Today I read an excellent article entitled Things To Consider When Submitting To Write For A Late Night Show! I’ll link the article at the bottom of this post. The article was written by a comedian named Sara Schaefer who recently got her own show (with a fellow comedian) on MTV, and was in charge of hiring her own writers. One of the things that she mentioned is the fact that sending in a writing packet that had links to videos/pictures/etc can hurt one’s chances of getting the job because their press packet may be printed out and reviewed. In other words, if they have a hard copy of someone’s submission, they can’t click a link to watch or view whatever content is being referenced. Reading this piece really got me thinking; we live in an amazing time when people can instantly apply for jobs across the country with a few mouse clicks (no this was not the first time I’ve realized this, but the article reminded me of this reality).
How did she get submissions from comedians/comedy writers from across the country? Probably via e-mail. Once again this is not a revelation, but it reiterates the fact that no matter where someone lives they have the ability to get their name out there and have their voice heard.
What’s my point? Even though I live in southern Utah, which isn’t exactly a hot spot for comedy (or anything, other than the Utah Shakespeare Festival), there are plenty of ways of using the internet to create content that can be accessed by millions of people. That’s not to say that everything, or anything, that is created will be seen by that many people or that it will result in a job or recognition of any type. Regardless, it is important to create things because it forces you to flex your create muscles and makes you more versatile. This is why I create my comic strip (you can read it here). Not for recognition, but because I enjoy doing it and it forces me to be creative, in addition to simply working on my own jokes for the stage. Of course it is hard to find anything that can substitute for actual stage time and face-to-face interactions, but relevant creations can supplement that.
One comedy website that I frequent is called Connected Comedy. In fact, I found the article that this post is loosely based on because someone in the Connected Comedians Facebook group posted it there. Connected Comedy is constantly preaching about the important of creating things, and having an online presence. The chances of being “discovered” while living in such a small town are slim to none, but those chances can be increased by creating things. My goal is not to be “discovered”, but I feel like writing and performing while living in obscurity will better prepare me to write and perform on larger stages (literally and figuratively) once I am not in obscurity. Consider it preparation. It is unlikely that anyone ever got a job writing for Letterman, Conan, Leno, or Fallon without having any practice writing. I consider these short blogs, my comics, getting on stage, etc my practice.
I think that generally when big artists are found, they already have a finely tuned act. The people who find these artists are probably asking themselves “why has this guy/girl never been seen before?!” I don’t have the answer to that question, but I do know that these artists have laid the ground work. Plenty of what I produce may be terrible at first, but it might evolve into something better. At the very least I’ll learn from my failures. On that note, I’m off to harness the power of the interet….
Link to the article: http://saraschaefer.com/2012/12/things-to-consider-when-submitting-to-write-for-a-late-night-show/
Link to Connected Comedy: http://connectedcomedy.com/