Get Into It, Get Involved, Part I

(Re-posted from its original post here: Entertainment Agent Blog)

Three-and-a-half years ago, I happily joined the nascent Entertainment Agent Blog wanting to contribute in the field of arts and entertainment.

A former athlete who’d played guitar, took acting classes, improvisation classes, acted in plays and spoke in public, I tried poetry, took up photography to meet musicians… the list goes on. Point is I wanted to be “in” but I’d only get my foot in the door and not much further. A similar thing happened at EAB because after a few months,¬†it became clear that besides some classes and an interest, I had little basis to say much about entertainment agency.

Due to an odd confluence of events about a year ago, I took to the stage and tried stand-up comedy. As I’m wont to do, I got the bug and was heading up 3-5 times a week inside the first two months. But this “bug” took hold. I’ve spent the past year building what’s still an¬†extremely young presence on the scene. ¬†Six months ago, I surveyed the DC comedy scene and believed there to be:

  • A Distinct Market. The DC scene is dominated by open mics and 5 minute blocks of stage time. Paid shows are rare-to-non-existent short of “big ticket” theaters and the Improv (and the now-defunct Riot Act). ¬†Those that do exist are outside DC-proper.
  • An Incredible Talent Pool.¬†There are hundreds of talented DC comics in the area that would do well and mature rapidly if comics were given the opportunity to do more than 5 minutes at at time. There are dozens of more-than-capable features and small show headliners (20-30 minute sets).
  • Lots of Growth Potential. Plenty would say DC needs to laugh more… and DC does turn out in droves for national touring comics. The best in the country not only come through DC, but cite it as a personal favorite and regularly shoot their comedy specials here. ¬†Plus, there’s an enormous pool of college and graduate students coming through each year.
  • Conducive Politics.¬†No group is without its blemishes, but by personal experience the DMV may have a record-setting ¬†level of mutual support and straight-forwardness for such a large and¬†dynamic (and classically bizarre) group of people.

Recognizing it’d be some years before my comedy chops would improve enough to call comedy a career and still burning to do something more, I decided to join with some folks and meaningfully contribute to the comedy scene.

We had some resources and some learning to do…