Why You Didn’t Get Booked Back

Ever had a great week at a club or a great one-nighter and not get booked back?  Sometimes it’s baffling to figure out what you did wrong.  You tipped, didn’t sleep with the staff, nor did you take advantage of the fringe benefits (free steak fries are what most of us consider fringe benefits in this business).

I talked to a few bookers and found that one thing they’ve noticed is that less and less comics are saying “thank you” for the work.  Be overly thankful for the gigs you get, especially if you want to perform there in the future.  Even if you’re not getting paid and it’s just valuable stage time, thank whoever was partly or fully responsible for getting you that set.  If it’s a guest set at a club, you should also thank the headliner for letting you be a part of his or her show.  Even if the headliner had nothing to do with it, they’ll remember that.

Be sure you’re doing it in a meaningful way.  During my other job as a high school teacher (one of the more thankless jobs) I’ve noticed kids say, “Cool” or “Sweet” instead of thank you.  I’ve comped people to shows and gotten “nice!” as a response to me telling them their free tickets are waiting for them.  Replying back, “Thanks,” needs to be followed up with a thank you after the gig as well.

If you’re working a new club for the first time, send a thank you card to the manager when you get home that week.  Those things are remembered because it’s a lost art.  Any time you get a gig you need to express gratitude directly to them (manager, GM, etc.) in at least two different ways (they may not see your Facebook or Twitter feed but do it there too to promote the venue).

(If you’re still not getting re-booked, you probably need to reevaluate your sets.)

For more guidance on how to make money in stand-up comedy, check out my book, Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage.  It’s also available in paperback and is also on iTunes, Kindle, Nook, and just about every other ebook format.

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About Rob Durham

With an English Degree, three years as a doorman at the Columbus Funnybone, over a decade of stand-up experience, and a recent certification in teaching high school English class, writing a book seemed like the next inevitable step for Rob Durham. The son of a coach, Rob has an excellent ability to teach and explain things in the easiest and most direct way possible. His (often labeled ridiculous) memory allows him to think of every possible situation that a new comic might face because at one point he was there too. Rob gives an inside look at comedy that doesn’t sugarcoat the challenges every performer faces. Without ego and the myth that “anyone can do it” Rob gives the reader a true feel of what living the so-called dream feels like, from preparing for that first open mic night to touring the country. View all posts by Rob Durham

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