Comedy Careers Library

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Archived Workshops
Ep. 27: Jaye McBride - Comedian, Actor & Writer


Full Length Archive: 80 minutes

Jaye McBride answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. What was the process for NACA?
  3. Do you remember your first time doing stand-up?
  4. Do you remember one of your first jokes? Is there one that you still use?
  5. Do you find that comedy has become a form of therapy for you?
  6. Do you remember when you first talked about being transgender on stage?
  7. I’m curious to know if people come up to you after shows or message you to tell you how inspiring you have been to them?
  8. Have you faced any additional discrimation from within the comedy business?
  9. Did you have or do you have a mentor in the business?
  10. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  11. How do find inspiration or look for new material?
  12. Do you use prompts when writing?
  13. Can you describe your on-stage comedic character? How is it different from Jaye off-stage?
  14. Do you have a pet peeve that you see newer comedians doing, something that bothers you?
  15. What was the process like of auditioning for the Comedy Cellar?
  16. What's the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  17. You’ve written films, how do you think that helps your standup?
  18. Was there a point in your career where the opportunities started to roll in much faster? A festival or audition? Your Ted talk?
  19. What has been your greatest accomplishment as a performer thus far?
  20. What’s one of the weirdest things you've seen at a show?
  21. Being a transgender woman, do you take more consideration into how you present or look on stage?
  22. What are your future goals? You mentioned your graphic novel.

Bio:

Jaye McBride is funny, smart and proudly transgender. Jaye has traveled the world performing stand-up comedy both as a headliner and sharing the stage with comedy greats like Aziz Ansari, Gilbert Gottfried, Jim Norton & Bobcat Goldthwait. Jaye has also been a part of The Boston Comedy Festival, The Maine Comedy Festival and the She Devil Comedy Festival.

In addition to stand-up, Jaye has written, produced and acted in a variety of short films. When not performing on-stage or on-screen Jaye writes "The Comedy Blog" for the Times Union and speaks at colleges all across the country with her lecture about being transgender. Having transitioned in 2007, Jaye is uniquely qualified to talk about awkward first dates, strained family relationships and self-acceptance.

Jaye is originally from Upstate NY but now calls Brooklyn her home.

Ep. 26: Carlos Alazraqui - Actor & Comedian

Full Length Archive: 77 minutes

Carlos Alazraqui answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your first time doing stand-up?
  3. Do you remember one of your first jokes? Is there one that you still use?
  4. How did you learn voices and sound effects?
  5. Do you have any suggestions for people to create impersonations? Do you have a class or resource that you recommend?
  6. Is this what people would see if they came to see your standup?
  7. Can you describe your on-stage comedic character? How is it different from Carlos off-stage?
  8. What is your process like to do characters physically?
  9. What’s your writing process like? How has it evolved?
  10. Was there a point in your career where the opportunities started to roll in much faster? A festival or audition?
  11. How did you get Reno 911?
  12. I understand a lot of Reno 911 was not scripted but improvised.  What was that like?
  13. Would you play a cop differently in 2020?
  14. How do you prepare for auditions?
  15. What are your best audition tips?
  16. Good piece of advice for an aspiring comedians?
  17. How does one get into voice acting? What are the initial steps?
  18. We hear you doing them but can you list off your voice acting roles and credits for everyone joining us?
  19. What's the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  20. What’s your best piece of advice that you could share to an aspiring comedian?
  21. Did you have a mentor?
  22. Why do you think so many great comics from San Francisco? 
  23. How do you use your improv skills doing stand up and vice versa if it applies?
  24. Do you have a pet peeve that you see newer comedians doing, something that bothers you?
  25. What has been your greatest accomplishment as a performer thus far?
  26. What are your future goals?
  27. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker? If so, what did you do about it?

Bio:

Carlos Alazraqui was not just the face of Deputy James Garcia on Comedy Central’s hit show RENO 911 or RENO 911 the movie!  He recently won the prestigious ANNIE AWARD for Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production THE MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN SHOW. He’s also been a standup comic for over 25 years, a well known television/film actor and one of LA’s top voiceover actors with hundreds of credits to his name.

Ep. 25: Maria Sahakian - Managing Director, Alex Theatre

Full Archive Length: 69 minutes
Maria Sahakian answered questions like:
  1. Tell us about the Alex Theatre.
  2. Where are you from and how did you get into this business?
  3. Did you have a mentor?
  4. What was the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  5. How have you seen the live entertainment business change in the past 5, 10, 20 years?
  6. How have you been able to weather COVID shutdown? Do you have any projections for things that you’re going to continue to do until people are comfortable going out, things that might be in your control.
  7. What’s the good and bad with a historic aging theatre. 
  8. With so many venues in Southern California how does the Alex theatre differentiate itself and stay competitive?
  9. How important is the support of the Glendale locals and how do you cater to them?
  10. What should performers know about the business of running a venue?
  11. What are some tips for performers to act professionally when entering a venue?
  12. From an operations stand-point what does the process look like for filming specials and tv shows at the Alex on the day-of?
  13. Other than the virtual tour, have you provided digital offerings for your patrons during quarantine? What was the discussion like in making that decision? 
  14. From the audience…who are some of the artists in residence at the Alex past/present/future?
  15. What are your concerns before, during and after a show? What are the things you’re thinking about?
  16. What’s one of the weirdest things you’ve seen at a show?
Bio:
Maria Sahakian is the Managing Director of the 1,400-seat Alex Theatre Performing Arts and Entertainment Center in her hometown of Glendale, CA, a historic landmark managed and operated by Glendale Arts.
Maria oversees the Theatre’s bookings, event management, client and audience services, and marketing, serving as the primary liaison to the producers and presenting organizations that book the venue across an annual average of 200+ days of activity comprised of music, theatre, comedy, film, dance, cultural performances, film and TV shoots, and a variety of special events.
The Alex is a highly sought-after venue, by comics and production companies alike, for live comedy performances and filmed television programs and stand-up specials. Over the years, the venue has hosted several seasons of NBC’s Last Comic Standing and Bring the Funny; David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction featuring guest Ellen DeGeneres (Netflix); Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David and special guest star Lin-Manuel Miranda (HBO); specials including Kevin Smith (Showtime), Ronny Chieng (Netflix), and Brad Williams (Showtime/Amazon); and special events featuring Steve Martin, Martin Short, Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, three of the five members of Monty Python (John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam), and numerous shows in partnership with Richy Leis and Comic Cure.
Maria is a graduate of UCLA, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English, as well as a certificate in UCLA Extension’s Public Relations and Entertainment Publicity program. When she’s not working, she can be found working some more.
Ep. 24: Andrew Dorfman - Owner, Nationwide Comedy Clubs

Full Archive Length: 88 Minutes

Andrew Dorfman answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. Who are some of the comedians you enjoyed when you first started in comedy?
  3. Have you ever seen a new comic and said that guy has it? And it was true?
  4. How did you build up the number of clubs you manage over time?
  5. What is appropriate? What should a comic do when they enter a club?
  6. What are some of your biggest pet peeves when it comes to new comics?
  7. What are the ways for a comedian to get into the black as fast as possible and start making money? Is it being an emcee? Is it selling merch? Being clean for non-profit and corporate work?
  8. Any advice for feature level comics who are trying to get on the road?
  9. Would you agree that the host's job is to make comedians look good and the audience feel comfortable? 
  10. What’s the latest with each of your clubs? 
  11. How have you made your clubs into more inclusive and supportive environments for women and marginalized voices?
  12. Have you used quarantine to make any updates to the clubs?
  13. Which is your favorite club and why? Which is your favorite that you don’t own?
  14. How do comedy clubs make revenue? What are your different sources of income? Booking outside events?
  15. How have you chosen the comedy club brand names to work with? How does that work?
  16. You were talking earlier about how some comics will be pigeonheld as they are for certain people. For example “urban” comics or "stoner" comics. Do you have any advice on shaking off those “boxes” people put comics in?
  17. Do each of your clubs have a local talent booker? Is there a standard booking process?
  18. How have you seen the business change in the past 5, 10, 20 years?
  19. How do you position and market the clubs so that they stay relevant among all the options?
  20. Do you think, because of Covid, it will be less necessary to migrate to LA or NY in the future to further your Stand up career?
  21. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received about the funny business?
  22. What’s your single best piece of advice for aspiring comedians?
  23. There are more comedians now than ever before...How can one stand-out from the pack?
  24. Festivals are a great opportunity to learn, network, and be seen. Are there any festivals that you suggest?
  25. What does the Nashville Comedy Festival look like?

Bio:

As a 25-year veteran in the comedy industry, Andrew Dorfman knows a lot about the funny business. He started out as a comedian in San Francisco’s tight-knit comedy community of the 1990s, but he was drawn to working the business side of the industry. In 1992, Andrew, along with his brother Brian, went to work for the legendary Rick Uchwat at Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago. Uchwat taught them well. Today, the Dorfman brothers now own eight comedy clubs all over America, including Nashville’s Zanies Comedy Club.

Ep. 23: Naela Durrani - Casting Producer

Full Archive Length: 60 minutes

Naela Durrani answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into casting?
  2. What are some of the shows you’ve cast for in the past?
  3. Who are some of the names that you’ve been responsible for casting?
  4. When you say you casted them...what does that process actually look like?
  5. What are the trends that you’re seeing in reality casting? From a technical (digital, length, aspects) side and a talent side (Skill, back story, followers)? 
  6. Has it become less about the talent and more about the followers?
  7. Back-story seemed to be prized for a show like AGT. Is that important?
  8. Is there a way to skip the lengthy audition line?
  9. How should an aspiring performing be crafting their story or showcasing their talent to present to someone like you?
  10. What should the video look like technically, how long should it be? The joke should be immediate?
  11. Any tips for live open auditions?
  12. What are your tips for someone that’s gone through multiple seasons of auditions?
  13. How can a comedian stand-out from the pack?
  14. Are there any resources you suggest for someone that wants to hone their auditioning skills? Websites? Blogs? Apps?
  15. What are the festivals that you suggest?
  16. From the audience...How has COVID changed the casting process? What are some ways the industry has had to adapt?
  17. What’s your advice for women in the industry?
  18. Any advice for the older comic?
Bio:
Naela Durrani is a Freelance Reality Casting Producer and Associate Producer based in the Los Angeles area. She has been working in the Casting/Production Industry for over ten years, after she moved to Los Angeles from Dallas/Ft Worth Texas at the young age of 24. She started at Radio Disney AM 620 (DFW ) while in High School and worked there as an In Person Talent for 4.5 Yrs hosting local events.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2007, she worked for Joe Pytka, a notable Commercial Director, as a Receptionist. After 4 yrs it was time for her to move on. Soon, she started working more in Production and moved over to Casting.
Currently, she is casting for America's Got Talent Seasons 12,13, 14, 15, and soon Season 16 at Fremantle Productions in Burbank CA. She considers herself a Texan at heart but was raised all the way from GA to CA. She has tech. lived in California longer than Texas now and doesn't know where she is from. She loves to say, "everywhere". She prides herself in having a unique background with being born in Saudi Arabia, living there until the age of 5, having a father from Pakistan and a Mother from a small farm town Indiana. She loves coming from two different cultures and backgrounds. She really has been able to experience the best from both worlds.
She recently had a son, Jack Brooklyn during the Covid 19 pandemic, with her partner Justin. In her spare time, before Covid, she attends local comedy shows, national comedy competitions, and national talent festivals of all kinds.
She also takes Fire Eating Classes to escape her computer screen.
Outside of work and networking, you can find Naela at home cooking full Traditional Pakistani Cuisine and hanging out with her two elderly pups, Buddy and Honey.... and now new family.
Ep. 22: Jannelys Santos - COO, Villain Theater

Full Archive Length: 75 minutes

Jannelys Santos answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into the funny business?
  2. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  3. Do you have a mentor?
  4. Can you talk more about Villain Theater and how it’s evolved since the start? From your space to your offerings.
  5. Villain Theater resides in the Little Haiti area of Miami and South Florida is one of the most diverse markets in the country. How does that influence what takes place inside the theater?
  6. How have you been able to nurture an inclusive environment at Villain Theater and how is this portrayed in the content you produce?
  7. What does being an instructor, performer, and COO look like and how do you maintain that balance?
  8. Do you teach via Zoom? 
  9. You mentioned “making money” as something you're thinking about among all the other things. What are your different revenue sources to make sure you stay financially secure? I believe you just introduced merchandise. 
  10. There are a million events going on in Miami making it one of the hardest markets in the country for a comedy venue. How does Villain differentiate itself from a marketing standpoint and attract audiences week in and week out?
  11. When many comedy clubs and theater companies went completely dark during COVID. You said you took all your classes and programming digital. Could you tell us about that process?
  12. What's Villian’s improv philosophy?
  13. Were there any physical updates made to the theater during quarantine?
  14. Historically, improv and stand-up communities don’t really mix well. You offer opportunity for both at Villain. Do you sense any tension between the two? How does it look in practice at Villain?
  15. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  16. What have been the highlights of your career thus far?
  17. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  18. What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring comedians?
  19. What’s your best piece of advice for women in comedy?
  20. Who are Jannelys’ comedians to watch?
  21. Aside from Villain, do you have a favorite comedy venue? A place that you wish you could watch live comedy everyday. 
  22. Second City? UCB?
  23. What’s one of the weirdest things you’ve seen at a show?

Bio:

Jannelys Santos is the Chief Operations Officer at Villain Theater. Santos has been performing since high school. She is dedicated to uplifting marginalized voices in comedy, and elevating Miami’s comedy scene.

Ep. 21: Ben Maher - Founder of Philly Sketchfest / Marketing Associate Helium Comedy Clubs

Full Archive Length: 86 minutes

Ben Maher answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. What exactly do you do at Helium and what does your job look like on a daily basis?
  3. How can do you cut through the clutter to catch someone’s attention and get them to purchase tickets?
  4. What’s your best piece of advice for new comedians trying to get more work?
  5. How many minutes do you want a demo video to be?
  6. Do you like electronic press kits?
  7. Do you expect a comedian to do the  the same set they did on their demo video?
  8. Let’s say I get booked - What are the marketing assets that I should be providing the club to best promote the show?
  9. How is Philly's comedy scene?
  10. With 7 clubs in the Helium family you can see trends better. Prior to covid, are more/less people coming out to live comedy?
  11. There are more comedians now than ever before. How can a performer stand out from the crowd?
  12. Putting on your bookers hat...What exactly are you thinking about when you’re choosing a comedian/selecting a lineup? Are you looking at the headliner and then trying to figure out someone that would complement them or the audience they bring in?
  13. What’s some great advice you’ve received about the funny business?
  14. What are common mistakes you see new comedians making?
  15. What’s the submission process for Helium?
  16. Tell us about Philly Sketchfest...
  17. Are you going digital this year?
  18. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen on stage?
  19. Where can one submit a sketch for consideration at Philly Sketchfest?

Bio:

A lifelong comedy fan, Ben Maher began his comedy career in 1995 at the legendary Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco, CA. After moving up through the years to managing the club and booking hosts & showcases, Ben moved to Philadelphia in 2005 to open the first Helium Comedy Club. Now with a network of 7 clubs around the country, Ben works in Helium's main office booking some of their shows at Top Golf entertainment centers and as a lynchpin of their promotional team, working on print and online campaigns. He also opened, managed and booked shows for The Punch Line Philly, a Live Nation venue. Ben is also one of the founders and directors of Philly Sketchfest, Philadelphia's premier comedy festival, currently in its 12th year.

Archived Workshops
Ep. 20: Atsuko Okatsuka - Comedian, Actress, Writer

Full Archive Length: 88 minutes

Atsuko Okatsuka answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. What is comedy like in Japan?
  3. Who are your comedic influences?
  4. Your parents met on a Japanese game show? Is that true?
  5. Is there any matchmaking on your show? Tell us about your show.
  6. With quarantine, how have you transitioned to digital?
  7. How would you describe your comedic character? How is it different than who you are in real life?
  8. What’s your writing process look like?
  9. Do you have any advice or tips for a new comedian whose first language may not be english? Immigrants that want to get into comedy?
  10. You love to dance. Do you do any physical comedy with your stand-up?
  11. What do your parents and grandparents think of your comedy?
  12. How did your mom’s schizophrenia impact you as child? Your comedy?
  13. How did you meet your husband?
  14. Prior to covid you were able to record your debut comedy album. Can you talk about that process?
  15. What’s Atsuko mean in Japanese?
  16. Do you have any advice for female comedians in this male dominated industry? What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring comedians?
  17. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received about the business?
  18. What was process of transitioning into writing like?
  19. What has been your greatest accomplishment to date? Was there a game changer moment?
  20. What was your most memorable moment performing or your weirdest gig?
  21. What are your future goals?

Bio:

Atsuko Okatsuka is a Los Angeles-based comedian and writer who gained mass recognition after a video of her doing stand-up during a 7.1 magnitude earthquake circulated on the internet.  She hosts the hit live show and weekly podcast produced by Foreverdog Productions, Let's Go Atsuko! A (woke) Japanese Game Show.  It has been recommended as a show to watch by The New York Times, The AV Club, and Vulture to name a few, who described the show as a blend of "the physical silliness of Japanese game shows with the dry, matter-of-fact fatuities of Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!" She was named a comedian to watch by Vulture in 2018 & in TimeOut Los Angeles in 2019, and just recently released her debut album with Comedy Dynamics entitled "But I Control Me." Atsuko has been the creative consultant on various Adult Swim Shows such as The Eric Andre Show and Soft Focus with Jena Friedman.  Prior to comedy, she worked in the independent film world, having written, produced, and acted in various award-winning feature films such as Littlerock (2010), Pearblossom Hwy (2012), and Lake Los Angeles (2014).  Her latest acting appearances include HBO's Room 104 and a horror anthology series called Scare Package on Shudder.  You can catch her dancing with her grandmother and mother on her social media any day of the week.

Ep. 19: Richard Barrett - Entertainment Director of The Comedy & Magic Club


Full Archive Length: 79 minutes

Richard Barrett answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. What does your job look like on a daily basis?
  3. What do you mean by having a diverse lineup?
  4. What do you look for in choosing a comedian? Has that changed?
  5. What’s some great advice you’ve received?
  6. What’s your best piece of advice for new comedians?
  7. What are common mistakes you see new comedians making?
  8. Aside from being funny what does it take to have a successful career in comedy?
  9. Can you succeed by just being funny?
  10. Do you critique comedians?
  11. Let’s say you hear a comedian tell a joke similar to one you've heard before. Do you do anything about it? What’s that conversation like?
  12. There are more comedians now than ever before. How can a performer stand out from the crowd?
  13. What’s the submission process for the Comedy and Magic Club?
  14. What should a great demo video look like, length, laughs per minute? What are some red flags in a demo video for you or things you dislike?
  15. Are laughs per minute important?
  16. How do you think comedy will change in a post Covid-19 era?
  17. Is there a quality you see in a new comic that’s a clue to future good kind of consistency?
  18. How much time do you want a comedian to have? Do you care about social media followers?
  19. What can a comedian do to help a club off-stage?
  20. If a guest set goes well, how long is it usually before a comic is put in rotation for regular shows?
  21. Who are some of your favorite comedians?
  22. Many comedians want a manager so that they can get more gigs. Do you have any advice on the topic of management?
  23. What’s the best selling merchandise that you’ve seen?
  24. What should comics think about when trying to figure out good merch?
  25. You judge a number of festivals. Which do you recommend submitting for? 
  26. How can a comedian maximize their time at a festival if they’ve been accepted?

Bio:

Richard Barrett has been the Entertainment Director of The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach CA for over 20 years.  He has produced shows or judged competitions at many comedy festivals including The Great American, Boston, and Big Sky.

Ep. 18: Vanessa Graddick - Writer, Comedian & TV Producer

Full Archive Length: 72 minutes

Vanessa Graddick answered questions like:

  1. You’re from St. Paul Minnesota, how did you get into comedy?What inspired you to do standup comedy?
  2. Did your career as a social worker influence your comedy?
  3. What inspired you to move to Los Angeles?
  4. Can you talk more about that first time performing when you found out your mother had just been diagnosed breast cancer.
  5. How would you describe your comedic character on-stage and how does it differ from Vanessa Graddick off-stage?
  6. Explain your mom’s take on what you do.
  7. More recently you started producing for shows like “The Gossip Queens” and “Funny You Should Ask.” What’s that transition like and what have you learned from it? 
  8. Who are some of the people you have written for?
  9. Can you describe your stand up and writing process? 
  10. What’s your best advice for women in this mostly male dominated industry?
  11. Through the lens as a woman working on the road, what was it like for you?
  12. Who were some of your comedic influences? 
  13. Did you have a mentor?
  14. Have you been able to pay it forward?
  15. Was there a moment that started accelerating the opportunities for you?
  16. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
  17. What are some of the common mistakes you see new comics making?
  18. Is there something you are seeing or saying in your head when you read a room?
  19. What’s your advice to someone trying to transition from stand up to writing. 
  20. What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
  21. What are your future goals?
  22. What was your most memorable moment performing or your weirdest gig?
  23. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?

Bio:

Vanessa Graddick was born in St. Paul, MN where she grew up an athlete, performer and involved in several social clubs. Prior to her career as a comedian she was a Children’s Social Worker in both Minnesota and California. In January 2006, Vanessa moved to the City of Angels to see what else the world had in store. However, it was much more than expected. On November 1, 2006, her mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Needing an instant distraction from real life, that very night Graddick took to the stage, and the people laughed. Since then this talented, driven and most importantly, funny Stand Up Comedian has been taking comedy by storm. Though based in LA, Vanessa has performed all over the United States including major Comedy Clubs in California, New York, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, Florida and more. Additionally, she has entertained American troops in Kuwait, Iraq, Korea, Japan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.  

Vanessa has participated in several comedy competitions including the New York Underground and Boston Comedy Festivals. She was the winner of Uncle Clyde’s Comedy Competition in Los Angeles and a semi-finalist in the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition. To round off her comedic competition experience, Vanessa was a Top 10 Finalist in the NBC Stand Up For Diversity National Search. 

Since then Vanessa has been seen on Byron Allen’s Comics Unleashed, The Gossip Queens, Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, Showtime Network’s Lip Service, NuvoTv’s Stand Up and Deliver and BET’s Comic View. She has also made appearances on The Real Husbands of Hollywood, Black Jesus and the original pilot for Centric’s The Rules According to Him + Her. Not only has she made her presence felt on camera, Vanessa moved behind the camera as a Segment Producer on celebrity news show, The Gossip Queens and as a Producer on the hilarious game show, Funny You Should Ask. 

Vanessa comedy is direct, fast paced, and intelligent with attitude and no regrets. Real life, real talk and real funny! With her introspective and thought-provoking comedy, Vanessa Graddick is proving quickly to be a name to watch out for.

Ep. 17: Lisa Alvarado - Writer, Comedian, Director & Producer


Full Archive Length: 71 minutes

Lisa Alvarado answered questions like: 

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. What inspired you to do standup comedy?
  3. Do you remember your first time performing standup?
  4. Do you use any of the jokes you originally performed when you started?
  5. What inspired you to move to Los Angeles?
  6. Can you describe your writing process? 
  7. How do you make each show memorable and different so that your audiences will want to return to see you?
  8. You mentioned depression earlier and how many comedians struggle with it. Is that something you deal with? Do you find that comedy helps you with that?
  9. How would you describe your comedic character on-stage and how does it differ from Lisa Alvarado off-stage?
  10. What are some of the “deep” subjects you cover?
  11. Was there a moment that started accelerating the opportunities for you?
  12. What was your process for writing for a TV show?
  13. What goes into a pitch packet for a tv show?
  14. What are your tips for comedians to find themselves in their comedy?
  15. Did you have a mentor?
  16. As a woman working on the road what was it like for you? How did you power through?
  17. What’s your best advice for women in this mostly male dominated industry?
  18. What are some of the common mistakes you see new comics making?
  19. Is there something you tell yourself when you see that you’re rushing?
  20. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
  21. What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
  22. What are your future goals?
  23. What was your most memorable moment performing or your weirdest gig?
  24. Favorite question of comedy careers: Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?

Bio:

Lisa Alvarado, The Latin Queen of Comedy, is Tina Fey meets Sophia Vergara. Lisa brings the funny with clever wit and a sassy fun attitude; relatable and quirky, in that Ellen Degeneres way, using her own life as the punch line. Lisa specializes in targeting her humor to her audience!Born to Peruvian parents in Chicago, Lisa knew she wanted to be a Stand Up Comedian at an early age. She writes all her own material and enjoys sharing her gift of laughter with audiences around the world, including several overseas shows for the Troops.Lisa is a National Headliner to many theatres, clubs, colleges and corporate events. TV appearances include: NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”, Nick at Nite’s “Funniest Mom in America 2″, “Comics Unleashed” with Byron Allen, “Stand Up in Stilettos” on TV Guide Network, NuvoTV, and many more. Lisa also played Paul Rodriguez’s sidekick on 20 episodes of “Mis Videos Locos” on the MTV Network.

Ep. 16: Steve North - The Comedy Coach


Full Archive Length: 89 minutes

Steve North answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your first time performing?
  3. Tell us about moving from Colorado to LA.
  4. You are Steve North - The Comedy Coach. What is a comedy coach?
  5. What does the process look like to create your comedic character?
  6. What should individuals look for when trying to decide on a comedy teacher or class?
  7. You wrote something called “Be a Comedian, Not a Comic” what do you mean by that?
  8. Can you break the 4 parts of comedic character down? What does each mean?
  9. Congratulations on your new book “How to Kill in Comedy.” The reviews look great. What are some of the themes you talk about in the book?
  10. You wear the signature captains hat. How did that come about and how important is one’s “look” when it comes to comedic character?
  11. In the book you say there are 20 formulas to writing a joke. Can you share a few?
  12. How do you suggest people find inspiration or mine for new material?
  13. Aside from being funny, what do you think the basics are for having a successful career in comedy?
  14. What’s the difference between a comic and a comedian?
  15. What's the best piece of advice you ever received about the business?
  16. What’s the best piece of advice you could share about the business?
  17. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see new comics making?
  18. How important is reputation as a professional? Can you succeed by just being funny?
  19. Do you think a comedian who is hard working will always surpass a comedian who is talented but doesn't work as hard? If the hard workin comedian isn't half as funny as the talented one 
  20. Are there any festivals that you highly suggest for your students to submit for?
  21. What was your most memorable performance or weirdest moment?

Bio:

Steve's trained everyone from stars to beginners to find their COMEDIC CHARACTER for Standup, Acting, Writing, Speaking — Steve North’s training can help anyone who needs to be funnier.  Steve has worked with everyone from George Carlin to Kevin Nealon; and has coached everyone from SNL’s Leslie Jones to scores of other celebs and comedy stars, helping them get their persona.

Steve can save you 2 to 3 years by finding your comedic character, then growing material from that theme or focus. Steve calls it “finding your house (character), BEFORE you buy the furniture (material). And, it works – ask his many happy clients.

Over the last 15 years in Hollywood, Steve has coached hundreds of comedians — beginners, touring comedians, sitcom actors, people who want to be funnier.

In addition to private session, Steve and his partner, Barb, offer the longest running homebase for standup comedians in LA — workshops which provide a creatively healthy, non-competitive environment – a home base for comedians to workshop and grow professionally.

Steve North attended school at the University of Denver and at USC. He trained in comedy with Second City, The Committee, Avery Schreiber, Spolin Players, Jack Kosslyn, Danny Simon, Joyce Selznick, and Estelle Tepper.

The team of Barb and Steve North have performed live stand up comedy at the Comedy Store in LA, the Improv, Ice House, and venues all over the world. They have also appeared at colleges, conventions, and talk/variety shows (“George Carlin” special,” “Thicke Of The Night,” “Make Me Laugh,” and “The Mike Douglas Show”). The North’s have written or produced on TV shows, ranging from The Gong Show to America’s Funniest Videos to Totally Hidden Video, and a slew of others.

Steve runs classes in his studio in Los Angeles. You can enroll in his workshop performing groups; he can coach you ON THE PHONE, by MAIL, E-MAIL, whatever! The “Standup Repertory Company” was founded by Steve & Barb North in 1992 and is the first group of standup comedians to be part of a workshop and a cast. The comedians perform regularly at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank – where else can comics get comprehensive training AND performing in front of an audience regularly?

Ep. 15: David A. Arnold - Comedian, Actor & Writer


Full Archive Length: 89 minutes

David A. Arnold asked questions like:

  1. How did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your first time performing?
  3. How did your time in the service influence your comedy?
  4. How did the nursing influence your standup?
  5. How important was moving to Los Angeles for your career?
  6. Did you have a mentor?
  7. Many comedians want a manager so that they can get more gigs. Do you have any advice on the topic of management?
  8. How have you adjusted their approach to getting gigs?
  9. You’re doing a lot now, writing, stand-up, acting, producing. What’s your favorite and why?
  10. How does one go about writing a sitcom? Is there a process or do you pitch the idea first? 
  11. Is it a good idea to put the first season of our series out on youtube or should we write the series and ONLY shop it around to a paid platform?
 
  12. How do you choose your openers?
  13. How do you get through the tough times?
  14. Do you suggest getting a manager prior to moving to LA or NY?
  15. .Do you think Zoom shows are helpful during this time to practice our craft? Or do you have any other suggestions during quarantine?
  16. Everyone says you need so many years as a comic to be good. Do you subscribe to that belief?
  17. What’s your biggest pet peeve with new comics? Or common mistakes you seem them making?
  18. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?
  19. Do you make money from sponsors on your instagram?

Bio:

A standup comic, actor and writer, David is triple threat in the world of comedy. As a comedian, he has performed all around the country, tickling the funny bones of audiences near and far. He’s made numerous tv appearances on everything, such as THE RUCKUS on Comedy Central and ENTOURAGE on HBO. Plus, he’s appeared on various comedy shows and specials, including DEF COMEDY JAM, SHAQ’S ALL STAR COMEDY TOUR, BET’s COMIC VIEW and Comedy Central’s LAFFAPALOOZA as well as the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. David is set to headline the Deon Cole and Friends Comedy Show at the 2020 Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans. In addition, he’s joined the T. D. Jakes Presents “A Time to Laugh” Comedy Tour.

David has made his mark as a tv writer, and recently served as a producer on Netflix’s Emmy-nominated reboot series, FULLER HOUSE. His other television credits include REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD on BET; the Kelsey Grammer/Martin Lawrence sitcom, “PARTNERS” on FX; and Tyler Perry’s HOUSE OF PAYNE and MEET THE BROWNS.

Ep. 14: Dee Burdett - Head of Comedy for TIXR, Director of Marketing and Special Event Production at The Ice House Comedy Club

Full Archive Length: 84 minutes

Dee Burdett answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from? And how did you get into the funny business?
  2. What exactly was your role at the Improv?
  3. How has corporate comedy changed over the past 20 years?
  4. Do you remember your first comedy show?
  5. Do you remember who the first show was at the Improv when you opened it?
  6. You now work at the Ice House Comedy Club...Can you profile the Club for us? How many rooms, seats, bars, etc. Number of patrons, comics annually. 
  7. How are you different from other clubs? Maybe in a business approach or comedy development?
  8. How does a club stay open that long when others have not?
  9. What’s your job there? And what does it look like on a day to day basis?
  10. Who have you “found” or helped who’s now a big name?
  11. Any advice for a rookie booker? When booking acts what is your thought process?
  12. How does someone get booked at the Ice House? What’s the process?
  13. What can comedians do to help a club off-stage?
  14. What can comedians do to help a club on-stage?
  15. What’s your biggest peeve with performers?
  16. How can comedians make your job easier from a marketing perspective?
  17. Is there anything you wish new comics would stop doing?
  18. What tips do you have for comedians to get more paid work?
  19. How has the Ice House taken advantage of the downtime of quarantine? Any updates to the club or kitchen?
  20. Tell us about your work as head of comedy at TIXR the ticketing company.
  21. What’s one of the craziest or most legendary things you’ve seen take place at the Ice House? In your career?

Bio:

Twenty years in the entertainment business and there isn’t a side of the industry veteran Dee Burdett hasn’t worked on. From her early days of booking and promoting live music events in her native San Francisco Bay area, she moved on to venue management as well as special events/corporate party sales in 2000 when she was part of the opening team of the San Jose Improv. The Improv Comedy Club chain in 2003 moved her to their Southern California Brea location to continue managing, developing, & building their special events sales department.

After working for years with many of the top touring stand up comedians, Dee Burdett was recruited by national headlining comedian Ralphie May to join his team as Road Manager in 2006 for his “Girth of a Nation” tour. Coming off of the road in 2007, Dee returned home to the Improv – this time at the legendary Hollywood location to manage the club.  In high demand from the industry she was pursued by Laughstub event ticketing system to be a part of their launch team in 2010 handling Artist & Venue Relations, Live Event Ticketing & Production. Departing LaughStub in 2013, Dee remained a solid fixture in the LA comedy/music scene in her role as Director of Booking/Production for the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club. She also took an active role in the development of JLCN.tv (Jon Lovitz Comedy Network) working to develop original content, and utilized the network to further promote and grow artist fan bases.  When JLCC closed their doors in November of 2014, Dee developed a Special Event program and a weekly show Harvelle’s Comedy & Burlesque for Harvelle’s in Long Beach. Dee departed for Pioneertown, CA’s historical Pioneertown Motel in 2015 where she worked with owners Mike and Matt French to restore/renovate the property and develop/produce events on site. In addition to corporate and private events, Dee produced Campfire Comedy – a weekly summer show that served to introduce live comedy to the high desert.  After leaving the desert in the fall of 2016, she took some time to work on various production crews for HGTV and NBC. Dee eventually returned to her native Northern California to spend time with family and pursue interesting and challenging projects in entertainment, social media, and hospitality.

In the fall of 2017, Dee returned to Los Angeles to continue working in live event and television production. She built an event clientele at The Rec Room in Huntington Beach, as well as a weekly stand up comedy show Taco Tuesday.  Dee accepted a full time position in May of 2019 with the legendary Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena where she serves as Director of Marketing and Event Production. In February of 2020, while maintaining her spot at The Ice House, began working to develop a comedy division for TIXR, a progressive ticketing company based out of Santa Monica where she serves as Head of Comedy.

Ep. 13: Murray the Magician - Celebrity Magician, Comedian, Host, Illusionist

Full Archive Length: 81 minutes

Murray the Magician answered questions like: 

  1. Where are you from?
  2. Which came first, the magic or the comedy and how did you get into it?
  3. Do you remember your first time on stage?
  4. Who are some of your magic influences? comedic influences?
  5. What did your creative process look like then versus now? The actual trick making and writing process?
  6. Did you have a mentor?
  7. How did you create your look? How important is it for everything?
  8. How would you describe your on-stage character? How is it different from off-stage?
  9. Can you talk about how you connect with the audience?
  10. How do you create that personal touch on social media to the digital audience?
  11. Was there a moment in your career where the opportunities started to roll in faster?
  12. What’s your best business advice for aspiring entertainers?
  13. What’s been your greatest accomplishment so far in your career?
  14. Do you have any insights/ advice to advance on AGT?
  15. Who’s your favorite magician?
  16. You have nearly 1.7 million subscribers on Youtube. How did you get that many followers? Was it gradual building over time or did something in particular happen? 
  17. Does that generate passive income for you? 
  18. What are some of the common mistakes you see new entertainers making? Or common things that bug you?
  19. You mentioned earlier to say yes to every gig. Do you have any other great pieces of advice for aspiring entertainers?
  20. How do you find inspiration for new material and tricks?
  21. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?

Bio:

Murray who is currently headlining at the Tropicana on the Las Vegas strip nightly really made his mark as a household name when he exploded onto the entertainment scene after his successful run as a semi-finalist on NBC-TV’s “America’s Got Talent.” The #1 network summer series was viewed by over 22 million fans nationwide. Murray dazzled the judges: Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel by producing a Ferrari from thin air, transforming a girl locked in a cage into a 450 pound tiger and did the largest trick ever on “AGT” by vanishing an entire 1918 steam train locomotive in mere seconds. All of these illusions took place before a “live” and national “TV” audience, and brought standing ovations from the judges.

Murray has just become one of YouTube’s newest sensations with his first viral video hitting over 37 million views and all his other video going over 1 million views. Murray is a regular guest star on History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” as a Magic Expert. He has also been featured on over 20 Reality shows from America’s Got Talent, Pawn Stars, CW’s Masters of Illusion, SYFY’s Wizard Wars, VH1’s Celebracadabra, TLC’s 4 Houses and What Not to Wear, Reelz Extreme Escapes, PopTV’s Don’t Blink, Master Chef,  Top Gear, Hallmark’s Home & Family, Nat Geo’s Brain Games,  and many many more!

Murray John SawChuck was born in Burnaby, British Columbia – Canada and always had the passion for adventure. At age 3, he began swimming and golfing. He learned how to play the accordion, keyboard and saxophone at 5 years old. At age 7, he began dance lessons that included: ballet, Russian, swing, break dancing, ballroom, etc.  He was an avid athlete and enjoyed participating in soccer, baseball, snow skiing, horseback riding, etc.

Murray’s parents, John and Arlene presented him with a Siegfried and Roy magic kit when he was 7 years old and his uncle and aunt Bill and Olga gave him a magic gift that changed his life. Murray envisioned himself as an entertainer incorporating magic, music and dance in his routines. He wanted to perform for audiences like his idols Dean Martin, Johnny Carson, Lucille Ball, Danny Kaye and Phyllis Diller.

As a teen, Murray had over 21 different jobs from bus boy to fixing bicycles, and lifeguard at local pools. He continued to entertain folks by dancing, playing the accordion and saxophone.  He continued his studies and received a degree in Broadcast Communications and Journalism.

When Murray was a young man he met Marvyn and Carol Roy, a.k.a. “Mr. Electric.”  The couple had toured worldwide for over 50 years and mentored Murray while he grew from an accomplished magician to an international star.

Murray was the only magician globally who invented a magic act that included the manipulation of a multitude of Compact Discs when he began his professional career called The CD Act!

Murray has won over 32 awards for his performances nationally and internationally and received the title of “World Champion.”  He has delighted audiences in theatres from Monaco and Paris to Las Vegas and the legendary Playboy Mansion.  Recently he was honored with 4 awards, The Hollywood FAME Award for contribution to Magic on TV, the LA Comedy Award for BEST COMEDY SHOW, TOP 100 Business Men of Nevada and 100 Most Distinguished Men of Nevada.

Ep. 12: Sean Grant - Comedian, Actor & Writer

Full Archive Length - 88 minutes

Sean Grant answered questions like:

  1. How did you get into comedy?
  2. Do you remember your first time on stage?
  3. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  4. What did your creative process look like then versus now? The actual writing and development process?
  5. What’s your formula?
  6. I want to play a clip of your “Getting Robbed in LA” from Laff Tracks. After it’s over can you tell us how that story evolved? https://youtu.be/S9mkrvl54_8 
  7. You mentioned classes, which have you taken? Which do you recommend?
  8. How did your career form from college?
  9. How else did the diversity of South Florida influence your comedy?
  10. What’s the hardest thing about living in LA?
  11. What’s it like working with King Bach?
  12. How was it to finally perform at JFL? Did you feel like it was another step towards your goals?
  13. What are your best audition tips?
  14. How would you describe your comedic character?
  15.  How is it different than from how you view yourself OFF-stage?
  16. What is something that you wish you learned earlier in your career?
  17. What are some of the common mistakes you see new comics making? Or common things that bug you?
  18. What’s the best piece of advice you have for new comics?
  19. Did you have a comedy mentor?
  20. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?
  21. What are your future goals?

Bio:

Sean Grant is a comedian from Miami, FL. He has been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and has had guest roles on Maron on IFC and Meet the Browns on TBS. Sean was also the head writer for Dead House on Kevin Hart’s LOL Network.

Sean was featured on Tru Tvs Laff Tracks, he hosts a weekly improvised podcast called Welcome to Coo Coo Town and his hit comedy album Sean Grant-First of His Name by Comedy Records is available everywhere music is sold.

Ep. 11: Krista Spanick - Gen. Manager, Orlando Improv


Full Archive Length: 88 minutes

Krista Spanick answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into this business?
  2. How have you seen the business change in the past 5, 10, 20 years?
  3. Has Netflix, Amazon, Hulu helped or hurt comedy clubs? Do people want to come out to see the celebrities or do they stay at home and consume more digital content?
  4. Who are some of the comedians you enjoyed when you first started in comedy?
  5. How does that local talent puzzle piece help to make the club work?
  6. When it comes to booking talent what are you evaluating? Past tickets sold? Social media followers? How funny they are? References?
  7. Can you explain how the Improv brand works?
  8. Where do you look for new talent? 
  9. What do comedians need to know about the comedy business?
  10. How important is a good emcee? What do you look for in a great host?
  11. What do you look for in a feature or middle act?
  12. This next question has multiple parts so take your time to answer...What are your concerns before, during and after a show? What are the things you’re thinking about?
  13. What’s the professional way as a comedian to deal with a drunk or rowdy audience member? What’s the protocol?
  14. As a woman in this male dominated industry...What’s your best advice for female comedians?
  15. Lin wanted to follow up… what is your advice about branding yourself ? 
  16. While quarantine was in place were there any updates made to the club while the doors were closed?
  17. What new protocols are in place for re-opening?
  18. How are you maintaining margins with the decrease in audience size?
  19. What’s your favorite item on the new menu?
  20. Some clubs including Improvs around the country and in Florida have started to re-open. Have you gained any insight into what it’s been like?
  21. What are some things that comedians can do to support the venue off-stage?
  22. How can comedians support the venue on-stage while performing?
  23. What do you hate seeing comedians do on stage?
  24. What are some detractors that would keep you from booking someone or rebooking someone?
  25. What excites you about the future of the funny business?
  26. Do you have any advice for someone who wants to be a comedy club booker? How to get started?
  27. What’s one of the best shows you’ve seen?
  28. The facebook viewers want to do a roast of Krista Spanick. Can you guess who those people might be?
  29. Aside from the Orlando Improv, what’s your favorite comedy club and why?
  30. What’s one of the weirdest things you’ve seen at a show?

Bio: Krista Spanick is an experienced General Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the entertainment industry. Skilled in entertainment management, operations management, coaching, sales, and hospitality industry. From 2002 to 2009 Krista was the operations manager for the Orlando Improv / Funnybone Comedy Clubs.

Archived Workshops
Ep. 10: Al Jackson - TV Host, Comedian & Actor

Full Archive Length: 83 minutes

Al Jackson answered questions like:

  1. How did you get into comedy?
  2. What inspired you to get on stage? Did someone tell you to try it?
  3. Do you remember your first time on stage?
  4. How did teaching kids influence your comedy? You must have been comfortable in front of an audience having to perform for kids everyday. What type of school were you in? Were you trying jokes out on your students or their parents?
  5. Did you have to hide your comedy from the school administration for fear of losing your job?
  6. South Florida is very diverse. What was the South Florida comedy scene like for you? How did it help your comedy?
  7. What does your writing and development process look like?
  8. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  9. How do the people in your life influence your comedy?
  10. What does your daily process look like? 
  11. Did you ever take classes in stand-up? 
  12. Did you have a mentor?
  13. What’s your best piece of advice for someone getting into this business?
  14. What’s your advice for a comic looking to get to the next level? Is going to New York or Los Angeles still important?
  15. Do you have any advice that was given to you from some of the greats comedians?
  16. Looking back can you identify a moment in your career that made the opportunities start to roll in much faster? An audition? Festival?
  17. What’s your motivation when getting through the tough moments?
  18. Is there something you see new comics do that drives you crazy?
  19. Was there ever a time when you wanted to quit?
  20. How would you describe your comedic character on stage?
  21. What tips do you have for new comics to find their comedic character?
  22. Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?

Bio:

American television host, comedian, and actor Al Jackson.  He cohosts the nationally broadcast talk show Daily Blast Live, which was just renewed for a third season, as well as the weekly podcast “Al & Frank Try To Be Serious” with Frank Caliendo, found on all streaming platforms.  Al regularly serves as a contributor with weekly segments on the Bob & Tom Radio Show, which boasts 140+ affiliates nationally.

Recently, Al brushed up on his acting chops appearing on HBO’s 2Dope Queens performing stand up as well as shooting four episodes of the Jim Jeffries show Legit on FX.  Last year, he shot the 100th episode of his BBC Guinness Book of World Records show Officially Amazing.

Al’s hour long comedy special “Baby Steps” was picked up by the global distributor Comedy Dynamics and his half hour comedy special is on Comedy Central.  He has appeared on several Comedy Central shows, including This is Not Happening, The Meltdown, and @midnight.  He was also featured on John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Special and Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground.

Ep. 9: Kel Mitchell - Actor & Comedian

Two-time Emmy Award-nominee & Dancing with the Stars runner up Kel Mitchell currently stars & serves as executive producer, on the Nickelodeon’s reboot of the hit series All That & co-founder of the Good Burger Pop-up restaurant in West Hollywood, Ca. Hailing from the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois, Mitchell began his acting career at a young age and won several awards for his starring roles in Nickelodeon’s breakout hits All That and Kenan & Kel. Additional acting credits include truTV’s Friends of the People, Cartoon Network’s Loiter Squad, TV One’s Love That Girl, Disney’s Liv and Maddie, the Nickelodeon series Game Shakers, Sam & Cat and The Thundermans, and the 1997 feature film Good Burger and the 1999 feature film Mystery Men. In September 2019, Mitchell debuted as the host of CBS’s educational Saturday morning program Best Friends Furever. 

Ep. 8: Ty Barnett - Actor, Comedian & Writer


Full Archive Length - 89 minutes

Ty Barnett answered questions like:

  1. You’re a Chicago native - a great comedy city, but got your start at Seattle’s “Comedy Underground” How does that happen? How did you get into comedy?
  2. Who are some of your comedic influences?
  3. Do you remember your very first time on stage?
  4. When did you know when you wanted to do comedy?
  5. What did your creative process look like then versus now? The actual writing and development process?
  6. How do you use your energy on stage?
  7. How do you transition as you go on stage?
  8. How would you describe your comedic character? How is it different than from how you view yourself off-stage?
  9. What are your tips for comedians to find themselves in their comedy?
  10. When did you feel like you started to have a command of stand-up?
  11. What's the craziest story you have from performing?
  12. You served in the Army after high school. Thank you for your service. Did that influence your comedy at all?
  13. Did you have a comedy mentor?
  14. Looking back can you identify a moment in your career that made the opportunities start to roll in much faster?
  15. What’s the best piece of advice you have for new comics?
  16. What are some of the common mistakes you see new comics making?
  17. What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
  18. What are your future goals?
  19. A favorite question of Comedy Careers: Have you ever been stiffed by a booker and if so what did you do about it?

Bio:

Ty Barnett, a Chicago native, got his start at Seattle’s “Comedy Underground.” Since then, his star keeps rising! Dedicated to“bringing the funny,” his shows have been called “hilarious” (Whoopi Goldberg), “thought provoking,” “edgy,” and have earned him countless television appearances. He was one of the final 2 on the most watched and only Emmy nominated season of LAST COMIC STANDING and has made multiple TONIGHT SHOW, LATE LATE SHOW, and KIMMEL (please take off quotes for  ALL TV shows please) appearances. Jay Leno says Ty is: “…one of the funniest comedians working.” He currently has scores ofnational commercials and has a notable presence online through his web series THIS IS THE BULL@%t I’M TALKING ABOUT.

Barnett is a series regular on Discovery Family Channel’s “Babies Behaving Badly” and “Beasts Behaving Badly.”  He was also the host of The Food Network’s MEALIN’ AND DEALIN’ and CHEAP EATS along with HBO’s BAD BOYS OF COMEDY, his ownCOMEDY CENTRAL PRESENTS, his one-hour special, ISSUES,and his half-hour special, YEP… which gets millions of views online. Ty has been called “one to watch” by the Hollywood Reporter.  His albums, GROWN MAN, BABY STEPS and ‘BOUT DAMN TIME are regularly featured on Sirius/XM.

You may have seen him in a recurring role on ‘TIL DEATH on FOX, LIFE IN PIECES on CBS, or perhaps the sitcomSAMANTHA WHO? NICKMOM NIGHT OUT or TOSH.0. He was also a guest star on NBC’s BROOKLYN NINE-NINE. With charm and style that transcend race and age, Ty’s ability to rock ANY and ALL audiences has made him an international favorite on stages from the South Side of Chicago to theaters in London. You don’t “go to” a Ty Barnett show, you “hang-out” with Ty Barnett!

Ep. 7: Kristin Key - Comedian & Musician

Full Length Archive - 92 minutes

Bio:

Kristin Key grew up a minister’s daughter in a small town in West Texas. Much like Footloose, she was raised in a no-drinking, no-dancing, no instrumental music environment, so she immediately took up drinking, dancing and playing an instrument. Proving that the almighty has a strange sense of humor, Kristin came out of the closet at 15. Needless to say, it did not go well. So, Kristin decided to “take it back”, retreat back into the closet, and try a little harder to be straight.

At 19, while in college to become a paramedic, Key signed up for Open Mic Night at the local comedy club. As soon as she took the stage she felt at home. Though her observations and wit made her a local favorite, she remained in the closet, fearful of losing her local fan base. Small shows in the Texas panhandle turned into 35 states worth of comedy over the next 5 years. Audiences couldn't help but love the original comedy songs and rapid-fire style of comedy coming from the "Preacher's Kid", and though female comics struggled to find work she was booked not for being a woman, but for simply being funny.

When Last Comic Standing held their auditions in Austin, Texas, she stood in line hoping for a chance to be seen. After 7 hours of waiting, she got her chance and her ticket to Hollywood to compete with the best in the comedy world. At the end of the season she stood among the final six and watched as her fan base exploded. With validation from millions of comedy fans, Key moved to L.A. and began preparing a new act to take on the road.

While participating in an anti-bullying fundraiser, Kristin finally broke her silence and decided to share her hilarious story of coming out, taking it back, living in the closet, and meeting her wife. After 15 years in comedy, Kristin has found a way to perfectly blend together her thought provoking hilarious true stories and original songs with outrageous off-the-cuff improv moments, ensuring that no two shows are the same.

She is most recognized for her appearance on Last Comic Standing, additional credits include: Comics Unleashed, VH- 1’s 100 Greatest Series, The Bob and Tom show and Sirius and XM Satellite Radio. She has released several comedy and music albums, including a new Christmas album, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Kristin” (now available on Amazon, Google, and iTunes). Much has changed from the dusty west Texas town of Amarillo to the bright lights of L.A. but the one thing that hasn't changed is that fast-paced quick witted comedy that has kept audiences rolling in the aisles from the beginning.

Ep. 6: Claudia Cagan - Supervising Producer, Entertainment Tonight

Full Archived Length - 95 minutes

Claudia Cagan answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how did you get into the business?
  2. As a talent booker what did your job look like on any given day?
  3. What was the best tip or piece of advice you ever received about the entertainment business?
  4. Did you have a mentor?
  5. What was the hardest part of your job?
  6. What other jobs in comedy have you held?
  7. What are your tips for a comedian when they audition?
  8. What was the submission process like? Were you only working with agents? Going to clubs to find talent?
  9. How important is laughs per minute?
  10. What would be your advice for a comedian trying to get on a late night tv show?
  11. You went to the high school for performing arts...how can someone recreate that experience for themselves that might not have the ability or means to attend a school like that?
  12. ET has been on the air for a long time. What’s the secret with all the other options out there?
  13. What are the steps a comedian can take to get a tv spot?
  14. Is there a market for musical comedy?
  15. How important is it to be in New York or Los Angeles?
  16. How important are social media followers?
  17. Is a college degree required for tv production? Or can someone apprentice or display their experience in another way? Let’s say with their own web show or online bits they’ve produced.
  18. How do you suggest aspiring artists network today? Both in the digital world and in-person, when that’s possible again. Do you need to find a common connection to get a person’s attention?
  19. What’s the proper way to approach a celebrity? 
  20. What’s it like two win an Emmy? What’s it like to win two Emmys?
  21. What were you looking for when you were booking Arsenio? What kind of funny? A character? A personal background story?
  22. Looking back, what’s been your greatest accomplishment to date?
  23. Do you still sing or perform in any way?
  24. This is a weird business, do you have a strange story that tops all others?

Bio:

Claudia Cagan is a two-time EMMY-winning television producer for Entertainment Tonight, having started her career on the performing side of the business as production singer and personal assistant. She traveled all over the world with her sister, GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter, Melissa Manchester, until she made the transition into TV production.

Early on in her TV career, she was hired as a talent executive on THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW, where, besides booking TV and THEATER stars, she also booked the classic and up-coming comedians of the 90s, including MARGARET CHO, CHRIS ROCK, CHRIS TUCKER, MARTIN LAWRENCE, ELLEN DEGENERES, ROSIE O’DONNELL, HOWIE MANDEL, JERRY SEINFELD, GEORGE WALLACE, LEA DELARIA (the first openly gay female comedian to appear on a late-night talk show,) and many, many more.

Ep 5: Cisco Duran - Comedian & Actor

Francisco “Cisco” Duran (b. 1986) is a stand-up comedian and entertainer from Miami, Florida. Cisco Duran moved to Miami at the age of 4 and started performing comedy at age 21. By age 23, Cisco was a finalist for Florida's Funniest Comedian and was subsequently named as one of the Top Ten Comics by Sunpost.com. Cisco has been featured on Kevin Hart's show on Comedy Central "Hart of the City, “Minuto de Fama” on América TeVé, AXS TV on Gotham Live, also as part of the Bucharest Comedy Festival (Romania), Big Sky Comedy Festival (Billings Montana), and has performed alongside the likes of Bobby Lee, Charlie Murphy, Loni Love, Eddie Griffin, and Hannibal Buress.

Cisco currently tours clubs, college's, and also travels with Carlos Mencia’s world tour as his Feature Act.

Ep. 4: JC Currais - Comedian, Actor & Writer

Full Archive Length - 71 minutes
JC Currais answered questions like:
  1. How did you get into comedy? Do you remember your first time on stage?
  2. Who are your comedic influences?
  3. At what point did things “click” for you or that you really felt in command of the art of standup?
  4. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? 
  5. What are your tips for a new comedian?
  6. What did that weekly workshop look like?
  7. Is it still important to be in Los Angeles or New York?
  8. Do you remember one of your first jokes and do you still use it today?
  9. Why don’t you work blue as much anymore?
  10. When you ran the club in Gainesville did that give you a different perspective of how the business worked than just from the lens of a performer?
  11. Can you describe the process of editing your Hagrid joke down for Conan?
  12. How was the Conan format different from most other live performances let say, at a club?
  13. What was the experience like starting out going to the studio that day?
  14. Was there a moment in your career that you can pinpoint that really started accelerating the opportunities for you? A festival? An audition?
  15. Agent v. manager? How are they different in your experience?
  16. What are your career goals? 
  17. Did you ever take acting classes? How did you get into acting?
  18. How do you prepare for auditions or do people now call on you to fill roles that make them think of you?
  19. How did you get Just Roll With It?
  20. Does writing for the screen help your on-stage performances? How are the two writing styles different?
  21. You mentioned Twich. How are you adapting to digital?
  22. For standup, How would you describe your comedic character? 
  23. How do you use your size and look to enhance your performance?
  24. Are there any mistakes that you’ve made that you can look back on and say...I wish I had done it this way. How have you learned from those mistakes?
  25. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see new comics making?
  26. Let’s say i just moved to LA. What should I be doing my first week here?
  27. Aside from being funny what does it take to have a successful career in comedy?
  28. What’s your approach to writing, developing new material? What does your daily process look like?
  29. What’s the difference between a mic you like v. one you don’t?
  30. What’s the weirdest moment you’ve experienced in your career? An “Is this really happening?” moment.**
  31. You hear someone similarly perform a joke to one that you have. What do you do?
  32. We keep hearing from managers, agents, buyers and bookers about online presence? How do you develop your digital audience?
  33. Have you ever had to deal with a booker or producer that stiffs you all or a portion of payment? What did you do in that situation?

Bio:

Born and raised in Miami, FL. Jc Currais mixes a larger than life stage persona with his high energy performance style. He has performed on Last Call with Carson Daly, FOX's Laughs and TBS's CONAN. He was named one of TBS's Top Comics to Watch at the New York Comedy Festival and one of the New Faces of Comedy at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.

As an actor, he has appeared on FOX's Lethal Weapon, BET's Real Husbands of Hollywood and was a writer on Comedy Central's TripTank. He made his film debut in the Sundance Film Festival feature “New Low”. His second feature film “From The Dead” is slated for release in October of 2019. Recently he joined the cast of the Disney Channel original series Just Roll With It.
His presence is as big as his imagination and you never know where the show will end up when this man-child is the ring master. Currais has opened for such comedians as Steve Byrne, Hannibal Burress, Whitney Cummings, Kyle Kinane and Ralphie May.
Ep. 3: Barb North - Managing Director of Brook Forest Entertainment, Comedy Management & Development

Full Length Archive - 90 minutes

Barb North answered questions like:

  1. What does a comedy manager do exactly? How is it different from an agent?
  2. What are some tips that new comedians can do to start out looking and acting professionally?
  3. Clean v. Dirty comedy. Which is better if I want to make money and why?
  4. What does comedy look like in this new digital world?
  5. What have been the most entertaining digital shows/products that you have seen come out of the creativeness of quarantine?
  6. How can comedians adjust to a post-quarantine world? Laughter doesn’t move the way it did when people were all packed in together.
  7. What are you looking for in new talent? 
  8. I just want to be a comedy writer, not a performer? What steps should I take to do that professionally?
  9. Is it still enough to just tell jokes on stage or do today’s comedians need to engage their audiences online and at the show in interactive formats?
  10. Can you talk about merchandise? What should I be thinking about to create, market and sell good merch to make some extra money and provide something memorable?
  11. I want to do a “special”. What kind of team do I need to put together?
  12. What are the bookers/buyers looking for? Cruises? Netflix/Amazon/Hulu? Late night? Clubs? Sirius/Spotify/Pandora?
  13. Is there a market for new comedians that are older?
  14. What are your favorite comedy festivals to attend?
  15. What can a newer comedian do to get to the next level?
  16. How much performance time must a comedian have for you to sign them?
  17. What are some tips/advice to develop one’s comedic character/personae?

Bio:

Barb and her husband Steve, Founded Brook Forest Entertainment in 1985. The company has been involved in comedy development and production for 30 years, and branched off into management in 1994. The North's are no strangers to acting and comedy as they began their careers touring comedy and folk clubs and appeared on over 30 network and syndicated television shows in the late 70's and early 80's- before moving behind the camera. Writing and producing, the North's were Head Writers of the late 80's rendition of The Gong Show and wrote or produced for many others including Candid Camera, Make Me Laugh, Bachelor Party and Switcheroo. Additionally, they worked in development, created shows, and sold formats of shows they created in the expanding International market of the early 90's.

In 1992, the North pair created the successful home base for standup comedians at the L.A. Connection in Los Angeles, which, now in it's twelfth year, continues to offer private coaching, workshops and Industry Showcases for beginning and experienced comedians to have support, feedback and a safe place to grow.

Ep. 2: Daniel Franzese - Actor, Comedian, Director & Activist

Full Length Archive - 86 minutes

Daniel Franzese answered questions like:

  1. How did you make the transition into stand-up comedy?
  2. How do you make each performance uniquely memorable?
  3. How do you incorporate social messages into your performances?
  4. How have you kept connected to your audiences during the pandemic?
  5. You’re an advocate for the larger people out there. For stage performers, how do you use your size to your advantage?
  6. Do you have any tips for auditions?
  7. You were a judge on RuPauls drag race season 12. What was that experience like? How did you leverage that experience to further your own audience development?
  8. Who is your favorite queen of season 12 of RuPauls Drag Race and why?
  9. Who are you rooting for for Allstars 5?
  10. You became very well known as playing Damian. How have you broken out of that box to create your own brand, the way you want to?
  11. Aside from your well known roles what has been your greatest accomplishment as a performer thus far?
  12. What’s your best piece of advice for an aspiring comedian? 
  13. You do a great job of meeting fans after your shows? How might that change for you in a post-quarantine world?
  14. You do a great job of selling merchandise? How important is that in the life of a performing artist?

Bio:

Best known for his roles in Larry Clark’s “Bully”, and as Damian in Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls”. Danny is the creator of several live comedy shows including rock opera “Jersey Shoresical: A Frickin’ Rock Opera!”, and his one-man stand-up performances “I’ve Never Really Made the Kind of Money to Become a Mess” and “Yass! You’re Amazing!”

Ep. 1: Jimmy Shubert - Comedian & Actor

Full Length Archive - 85 minutes

Jimmy Shubert answered questions like:

  1. Where are you from and how long have you been doing comedy?
  2. How did you get into comedy?
  3. What’s are some of the biggest mistakes you see new comics making?
  4. Do you remember your first time performing?
  5. What was your most memorable performance or weirdest moment?
  6. Aside from being funny what does it take to have a successful career in comedy?
  7. What does your creative process look like?
  8. What do you think of story tellers?
  9. What is layering?
  10. What's the best piece of advice you ever received?
  11. What piece of advice would you give to a new comedian today?
  12. Did you have a mentor?
  13. What was it like working at The Comedy Store?
  14. Do you have any advice on the topic of management?
  15. How did you get your special made?
  16. How important is reputation as a professional? Can you succeed by just being funny?
  17. What do you think the basics are for becoming a professional?

Bio:

Jimmy Shubert has built an impressive resume as an actor, both in film and on television. He can currently be seen in a movie entitled “American Nightmares” with Danny Trejo, Vivica Fox and, Jay Morh on Cinemax. He also just wrapped filming scenes in a new movie entitled “Puppy Love” with Hopper Penn, Michael Madsen and, Rosanne Arquette heading for a major theatrical release. As a comedian, he is one of the busiest comedians working today. After becoming a finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and, being seen on Comedy Central as the closing act on Dave Atell’s Comedy Underground. He also just wrapped post- production on his brand new hour special entitled “Zero Tolerance” – soon to be seen on a premium cable network.

From headlining A list comedy clubs, casinos, theaters across the country. Shubert’s New-hour special ‘Zero Tolerance” is a theatrical presentation of Shubert’s stand-up persona of a blue collar working man’s man. He combines the outlook of a modern-day Archie Bunker with an utterly real world sensibility to create signature pieces of comedy, on Therapy cats, Smart Phones, Male grooming and, the dumbing down of America. Shubert loves playing  the part of a pop culture Iconoclast.

In television, Shubert is also known for his recurring role on “King of Queens” for five years and several appearances on “Entourage”. Jimmy has a wide range as an actor and has played everything from a prison guard in a hostage crisis to a murder victim on “Monk.” He’s worked with such marquee names as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Katie Holmes, Kevin James, James Caan and the late Robin Williams. On the small screen, He recently did a guest star on IFC’s  ”Maron”  ABC’s “Back in the game” with James Caan,  on the CBS comedy “2 Broke Girls”, He played Betty Whites neighbor. He appeared on Disney’s hit show “Zeke and Luther” as Bobby Dicey”-World’s Greatest Daredevil, and “Barely Legal” a pilot presentation about a dysfunctional family law firm, other TV credits include ” “Heist,” “The Loop,” “ER,” “Reno 911,” “Rude Awakenings,” “Angel,” “Lucky,” “New Car Smell,” “Sonny with a chance” and “Youth In Revolt.”

It was Jimmy’s performance as the lollipop-sucking strip club bouncer Vic jr. in Columbia Pictures’ “Go”, directed by Doug Liman, that jumpstarted his film career. He then starred in a short film, “Velocity Rules,” for producer Brett Ratner and director Patty Jenkins (“Monster & Wonder Woman ”) He has since landed roles in numerous films such as Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Coyote Ugly,” Fox Searchlight Pictures’ “One Hour Photo”, “The Italian Job”, and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”. He starred in a short film entitled “Wedding Jimmy,” and a feature entitled “Tales from the Crib”, it is currently making the rounds on the festival circuit soon to be theatrically released.

Jimmy recorded his first half-hour special for Comedy Central Presents at the Hudson Theater in New York City, which received rave reviews from critics and a standing ovation from the discerning New York audience. In addition, he has released three comedy albums, “Animal Instincts” “Pandemonium” & “Alive & kickin,” were produced by Grammy-winning producer Dan Schlissel and Stand Up Records. A veteran of live performance, Jimmy has performed all over the United States twice, China, Honk Kong, Singapore, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Korea and, he along with Drew Carey, performed for the troops in the Middle East   and Afghanistan as part of the “America Supports You” program for the Defense Department and Armed Forces Entertainment.

A Philly native, growing up as the son of a Philadelphia Detective wasn’t easy for Jimmy. He says“ It was like having Lieutenant Colombo as a roommate, most of my childhood was an interrogation scene from Law & Order ” Jimmy and his band of six brothers were always getting into trouble, and being the middle child, Jimmy learned at an early age that a sense of humor could get him through any situation. He attended the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts and Majored in Drama. It was from those experiences in acting class that Jimmy knew he wanted to pursue a career in Show Business. Jimmy took an interest in Magic at 9 years old and by the age of 15, jimmy he had become an accomplished professional magician. He later channeled that energy into stand-up comedy. His unique ability to see the humor in social trends and deliver his poignant and hilarious point of view on world issues has made Shubert one of the most respected and original comedians working today.

Jimmy started performing right out of high school in comedy clubs around the Philly area. He later moved to Los Angeles and started working at the Comedy Store. It was at the Comedy Store where he later met Sam Kinison, and after taking him offstage on a Motorcycle at the Comedy Store’s Main room in front of a packed house , they became fast friends . Kinison liked Shubert’s cockeyed chutzpah and included him as one of the original “Outlaws of Comedy” which he toured with for five years, playing major casinos in Las Vegas and other venues like the Universal Amphitheater in front of audiences as large as 6,500 people. In 1997, after a well recognized performance at the prestigious Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal , he was spotted by the late Brandon Tartikoff , who signed Jimmy to a holding deal to develop a pilot sitcom for him to star in at 20th Century Fox, which led to another holding deal and then finally a Pilot.

Jimmy’s comedy routine is usually performed with an observational point of view, in comedic short-story form, and typically focuses on poking fun at pop culture. As AllMusic.com put it, “His confidence and lucid delivery enhances his humor, making even his most perverse moments hilarious.”

Comic Cure