Monday, 28 September 2015
The New Rules for comedy writers... nicked from Bob Lefsetz new rules for musicians #amwriting
Like the Seth Godin blog [my fave seth posts here], I'm subscribed to Bob Leftsetz
Here's a post with the points that resonated the most,
(with "live" substituted with "writing online"... "musician" with "comedy writer" and "music" with "comedy").
"1. You're a musician, not a recording artist.
It's 2015 and not only have recording revenues declined, the whole world of music has gone topsy-turvy. Yes, there are a few superstars who base their careers on successful recordings, but everybody else is now a player, destined to a life on stage. This ain't gonna change, this is the new reality. You can make an album, have fun, but don't expect people to buy it or listen to it. The audience wants an experience. You're better off honing your presentation than getting a good drum sound on hard drive. Your patter is more important than the vocal effects achieved in the studio... People love a good time. If you deliver one, you'll get more work.
Your goal is to get enough fans such that your guarantee goes up.
5. Hits don't guarantee live business.
6. Live is freedom.
You can do whatever you want on stage. As long as the people respond and come back, you're in control, you're winning.
8. Live lasts, hits don't.
You can find your fan base and grow it. Just don't expect it to include everyone and don't believe you're entitled to it. If no one wants to see you live, you should probably find another line of work. But almost no one wants to see you when you're new. Which means you must slog it out, paying your dues, until you find what makes you unique. And music is all about uniqueness, doing something everybody else does not. Me-too is for the radio, not for the stage. If you're not the type who perseveres, if you're not willing to forgo not only college, but creature comforts, you're never going to build a lasting career.
10. Chops are everything.
Practice. Once you're competent, then you can improvise, then you can take chances. And great art is always about taking chances.
12. Music is everywhere!
The public wants to graze online, they want tracks, not albums. And they want to be able to research you and know more about you, which is why you must have an online presence.
13. Know who your fans are.
It doesn't matter how many likes you've got or Facebook friends or YouTube views. Those are nearly meaningless statistics utilized to quantify something elusive. They can be faked and every few years we switch platforms and start counting all over again. Your career is forever. It's about knowing who your fans are and how to reach them. Not overloading them and playing primarily to them. Your fans own you, not the radio station or the media. Your fans will support you. And most of your fans are not vocal, they will not click or tweet or send you e-mail but they'll show up and buy merch."
It's tougher, and more oblique than doing music gigs, but for me, the parallels are striking.
I don't know if - working on other people's shows - I'm the equivalent of a session musician, or a songwriter.
But either way, enjoying stretching the analogies to breaking point.
Literally, do comedy writers have to become standups?
Playing to live audiences?
Or is it something more figurative?
That comedy writers have the ability to "perform" online.
To build an audience.
That might lead to a gig that's paid.
Anyway the full Bob Lefsetz post is here:
Added this to the page where I add all of this kind of stuff about new frontiers in media, and called it The Great Disruption
Put two wrong things together to write... my big fat list of what's sacred and profane...
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