Stand Up NY

Stand Up NY

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Month: October 2018

This is Halloween, HALLOWEEN! H A L L O W E E N !

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Halloween is creeping up on us and fast– the question lurking around the corner being whether you should go SCARY, SEXY, or FUNNY with your costume this year? Or a mixture of two of the three, if you’re feeling ambitious? Perhaps you could tick all three boxes, but very unlikely. What a long shot it seems that one could possess, say, a naturally hot face, a tube of fake blood leftover from last year, and a sense of humor that translates into something brilliantly relatable? Nope, uh-uh; I’m turning green with envy just typing the possibility, and going as Shrek or the Hulk this year is out of the question on account of it being too on-point and not at all ironic enough because of some unfortunate weight-gain.

 

Leave it to the professionals to pull off the trifecta this Halloween: here at Stand Up NY, we are sneaking right up on all your senses by bringing you Comedy Ugly: A Comedy Strip Tease, Halloween Edition! This scary-good execution of the sexiest show in comedy promises to produce more than just the nervous-laughs that would ensue to at your average, run-in-the-mill strip tease. You know, like the one at your brother’s fiance’s bachelorette party that you’d literally rather gouge your eyes out with a plastic spork than watch alongside a-little-too-excited Aunt Betsy.

 

This downright dynamic show features Stand Up NY favorites, such as the club’s recent headliner Jay Jurden–and let’s face it, everyone in both the comedy- and LGBTQ-realms alike knows that any show featuring Jay will automatically fulfill the sexy factor. And this time, he’ll be actually trying! How’s that for a tease?Image result for jay jurden

Comedy Ugly: A Comedy Strip Tease, Halloween Edition (OK, exhausted from typing that, you’re welcome) happens here at our club ON HALLOWEEN, October 31st, at 7pm! Tickets are only $5, or about 1/600th of the money you’d pay to get the hell out of your brother’s fiance’s Miami hotel room on her special weekend.

Article written by Ellen Harrold

Instagram: @ellewoodz

Twitter: @whorsdoeuvres

The Hang

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The Hang

It’s hard for me to hang out. I took a class in college called “The American Hang Out” in which students were instructed to hang around the lecture hall and do nothing but shoot the shit with eachother for like an hour and a half. I’m pretty sure I was the only one who didn’t get an A.

The truth is that I rarely showed up. I didn’t find much of a point in gathering together in a controlled environment to gab about what Trump tweeted the day before or the latest viral video.

It takes a lot for me to be genuinely interested in what someone has to say unless I have something to gain. It’s selfish and I feel bad for thinking that—and as a wannabe comedian, I feel like it holds me back.

When it comes to comedy, the hangout is an “in” with certain clubs. If you want to get on stage, you have to know someone who can help you. Networking is part of the game any field, but the thought of schmoozing is ingenuine to me.

Last week, Stand Up NY’s podcast “Passed” with Jon B and Kevin Hurley featured veteran comedian Tom Kelly, who expresses his distaste for hanging out in comedy clubs in the season 4 episode titled “A Realist Comedic Point of View.”

Kelly reflects on the time he spent hanging around comedy clubs in his earlier years as a comedian. He struggled to find meaning in spending time and doing favors for other comedians.

“I can’t tell you how many favors I’ve wasted on people who could not return the favor,” Kelly says. “That’s the hard part about [going] tit for tat. I’ve gotten very dark when I haven’t gotten a tat for my great tits.”

Ultimately, however, Kelly says, “Just be a good human being. Make friends for the sake of being friends. Be kind to somebody who can’t do anything for you.”

Kelly has a good point. There’s a lot to be said there about the comedy hangout and hanging out in general. It’s not always about networking.

The point of that “American Hang Out” class wasn’t to find successful people to add to your LinkedIn network. The primary point was probably pretty simple: be friendly to one another. Maybe a friendly relationship can lead to something, but that should be a secondary benefit to finding a new friend.

Written by Will Flaherty

Twitter: WillFlah3rty

Instagram: WillFlah3rty

 

Mentions Tom Kelly

Twitter: @TomKellyShow

Instagram: @TomKellyShow

Website: https://thomasjkelly.com/

To Bring or Not To Bring

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To Bring or Not To Bring

Has a comedian friend of yours ever asked you to come to their show? Maybe you’d have to say their name when you bought the tickets. Once inside the club or bar, you must satisfy a drink minimum. If any of this sounds familiar, congrats, you’ve been to a “bringer” show!

A bringer show is exactly as it sounds: each performer must bring a certain amount of paying guests to the venue in order to get stage time. It makes sense — comics yearn to tell their jokes in front of an audience who actually meant to be there, and the business wants guaranteed ticket and drink sales. Sounds like a win-win, right?

There are some definite upsides about the bringer show composition and outcome. If done in at a legit comedy club, it allows the comic to do a little sidestep of the open-mic scene, if only for a night. Working out your set at a bar downtown in front of (or more accurately, among) patrons loudly ordering their nth happy hour Corona, on top of the other comics looking down at their notebook and scurrying out immediately after giving the microphone back to the host, can get pretty old. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a vital part of coming up in comedy, and you can meet some equally-frustrated yet hopeful comedians who you can keep doing shitty mics with until you find the ones worth the haul. So what makes the bringer show worth it?

I chatted with comedian Tim Sturtevant about the big question of “to bring or not to bring?” He stands by the notion that starting out doing bringer shows may not be the best option for new comics. “Would you invite people to a concert if you’d only been practicing guitar for three months? No, you wouldn’t, because if you did, everyone who came to support you would lie and tell you, ‘wow, you’re so great at guitar already!’ and then you’d confidently suck at it because of the biased feedback you were given by friends and family,” Tim proclaimed. “Seek out strangers, perform for them, make them laugh. Do that consistently until you’ve got a goal. Doing bringers without a goal in mind is pointless. If you’re only goal is to make Aunt Jeanine laugh about that one time you burnt Santa’s oatmeal cookies, don’t do a bringer. If you want to submit to a festival, or need a tape to send to other clubs, a bringer is a great option.”

I can’t argue with that. I have to say, it feels pretty swell to bring people who love and support you to see your show. It feels even better to bask in the afterglow of their compliments. It feels natural to cling to their praise when you’re just starting out. But Tim has a point. Strangers need to think you’re funny, too, not your closest friends who, and I’m quoting him “have seen our dicks during middle school gym class (but like not in a gay way).” Charming stuff, Tim.

OK, so the audience at a bringer show is guilty of consisting of the buddies, coworkers, and family of any given comedian in the line-up. They’re laughter doesn’t always translate. Unlike when you may have actual bookers or scouts in the audience, no one is going to give you a sitcom if you crush. Then again, no one was going to do that regardless.

However, at the end of the day, even if it is full of ex-jocks you traded cups with in high school or whatever, a great crowd is a great crowd. If you can catch them on tape vibing with your material, and you have somewhere you want to send that tape, you’ve gotten yourself a huge asset. That being said, I would not do a bringer show if a tape isn’t part of the deal, especially if you’re not getting any kickback on the ticket sales you generated. The pay-to-play mentality is inevitable in a comedy scene packed to the brim with so many eager jokesters, such as in NYC, but we can only give so much! Yes — most open mics in the city charge the performer five bucks to get up and entertain people.

“Keep in mind that the bringer is a means to an end,” Tim adds. “If someone is promising you paid work based off your performance on a bringer show, be weary.”

Wait, paid work? That sounds dope, though. Why be weary?

“Because producers who run bringers often use those [comedians] without goals to fulfill goals of their own: to fill a venue and collect ticket sales,” Tim explained. “Don’t help them fulfill their goals without fulfilling any of your own.”

That definitely makes sense. A bringer show, with its professional tape, and high-brow club logo in the background, and even higher-energy audience members (shout out to Auntie J!), can be a useful and rewarding outlet for comedy. The key in choosing whether or not to participate is largely around timing. Is there something coming up to which you’d like to submit a tape? Have you gotten around to enough seedy mics and made uninterested strangers do a spit-take with their well gin and tonic? Was it a 4:30pm on a Tuesday when you did that? If any of this sounds familiar, congrats! You’re ready for a bringer show.

Article written by Ellen Harrold

Twitter: @whorsdoeuvres

Instagram: @ellewoodz

 

Featuring Tim Sturtevant

Twitter: @tstrurdcomedy

Instagram: @conwayjest

A Stand Up Show That Stands Out For Comics

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Ahh, the New York comedy scene – where stage time is compensation enough in itself, and a solid tape of your performance is like crack. Here at Stand Up NY, I guess we can consider ourselves enablers.

This past summer, we began opening up our stage here at Stand Up NY to on-the-rise comedians through our New Headliner Series. Lucy’s Laugh Lounge does a similar headliner show at their location in Pleasantville, New York. Similarly at both clubs, these hour-long spots are usually held on Fridays, and give comics a chance to not only deliver their jokes in a longer format, but to a larger-sized, more mainstream audience.

To get an idea of what specifically these up-and-coming comedy killers get out of doing a spot like this, we asked a couple of our past headliners what exactly it was that made the night stand out: the highlights, the lowlights, the differentiators. The deets, juice, dirt – whatever you want to call it – follows below!

Winner of Season 3 of New York’s Got Talent, Elon Altman, owned our stage for the series this past Friday, noting that the experience was “unique in that it takes place at primetime on a Friday night, so you know you’re going to have a lively, weekend crowd.” Altman also reflected that being the sole source of promotion for a show “can be daunting,” but appreciated that SUNY was “frequently promoting the show through their own social media.” No problem, Elon. What are interns for, after all?

For Jay Jurden, awarded best LGBTQ comic in the 2018 Manhattan Comedy Festival, the sweet, sweet hour-long tape was “a huge win.” Jurden understands that “being able to tell producers, agents, managers, and industry people that you have an hour is great, but being able to show them is even better.”

After speaking with some of the fantastic comics who have presented their hour for this series, we could determine that they value an almost family-like support system in creating, shaping, promoting, and carrying out a headliner show. Even more pleasing news is that they found this in the Stand Up NY team. Jay Jurden specifically thanks Sydnee Washington, Mike Lasher, Robb Coles and Jon B for helping him achieve the show he envisioned. He has been building this 50-minute set for 20+ years, very creatively, yet accurately, calling it his “incredibly queer, racially aware, sexually inappropriate baby.” Well said, Jay.

“Stand Up NY is my home club,” proclaims Ashley Morris, who will be our headliner this Friday evening, October 5th. Morris considers the folks here “some of her best friends and family,” and feels “honored” to take the stage. “What is something that feels different about preparing for this show compared to others shows you’ve done?” we inquired with Morris. She replied, “I live three blocks away, so I’ll actually be on time. I’ll have my pants on.”

You can catch Ashley Morris tonight, Oct. 4th, on Murphy Brown on CBS at 9:30PM, to give you a little taste before she headlines at Stand Up NY this Friday, Oct. 5th,  at 7:30pm.

O.K., so it looks like we did not end up touching on any lowlights of the New Headliner Series. But that’s only because none of the comics could think of any. So, yeah, this show is awesome!

 

 

Article written by Ellen Harrold

Instagram: @ellewoodz

Twitter: @whorsdoeuvres

Inquiries: harroldellenj@gmail.com