Ben’s Fourth Comedy Album To Be Released February 7

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“Continuously clever cocktails of dry wit… takes us on a journey through absurdly sick premises and sharp punchlines.” -Joanna Rapoza

Reviews and Writeups

Broadway World

Rangley Moose Album Review

Rise Up and Write Review

Album Press Tour

Crime Report with Pat Dixon

Disney Movie Stack Podcast with Ray Gootz

Faceblind Podcast with Jeff Waters 

Koppen With Comic Podcast with Brian Koppen

I’m Just A Kid Podcast with James Camacho

Trophy Dad Podcast with Matt Azark

What’s Going On Podcast with Santi Espinosa

Official Press Release

COMEDY DYNAMICS TO RELEASE BEN ROSENFELD’S NEW STAND-UP COMEDY ALBUM ABOUT BECOMING A PARENT: DON’T SHAKE YOUR MIRACLE, ON FEBRUARY 7, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA – Comedy Dynamics has announced they are releasing Ben Rosenfeld’s new stand-up comedy album, Don’t Shake Your Miracle, through Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, SoundCloud and more on February 7, 2020.

Fresh off of his last album, The United States of Russia, which landed at #1 on the iTunes comedy charts, Ben Rosenfeld returns with his fourth live stand-up comedy album. Join Ben as he makes light of being a Russian Jewish immigrant in today’s America, his experiences as a new dad and surviving two car crashes.

“I’m really excited to release this album as it’s my best comedy yet,” said Ben Rosenfeld, the comedian and new dad. “But I’m even more excited to take a nap.”

“Ben is one of the funniest and most prolific young comedians in the country, so we’re super excited to be working with Ben once more. Given how much Russia has influenced America lately, and how there’s more and more babies being born every day, Ben’s material is as timely and relevant as ever,” said Brian Volk-Weiss, CEO of Comedy Dynamics.

Read the full press release

How To Quickly Create Cool Video Captions

Posting good looking stand up video clips seems more and more important every day. You never know which one will go viral and help you get that booking or additional exposure. And the clips that seem to do best always have the captioned text at the bottom. I used to painstakingly go into iMovie or Final Cut X, add the text effect, type out 3-5 words at a time, adjust the length of time it was on screen so the timing worked, copy and paste the text effect, then edit the next 3-5 words and on and on. A single 90-second clip would take me up to an hour, and I’m quite good with technology.

So after I edited together a 3 camera shoot of my new comedy album and learned that in order to submit it to Amazon Prime Video, I had to get the whole thing closed captioned, my first words were, “No fucking way! I’m not captioning 71 minutes of text. I would rather nobody ever see it.” Then I calmed down and thought, “Who can I pay to do this?” I did some googling and asking around in real life, and eventually, a friend put me onto Rev.com which charges $1 per minute of video closed captioning and does a pretty accurate job with fast turn around (under 24 hours for short videos, 3- 4 days for long videos). You get an .srt file which you can upload to Amazon Prime / Youtube / Facebook video, etc.

Once that issue was solved, I decided to chop up my 71-minute special into short 1-2 minute clips to use for promo. I able to import the captioned .srt file into Final Cut X without issue but no amount of Googling was able to get me the answer of “How do I increase the font size of closed captions?” Apparently, that option doesn’t exist.

I wanted to hack closed captions and turn them into “cool captions” and I wasn’t about to start retyping everything on my own. That’s when another friend put me onto Kapwing’s Subtitler.
Kapwing Subtitler saved me hours of manual labor. It lets you import .srt files (or type captions as you go along, which render way faster than FCPX does) and then you can choose your font, font size, font color, location on the screen, background color, video aspect ratio (square, 16:9, etc) and other options. It’s really powerful and pretty simple to use.
Kapwing Subtitler in action

If you’re a comedian or content creator, Kapwing will save you tons of time and make you look more professional and polished while you do it.

Check out how Kapwing Subtitler looks:

Upsides of Kapwing Subtitler:

  • 95% of the features are free
  • No watermarks!
  • You have full control over the look and feel of your captions
  • It lets you quickly resize videos for different platforms.
    (God how I hate that every fucking social media platform has it’s own video guidelines. And why is IGTV video different dimensions than Instagram video? You suck Instagram! Okay, I’ll stop ranting. Sorry.)
  • There’s a lot of other useful-looking tools on their site that I’ve yet to play with
  • $20/month feels reasonable for the pro features
  • The auto caption generator is actually pretty accurate and fast (although it crashed the first 3 times I tried it, but I blame the Google Chrome incompatibility, see below). Had I learned about Kapwing sooner, perhaps I could’ve saved all the money I spent at Rev.com getting my .srt files

Downsides of Kapwing:

  • It is not properly compatible with the Google Chrome browser on Mac OSX. I had an hour of work get wiped out because the video preview did not work properly. But once I loaded up Safari, everything worked much better.
  • Tech support is slow to respond. I left a voicemail that hasn’t been returned for over 24 hours. Sure I called on a Monday of a three-day weekend, but who in Silicon Valley takes days off without having some overseas support staff in place? Especially for paying users. (I was so excited about how this was going to save me time, that I upgraded to the paid version within a half-hour of using it.)
  • Once you complete your captioning, it takes a while to render longer videos before you can use them. For a 35 minute video, it takes 30-60 minutes before I can download the file. And then if I notice an issue and have to make a small change like just adjusting the background color, that whole process starts all over. For a 40 second video, the rendering process still took 10 minutes.
  • Kapwing didn’t show up in my Google searches for “increasing caption text size.” It took a friend mentioning the site to me. Spend some money on Ad Words or PR or something to get it in front of people who have the pain point right now and are willing to give you money to solve it!
  • They seem like a tiny company with few employees. I hope they stay in business for a long time. Or at least get bought out by a benevolent conglomerate.
  • Their workspaces feature is confusing. I created a second workspace after my Google Chrome issues, just to have a clean slate and I couldn’t figure out why they kept trying to upsell me to a paid account when I already did that! Turns out, they charge you per workspace. That makes no sense. I’d think once it’s an upgraded pro account, what difference does it make how you separate your workspaces?
  • I don’t see where I name each separate video. It seems like I can only rename once it’s in workspaces, and the workspace doesn’t list how long each video is, so I can’t tell what’s what very easily.
  • Command+Z doesn’t work as a shortcut for edit->undo / I can’t find the undo button easily

Overall:

If you want to create cool looking captions for your videos, Kapwing Subtitler is the best tool around. (It’s also the only tool I found that has the amount of control and flexibility I want.)

 

*Disclosure – Kapwing offers bloggers a free pro account if they write a review about the software. I don’t think this influenced my review too much, but it’s always possible.

2020 Comedy Goals

For the past eleven years, I set goals at the start of the year and then review how I did at the end of the year [see 2019, 201820172016201520142013201220112010 and 2009]. I’m not sure if this is actually useful, as the goals have been pretty similar the last few years and I only look at this post the first and last day of the year, but I like traditions, and maybe it helps subconsciously, so here go my goals for this year.

For the second year in a row, I’ve separated “process goals” (aka things I can control – in black), and “goal goals” (aka things that depend on other people as well as me – in grey text). But this year, I made all my top 5 goals things I can control.

This year I changed my categories so that all things related to stand-up are one category, and then all other comedy-related goals are separated.

I have the same number of goals as last year (15) and then whittled down my top 5. Since I can control all my top 5 goals, success is doing all of them this year.

Stand Up

  • Perform at least 500 times
  • Create 40 new minutes of material that I try on stage, turn 20 of those minutes into “A” jokes
  • Write 5/7 days of every week
  • Have Amazon Prime Video stream my new comedy album on their platform (as well as an abridged version of my third album)
  • Get my new comedy album “Don’t Shake Your Miracle” to #1 in the iTunes Comedy charts
  • Do a stand-up set on TV or Netflix that airs in its entirety (not a stand-up clip show)

Writing/Producing (non-standup) 

  • Publish my second book
  • Create and release 3 new sketch videos
  • Develop and film a sizzle reel for my gameshow idea
  • Sell a TV show and get it on air

Learning

  • Take at least one class
  • Read 20 books

Financials

  • Earn $50,000 from entertainment-related business income

Misc

  • Average weight of 176 pounds or less

 

Top 5 Goals

  • Publish my second book
  • Create 40 new minutes of material that I try on stage, turn 20 of those minutes into “A” jokes
  • Perform 500 times
  • Average weight of 176 pounds or less
  • Develop and film a sizzle reel for my gameshow idea

2019 Comedy Goal Revisited

On January 1st, 2019 I posted my goals for this year. Since it’s the last day of the year, it’s time to go through them and see how I did. Black text is the original goal and bold text is how I did. 

Performing (2 out of 6 accomplished, one more still in progress)

  • Record my fourth comedy album
    Completed! “Don’t Shake Your Miracle” will be out on February 7th. More details coming shortly.
  • Publish my second book (details coming soon)
    In process. I have about 40 illustrations completed and the book text complete, but it’s taking longer than anticipated.
  • Perform 500 times
    Performed 569 times
  • Do a stand-up set on TV or Netflix that airs in its entirety (not a stand-up clip show)
    Did not do a TV/Netflix set
  • Do two acting gigs (non-stand up) that air on TV
    Did not have two TV acting gigs
  • Perform at a NACA showcase
    Did not perform at a NACA
  • Perform at 10 colleges
    Did fewer than ten colleges

Writing/Producing (2.75 out of 4 completed)

  • Create 40 new minutes of material that I try on stage, turn 20 of those minutes into “A” jokes
    Yes
  • Write 5/7 days of every week
    Yes
  • Film a sequel to The Slice and create 4 more videos
    I co-created a sequel called “The Shakedown” and created some other videos, although they were all part of one web series, so I’m only giving myself 75% credit
  • Sell a TV show and get it on air
    Did not sell or get a show on air, although I came close more than once

Learning (2 out of 2 accomplished)

  • Take at least one acting class
    Took one sketch acting class
  • Read 20 books
    Read 23 books

Financials (0 out of 1 accomplished)

  • Earn $40,000 from entertainment related business income
    Did not earn $40,000

Misc (0 out of 1 accomplished)

  • Average weight 176 pounds or less
    Weight was above this

 

Top 5 Goals (2 out of 4 accomplished, one still in progress)

  • Record my fourth comedy album Yes
  • Publish my second book Halfway done
  • Create 40 new minutes of material that I try on stage, turn 20 of those minutes into “A” jokes Yes
  • Do a stand-up set on TV or Netflix that airs in its entirety No
  • Sell a TV show and get it on air No

Overall note: This was the first year I separated “things I can control” and “things that depend on other people as well as on me” – I accomplished 6 out of 7 goals I could control (damn is minor weight loss hard!) with 1 still in progress. Of the things I couldn’t directly control, I was 0 for 6.

Ben To Record 4th Comedy Album On November 15

Get your tickets here

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be recording my fourth stand up comedy album on Friday, November 15, 2019.

Ben's Album Recording Flyer

The album is tentatively titled “Don’t Shake Your Miracle” and will be released by Comedy Dynamics.

My new hour will be recorded in front of a live audience (that means you, please come out!) at The PIT Loft in New York, NY.

There will be two shows – 7pm and 9pm.

Get your tickets here

 

Here’s the official show description:

Fresh off of his last album becoming the #1 best seller in iTunes comedy, Ben Rosenfeld returns to record his fourth live stand up comedy album. Join Ben as he makes light of being a Russian Jewish immigrant in today’s America, his experiences as a new dad and surviving two car crashes.