Giving Up, After 15 Years - Stand Up Comedy & WA part lV

Last Update: March 16, 2016

The Myth

Ahhhh... I just love how I can tell a story about comedy and somehow tie it into WA! Today I'm going to share with you a quick story about Louis CK.

If you don't know who Louis CK is, he is probably the most popular comedian in the US as well as in other countries, today. I'll apply his story to WA in just a moment. First, the myth....

The myth about stand up comedy is that it's a glamorous life. A well-paid profession in which you get to travel the country and bring your funny.

The truth is, the only part of comedy that is glamorous, are the moments we are on stage. Unless your Louis CK or another famous comic, your not getting paid very well. The travel sucks, the accommodations are less than desirable, you spend time around drug and alcohol abusive comedians and you come home breaking even, if you're lucky. There's never money left over.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I live in NYC and there are literally thousands of places here that I can perform. Whether a bar, a night club, a comedy club, a cabaret club or a library, the places to perform are endless. But if you don't live in a big city, you need to travel.

The downside of living in NYC is that there are tens of thousands of other comedians living here as well, all fighting for stage time. And even though there are thousands of places to perform, there are still more comedians than there are stages. The venues know this and therefore, don't pay well. They know you won't turn down a gig because there are thousands of other comics that will take it in a split second.

You want to be a comic in NY? You get paid squat. Don't come from a big city and have to be a traveling comic? You get paid better but travel, and food costs cut into it and you're left with nothing.

Comedians are comedians because we love the 45 minutes we get to stand on stage. Not because we love the business. It's an awful, unfair advantage by the club owners. We pack the house, they make the money.

Never Quit

Finally, we get to the real story to this post. Louis CK's story. The 3rd highest paid comedian in the US. Behind Jerry Seinfeld and Jeff Dunham (who has nightly Vegas shows). That's pretty darn impressive.

Here's the kicker..... after 15 years of being a road comic and hating his life, he was one step away from quitting stand up.

Fortunately, he saw an interview with George Carlin, and a light bulb went off! He trashed his old material and wrote new jokes. The rest is history!

After 15 years and being on the brink of quitting, he turns out to be one of the most famous and highest paid comics out there today.

What's This Got To Do With WA?

Why would you quit online marketing in 6 months? 1 year? 2 years? You know that success is just around the corner. It's going to happen. You just don't know when.

Aren't surprises so much fun?

Are you going to quit? :)

- Stephen

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Brooklyn2008 Premium
Amazing post!! Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration. I haven't been at this for too long, but I know all too well how easy it is to quit something and to go and try something else that seems easier or more attainable.
But in the end, you need to follow your passions :)
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BigMook Premium
Thanks, Nicki :) Follow those passions!
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Brooklyn2008 Premium
unless of course they're Blackjack and Beer...then you need to take 'er easy lol :P
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BigMook Premium
Ha! You have a good point ;)
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Lilianna Premium
Still going. Wrote an emotional piece today. When I wasn't even sure what I would write about. Thanks for this!
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BigMook Premium
Sometimes our best comes when we least expect it!
Keep going, Kelly :)
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speedicut Premium
'Never quit...especially when there's money involved'
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BigMook Premium
Ha! Absolutely!
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SuePeters Premium
Love Louis! Hilarious comedian....great write up:-)
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BigMook Premium
Yes he is! Thanks Sue :)
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Ursulla Premium
"If you ever quit chasing your dreams, then what you are living for?"
Great story!
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BigMook Premium
Thanks, Ursulla! Love the quote :)
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