Brian T Shirley

Brian T Shirley
Jokers Wild, Atlantis Resort

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dave Schwensen  has 3 books he has written about comedy published, teaches comedy at The Cleveland Improv and puts out a weekly newsletter. We have talked via email several times about topics in his newsletter, he liked my comments on one of his subjects and posted it . Here it is along with Dave's site. His newsletter is great for comedians and public speakers no matter what stage of thier career they are in. There's always something to learn.Here's the post

May 22nd – Don’t be a jerk – respect the room!
The topic was about open-mic comedians not respecting club or booker rules and… well, acting like jerks…
We run an open-mic as a show you have to sign up in advance for. We don’t let too many people on per show, and on the few occasions people have disrespected the room – we just don’t sign them up for a few months. Sometimes I’ll tell them the reason why they’re on probation, others not. It’s not really my business to “develop” people who are disrespectful to me, other comics, venue, etc… – Jerry Jaffe
Another great article – and I’ll take it one step further….
What about being a pro with many years of experience and doing a room that is NOT run the right way? There are reasons a show has a certain cadence. This just happened to me. I will not go into all the mistakes that happened, I’ll just highlight a few.
The guy or guys running it ( I was not sure who was ultimately in charge) had no energy as a host and tried to make jokes with people’s intros that were not working. He also was not even close to getting to the mic after each person’s set. There was a lull between the end of the set and his walking on the stage.
They had a guy go up for his first time ever and do 10 minutes. First time or not, I would have lit the guy at 3 min. And there was a cover charge to this show.
Language and subject matter were wide open and some people walked out.
I closed the show to what people were left. I’ve found that when a pro follows and all amateur line up, the pro looks bad. The people were so used to disassembled sets, that when I gave them good setups and punches, they did not know what to do with them. I still had a good set and the people in charge apologized about everything. They were nice enough and yes, I got the money. I think they learned a little it the process and I gave them some advice, but I bit my tongue because there was so much to tell them. I did not want to seem like a know-it-all or a jerk, plus it was their room. Quite a reverse from what you talked about I know, but I could not help but bring it up. Thanks for letting me vent Dave. – Brian Shirley

 Here's Dave's Site: