Day Career Change

I don’t mention this much, but for the past three years my day job (or “day career” as I like to call it) was being a management consultant at Accenture – a Fortune 500 consulting/outsourcing firm. (A great video parody of Accenture is here, and check out the immortal consultants vs ibankers video.)

Anyway, June 1st was my last day at Accidenture.

Starting in September, my new day career will be as a PhD student at Caltech in Neuroeconomics. That’s right, I’m going to be taking 1/3 of the pay for three times the amount of hours, and I’ll still be pursuing comedy full time as well. Should be an interesting five years in LA.

This post was my roundabout way of saying that I haven’t posted in a week because I had to return my previous PC to my corporate overlords and the Amazon delivery took longer then expected. And now, back to comedy business as usual.

My Comedy Mindset

I try to approach every time on stage as a learning experience and a step towards improving as a comedian. 

I have two metaphors that I try to keep in mind, especially after a bad show. I thought I’d share them as maybe they’ll help someone else get through a tough patch in comedy or any other passion (or job) they have:

  1. Every performance is a brick in the wall of what will eventually become an amazing castle.
  2. I’m in the middle of a dense forest and can’t see around me. I have an axe, and instead of worrying about my situation, I need to just put my head down, get to work, and keep chopping. If I chop for long enough, I’ll get out of the woods. (I’m a huge Rutgers Football fan and I borrowed this metaphor from Coach Schiano.)

As much as I want to kill it at every show, this isn’t realistically possible at this stage of my career (although that’s still my goal every time). Therefore I view each show as a step towards the next one. One bad show won’t make or break my career  — although some shows are much more important than others in this respect. 

Have additional questions on this or other topics? Click here to learn about my mentoring services.

Other Comedy Tips:

  • 10 Steps to Become a Great MC
  • 3 Tips To Planning A Successful Comedy Show
  • Are Any Topics Off Limits?
  • Barking Tips
  • Clayton Fletcher: Auditioning Q&A
  • Clayton’s 7 Tips
  • Clayton: When To Become A Full Time Comedian
  • Comedy Economics
  • Dealing With Hecklers
  • Eleven Observations About The Comedy Business
  • Five Basic Improv Techniques
  • Five Tips For Your Comedy Event To Run Smoothly
  • Free Comedy Content Economics
  • Hi-Tech Comedy Interviews
  • How To Make Money In Comedy
  • How To Put Together A Great College Comedy Show
  • How To Record Your Own Comedy Album
  • How To Self Publish A Book Through Kickstarter
  • Interview with John Vorhaus
  • Intro to Improv
  • My Comedy Mindset
  • My Writing Process
  • Not Connecting With The Audience?
  • Organizing Jokes
  • Overcoming Stage Fright
  • Producing a Show: Getting Audience
  • Producing a Show: Running The Show
  • Producing a Show: The Comics
  • Producing a Show: The Venue
  • Road Work Tips from Danny Browning
  • Stealing Jokes – Ben's Thoughts
  • Ten Tips To Succeed During a Check Spot
  • The 8 Different Types of Comedy Audiences
  • The Pecking Order
  • Treat It Like a Job
  • Types of Shows for Beginners
  • Types of Spots
  • What To Do When Nobody Laughs
  • Why I Won’t Be a Pro Snowboarder
  • Your First Stand Up Performance
  • How I Really Got Into Stand Up

     

    If you’re reading this blog, I’m going to let you in on a secret. While I did get into standup after being booed off stage at karoake, there is more to the story.
     
    Years before I ever got on stage, my randomly assigned freshman year roommate, and very quickly one of my best friends, Jay Schultz started performing stand up during college. Since we were already business partners and co-founders of an online website that parodied Rutgers University (our now alma mater), I quickly became his stand up manager. 
     
    Since I didn’t have any show biz contacts or too many social skills, my management mostly consisted of hearing his jokes over and over again and helping him find the best delivery, walking around dorm lounges and asking people to listen to his 5 minutes of material, and collecting 10% of practically nothing.
     
    Once we graduated, Jay moved to NYC and continued doing comedy while I remotely and terribly managed him from 100 miles away in Connecticut. Jay wound up moving to L.A. but was spending the summer in Atlantic City before the move. I was on a project in Philadelphia , which is an hour from AC. I felt a duty as his (useless but still not fired) manger to scout out the comedy clubs in Philly (all 2!) for him as he was coming to visit one of these weeks.
     
    After watching the free open mic show for two straight weeks, I went home slightly buzzed and wrote some jokes that I thought of while watching the performing comics. I edited the jokes throughout the week, ran them by Jay and other friends, they all provided different feedback and said I should try getting up there, so I said “why the hell not?” and tried it the very next week. That was July 2008. You can view my first time diasaster here. My heart had never beaten so fast as the first time I got up there and I’ve been hooked ever since.

    Why blog?

    The purpose of this blog is to chronicle my trials and turbulations through the world of stand up comedy and anything else that’s related to the entertainment business.

    I began performing stand up in June, so I’m brand new to performing, but not as new to Stand Up Comedy. I managed a comedian for three years and co-founded an online parody website of Rutgers University that I ran successfully for four years and then sold.

    As of now, the “focus” of this blog will be three main things:

    – My stand up jokes – finished and unfinished: I’ll be writing out some of my jokes here and appreciating any feedback I get. Anything I use from your suggestions I’ll give you credit whenever my first book comes out

    – Feedback and notes about performances, and video/audio of my performances

    – Funny jokes, photos, videos or anything else that I come across from other people