybe only four or five minutes of actual prepared material and the rest will be a rambling mess. I may have (or have not) hit the nail on the head but you don’t need to buy a ticket to make an educated guess. Do I care about her tour? Not really...but the uproar in the community really does speak to the naive outlook so many comics still have about this industry and the neglect to see this as a business.
For business sake, it’s about putting asses in seats. Plain and simple. What can be learned from Daniels’ comedy tour is the need to be sellable. While it may be a total flop artistically, business-wise I get it. She has had tons of media coverage, is linked to one of the most powerful names in the world, and is an attractive woman; whether we like it or not, she also has a story to tell and everything is working in her favor (and a club’s favor) to fulfill the “asses in seats” motto.
Daniels’ experience is definitely like no other in the business and is a combination of spectacle and luck, but it should put a fire under EVERY comedian’s butt to find a way to become sellable.
How do comics become sellable?
Sellability is attainable for every comic. Some realize and some never do, but it can be done. You have to build a strong foundation for your comedy to achieve sellability and the irony is that many comics I see complain on the scene about the Stormy Daniels comedy revelation are some who have a very weak foundation: they’re lacking a quality tape, have no headshots or a website, exhibit minimal social media activity, or have very weak material.
It’s all an equation to sell yourself to both businesses and comedy consumers. Especially on the business side, these entities have to conclude whether or not they CAN sell you. That part isn’t up to you.
No one in the business cares about the struggle you went through to become a comic. It’s not a Disney movie where the kid works hard to achieve his dreams of success; meanwhile, we’re like “who the fuck is this guy?” Don’t get me wrong, it is about hard work in the art form, but it’s equally about what your brand can bring in for business.
So ask yourself again...are you sellable?
Got questions or something to add? Comment below and tell us your thoughts!