What does the Industry want?!

6 May

I recently got to watch a panel discussion on the industry of comedy.  The panel consisted of comedians, writers, managers etc.  People who had influence of some kind.  People who were bigger fish than yours truly.   Someone eventually addressed the elephant in the room and asked ‘What does the industry want?’  And the reply was … ‘We don’t know.’

At the point my head exploded.  I know that was a glib off the cuff response but still.  You are IN the industry and you DON’T know?! How the fuck is that possible?!  Why was I even at this panel?  If they didn’t know what kind of information could they give me?!

So I thought about it (As they should have done.  Like they really didn’t think someone would ask that question?!) and came up with 4 things that the industry would like to see from its comics.

1- Funny.  Just be funny.  While at the panel they said some things about me while not speaking to me specifically.  They said ‘We are tired of white males with beards wearing plaid.’  Uh, ok. But what does that have to do with being funny?  I am a white male, with a beard, who likes to wear plaid.  I would look like this even if I wasn’t doing comedy.  I’m sorry that YOU can’t get beyond my appearance.   Plenty of funny dudes with beards who wear plaid.  Plenty who aren’t.  Look for the funny.

2- Be original.  Maybe this is what they are referring to concerning white guys with beards wearing plaid.  With that being said I don’t think your appearance is what makes you funny or not.  I’ve seen plenty of guys wearing stupid shirts, beanies with propellers, dumb haircuts, and silly glasses that were original but just not funny.  They relied on gimmicks for laughs.  Instead have a unique voice and perspective and the rest will follow.

3- Be likeable.  You want a crowd to like you, to listen to you, to laugh with you.  Don’t be a dick onstage or off.  You’ll be better off.

4- Be versatile.  Be able to work different situations.  Be ready to do different things like act, write sketch, improv, blog etc.  All of those things will help you in the end.

That is it really.  I don’t have any other preconceived notions.  I could care less about demographics.  Race, gender, sexual orientation etc should just not matter.  I know too many people it does matter and maybe that is why I’m not in the industry.  I’ll just continue to be the middle aged bearded white male who likes to wear plaid

.Stu McCallister 014 (2)

3 Responses to “What does the Industry want?!”

  1. Somebody May 7, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

    Unfortunately appearance, look, style, sex, race, etc. DO matter, because they matter to the general public that (again, unfortunately) does make snap judgement’s on artists/comedian’s, etc. based on those things. They decide if they want to watch someone based on their look/style/race/whatever before they even watch their performance. Its a sad but true, real thing.

    • stumccallister May 7, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

      Agreed but what I have to be true to me. I am not going to change my act in that respect.

  2. jboogiebrown May 8, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    I was always wrong, when I would try to guess who’s going to be funny. So, a comic’s looks aren’t the first thing I notice. I like to watch other comedians, before a show and how they prep–and we’re all prepping. I wonder if my lipstick looks like shit or if my “costume” is falling apart. You may be just another “middle aged bearded white male who likes to wear plaid” but I had never seen a Stu McCallister before you. I love being at any show with you there. The audience can’t be any more disappointed, with me, after seeing you. It makes me feel like I’m a little less of a loser. Love ya, kid! I think you’re younger than I am–can’t tell under that damn beard. 🙂

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