Not all comics prefer to work comedy clubs. Many are suited better for one-nighters. My advice is to work both because we all want to make as much money as possible and improve our act. I’ve talked about the challenges a comic faces as they improve at their home club. Your home club is usually the last one to promote you to the next level (from MC to feature, from feature to headliner). In this entry I wanted to focus on something positive though. Your home club can become your professional family and be there for more than just stage time and a paycheck.
The Columbus Funnybone hosted the wedding of my friend Bill Arrundale this last Saturday. The club has been such a big part of his life that it was the prefect place for him to tie the not. Here in St. Louis, we used our Funnybone to give Rahn Ramey one last memorial service on Sunday. Pardon my sentimental entry, but I think it’s important to point out that a lot of us have shared more than just laughs at our home clubs. I had the honor to be a part of the final standing ovation of Rahn Ramey’s wonderful life and career on Sunday and it’s something I’ll never forget.
So use your home club as more than a place to work. Hang out there and build connections and relationships in your comedy community because the further you get into this career, the more support you’re going to need for the other issues in life. Why? Because your non-comic friends are going to have a completely different life than you. They might not be able to connect as well because their jobs don’t involve driving six hours to make a hundred bucks on a Wednesday (by the way, don’t take that gig unless you really have to).
When and if you decide to dedicate your life to comedy, you’re going to need to rely on different relationships to stay sane. Your home club should be the best place to start.