4 thoughts on “Is The Best Way To Make It Big To Think Small?

  1. Ben Gonzalez says:

    I guess since my local scene is LA, thats even more reason to concentrate on the local scene first huh?

  2. Andy Shaw says:

    The struggle continues to be, at least for comics in my situation outside a major metropolitan market, is how to get a decent fan base going. There aren’t many people interested in going to see live entertainment in the first place because that’s not the culture…
    Even with steady local marketing – reguarly performing, putting up some flyers, making sure people know when and where you’re performing – it still seems like a very tough climb.
    Not saying you’re not correct, and I agree that it makes sense to grow locally before trying to jump up to the bigtime… I wonder if other smalltown comics face the same problem: How do you get consistently large crowds, considering the nature of being smalltown means many people have already seen you perform (even with new material, they aren’t likely to keep coming back), or your drawing from your personal social network, and that gets tired, too.

  3. Phil Johnson says:

    @ Andy… In my opinion, small town comics could have a little easier time at it because there’s less competition for the entertainment dollar. If you think about the larger comedy industry, there’s not a lot of money to be made on performing in the biggest markets (ie. LA, San Francisco, Chicago, NY, etc), but most of the money is made in small towns throughout the country. I’ve always found it much harder to develop a fan base in the large markets because of the numerous choices for entertainment.

    No matter what market you’re in, we’re fighting to just get people off their couches long enough to experience real people in a real place. That’s everywhere.

    Oversaturation can definitely be a problem in a local market. I perform in my hometown every six weeks with a little break around the holidays. At one point I could put over 100 people in a room, but I neglected them for a little too long while I was doing road work and now I’m having to build that again. And I do plenty of other low-key sets around town. But the big promoted event comes every six weeks. I treat the other sets and feeder gigs to collect people for the big events.

    But remember that “come see me” isn’t the only way to do it. Besides a show that features you, you can do other shows that you curate and host to keep things fresh. You could do a podcast/blog centered on local topics of some sort (entertainment or otherwise). The main objective is to be a face that people see as often as possible, even when you’re not performing. You don’t want to oversaturate the “come see me” invites, but everything else almost can’t be overdone.

    And remember that 10-20 miles away in most areas is considered a new market. So you want to do your best to saturate an area and then evolve into the areas around it.

    That response got way too long.

  4. JC says:

    So if your local scene is NY or LA, do you recommend moving somewhere smaller?

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