Archive | December, 2014

Fame at what cost?

30 Dec


I like to joke around on social media and say that I am ‘very famous’ or ‘uber famous.’  Clearly this is a joke.  I am barely famous if at all.  I like to tell people that I am ‘weekend weatherman famous.’  People in my home town of Grand Rapids, MI will recognize me.  Usually they may not know from what.  Or they may not know my name.  Instead they will say ‘You’re that Dr. Grins (the local comedy club) guy!’  And I will say ‘Yes, thanks for coming out to the shows.’  It is nice to be appreciated and recognized.

The goal for all guys who want to work as a comedian is to get MORE fame.  Because with fame comes more gigs, better gigs.  It has nothing to do with how funny you are.  It has to do with people coming to see you.  There are certain people working comedy clubs who are very famous but not funny at all.  They keep getting booked because they put fannies in the seats.  I’d like to have that level of fame and still be funny.  Funny to me is what will get me that fame, hopefully.  But I digress from my original point.

There is a cost to fame.  You lose a level of privacy.  You lose the ability to just be yourself and not really care about things.  Social media has created this world where everything gets out.  Everyone knows things no matter how stupid it is.  In the process there are stalkers.

These people… Man, these people…  I’ve seen it.  I’ve seen these people after shows just waiting to see and talk with the comedians I’ve worked with.  They bake them things, they make them things, they buy all the merch, they come to all the shows, they follow comedians to different towns.  It gets… creepy.  Comedians aren’t like rock bands.  A rock band will play the same song for 20 years and people will cheer and clap and yell for it! It brings back memories from days long ago.  The thing with comedy is jokes don’t work like that.  The joke works because of the surprise.  When you hear the joke once it kills.  You hear it a 2nd time it loses some edge.  You already know what is gonna happen.  So comics need to write a lot.  Often it just doesn’t work that way tho.  I’m just amazed when people follow a comic.  What is going on in their brain that makes them feel this is what they should do?

Some stalkers get scary.  They make up relationships in their heads.  They think they know the comic and have some kind of connection that just isn’t real.  I think most comics like interacting with the crowd after shows on some level.  Let’s be honest if the crowds weren’t there we wouldn’t have a job.  But some people make a comic wanna split the room quick and get back to the safety of the hotel.

So what do you do?  You work hard, get famous, play the good rooms, get paid a good wage and deal with the nonsense that comes as a result.  I’m pretty sure I won’t eat the baked goods given me.  Thanks for coming to the shows!