So, if I could I would like to help out some of the younger comics here with some things that I learned from experience in show business. Most of these only refer to those of us that have remained heat-less for most of our careers. I can’t speak to heat. I do know that symbiosis with the industry is necessary after a certain point and there are great agents, managers and executives who want to make great product but for the most part it’s about money. To quote a promoter who was quoting an older promoter in relation to his involvement with the Charlie Sheen tour: “Don’t smell it, sell it.” True story.
Show business is not your parents. When you get to Hollywood you should have something more than, “Hey! I’m here! When do we go on the rides?”
Try to tap into your authentic voice, your genuine funny and build from there.
Try to find a manager that gets you.
Nurturing and developing talent is no longer relevant. Don’t expect it. If you want to hear about that talk to an agent, manager or comic from back in the day….but don’t get sucked in. They’ll pay for the meal but they’ll feed on you naïvete to fuel their diminishing relevance and that can be a soul suck.
If you have a manager there is a language spoken by them and their assistants that you should begin to understand. For example when an assistant says: He’s on a call or I’ll try to get her in the car or he just stepped out or I don’t have her right now or their in a meeting or he’s at lunch or she’s on set or or or…. All of those mean: They’ve got no time for you. You have nothing going on. Go make something happen so they can take credit for it.
Sometimes a ‘general meeting’ just means that executives had an open day, needed to fill out their schedule and want to be entertained. Don’t get your hopes up.
If your manager says any of these: We’re trading calls or I have a call in to them or they said you killed it or they love you or their having a meeting about you or we’re waiting to hear back or they’re big fans. These usually mean: You didn’t get it and someone will tell you second hand.
There is really no business like show business. Except maybe prostitution.
There’s a bit of overlap there.
This is not a meritocracy. Get over yourself.
Dave Rath will be you manager
Ouch, my guts! But also…yeah.
Paul W. Downs
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