Amateur Comedians – Get On T.V. – Comedy Contest for NBC’s “Today Show”

questforthebest-msnbcAmateur Comedians Only!

Here’s something fun and it’s for amateurs only! That’s right. No professionals allowed to submit to this contest. This gives a beginning comedian an opportunity to get into a Nationally televised competition and get exposure completely free! But you have to get on it, because this deadline is quickly approaching! (July 12th, 2012).

So get your 2-minute video clip read and submit it to their comedy competition page. Be sure and read the rules and stuff to make sure you meet the requirements. It’s a typical contest for television. Here are the basics:

  • Be clean
  • All original material only
  • Nothing controversial (judged by the network)
  • Nothing offensive
  • Nothing slanderous
  • Nothing that defames others (Wow there goes my whole act!)

If you get selected, you get flown to New York City to be on the Today Show, which has around six million viewers! That’s a lot of exposure for one morning.

So get your set together and upload it to their site. Here’s the thing: you cannot submit a link to a video, you have to submit a file from your computer.

What Should I Submit?

It’s a two-minute contest so your material should get right to the point and have a laugh point every 18-20 seconds. It should have crystalized surprise so that the punch lines are tight and trigger laughs. Utilize some variation of a quick set up, punch and possibly an act-out. The submission doesn’t necessarily have to have a beginning, middle and end, but if you can make that happen in two minutes, go for it. These are just guidelines, of course so don’t let it stop you from submitting. I’ve seen some unexpected videos get chosen for these things. Just have fun!

So go submit to this comedy competition and Good luck!

Two New Comedy Clubs Open In New York City

greenwich-village-comedy-clubComedy’s Dead! Yeah, I heard that from some young comedian the other day.

Well don’t tell that to Al Martin, owner of the New York Comedy Club and The Broadway Comedy Club, who’s now opening his third comedy club, in New York called the Greenwich Village Comedy Club. It’ll be opening this July in, you guessed it—Greenwich Village.

But wait, that’s not all!

Co-owners Patrick Milligan, David Kimowitz, and brothers Cris and Paul Italia, (yes the same ones who are partners in the company “Cringe Humor,” that has spent ten years managing and producing projects for comedians), are opening yet another comedy club called The Stand. It’s just a short subway hop north of The Greenwich Village Comedy Club.

That’s two—count ‘em—two comedy clubs in a city that already has a dozen or so, not counting open mics and improv theaters. At this rate, the comedy scene in New York City is growing at a rate eight time that of the national economy.

I don’t know if clubs going to follow the same business plan as many of the clubs in L.A. by having “bringer shows” masquerade as real comedy shows, but with names like Bill Burr, Artie Lange, Jim Norton and Dante Nero appearing at the club, I don’t think they’ll have a problem putting butts in the seats.

What I like about guys like Al Martin and the boys over at Cringe is that they’ve been in the comedy business and have been focused on developing comedians for over a decade now. They’re not just fly-by-nights who would just as easily open a titty-bar for the convenience of having a cash cow. They are into stand-up comedy and they have a genuine focus.

Both owners have also professed an understanding and commitment to the traditions of the New York comedy scene (i.e.: Lenny Bruce, George Carlin) and apply that and keep it present in their clubs. The difference is that The Stand will not be imposing the two-drink minimum. They’re hoping that their cocktails and food will be too tempting to resist.

Kimowitz even said they are looking to utilize The Stand as a “comedy gym,” (Hey, that’s my line!), to provide a place where comedians can work out and develop.

New York City is clearly the dominant force in comedy clubs in this country. Where you can count comedy clubs on one hand in Los Angeles, in New York City to accomplish that, you would need an abacus.

So, yeah kid, ‘comedy’s dead,’ and it’s gone to comedy Heaven; New York City.

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Comedian Lessons | Record Every Set

audio recorderHere’s the thing: Comedy is a live endeavor. You get up in front of a different audience each and every night you perform. Even if you’re doing the same material, the audience is different, the club may be different and the night is different so the dynamics change. Therefore, it is essential that you capture each and every performance by recording it either with the use of audio (digital recorder) or video.

With the availability of Flip cams and video recorders on iPhones, Droids and other smartphones, there’s almost no reason not to be able to video record each set that you do. Sometimes there are restrictions at certain clubs and if that’s the case there should be no reason not to audio record every set.

Each set we do as comedians on stage gives us an opportunity to learn something new. We can try a new joke, make a discovery on stage involving a new inspiration we got while telling a joke, or respond to a heckler or other live moment in the audience. The recorder is also essential if you have a bad set. That’s right! You want to review those bad sets too!

We learn most from our mistakes and when we record a bad set, that recorder is like a black box on an airplane that goes down. The recorder has everything that led up to the crash and you can learn a lot from it. Sure it hurts to watch or listen to a bad set, but if you’re listening to the bad set you’ll discover new things. I used to hate to listen to a bad set.

But you know what? Now I rarely if ever have a bad set. How did that happen? By constantly working on my sets by listening to them constantly and eliminating mistakes.

We all hate to listen to ourselves at first, because our voices sound so “weird” on a recorder.

They do, don’t they?

But that’s how our voice sounds to other people. We hear our voices differently because we hear our voices through our Eustachian tubes and it filters our vocal nuances. If you keep listening to your voice on a recorder you’ll actually start to hear it the way other people hear it whenever you speak. So get used to it an record yourself!

When you do a set, take the audio recorder with you on the stage, take it out of your pocket and set it right on the stool on the stage. Doesn’t matter if they audience sees it. I remember when I used to watch Jerry Seinfeld workout at the clubs. He would bring his recorder up onstage with him and set it on the stool. I would think to myself, “Wow, he’s constantly working on it, isn’t he?”

Jerry Seinfeld is financially the most successful comedian of all time.

Comedian Lesson:

Learn from the best and bring your recorder on stage. Always!

 

Best Audio Recorders:

Here are some recorders that I recommend. Personally I use the Sony, but I’ve also owned Olympus. Both solid products. I like to stay in a medium to higher end product, because if I’m recording a set and it goes really well, the recording could actually be used to create a CD that I can use as a demo or sell at a show… If you have other recommendations, please share them in the comments section. If you want to do the same, splurge a little and go for the Sony.

Comedians Wanted!

levity_entertainment_group_logo_smallerEvery once and I while I get an email from someone promoting their event, wondering whether my ‘readers’ will be interested. In most cases it’s a case of someone wanting to reach people for free. I have no problem with that. It’s creative and it means they are doing their job shamelessly promoting their event.

I do my best to vet the event, to make sure it’s not just some “bringer show,” that wants to exploit the students in my classes or my readers, have them bring all the students friends to “their” show and collect “their” door money. Those I DO NOT promote, because there is no mutual benefit for my readers or my students.

Once in a while I receive a great opportunity for up-and-comers to get exposure. I believe this is one of them.

Levity Entertainment is promoting an online comedy competition, where the winner will be able to appear before Levity talent agents for possible representation.

Who Is Levity?

Levity Entertainment is owned by Robert Hartman and Judy Marmel Brown. They are the majority owners of the “Improv” comedy clubs and they are vertically leveraged with a couple of other production companies responsible for specials that appear on HBO, Comedy Central and other channels. They are some pretty heavy hitters in the comedy arena and only positioned to become bigger sluggers. So, in a nutshell, they are GOOD TO KNOW!

Here’s the Deal

All you have to do is submit your stand up comedy video (no more than 5 minutes) and follow the instructions on the page.

Remember to please read all instructions, details and official rules before submitting! Then keep up with the project and maybe you might be luck enough to be chosen for this new comedy project. The great thing about this project is, no matter where you are from, Levity will fly out out to L.A. to be a part of this!

So what are you waiting for? Give it a shot and GOOD LUCK!

Comedian Lessons | How To Install Open Office

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I’m excited at all the comments on my video “How to write Comedy” where I write 15 jokes in 30 minutes (real time). One of the recent comments I received on the blog page was “I’m going to go out and purchase Word so I can do this!”

I was surprised that someone would go to that trouble. But considering that Word is about a $300 software, I thought I could help save this person some money. So I put together this quick video on how to access, download and install Open Office.

Open Office is a open source software. It is FREE and it is a very powerful office suite, much like Microsoft Office, without the high price tag.

I hope you find this video helpful and it helps you get to writing jokes and comedy material faster and more efficiently!