So we've been on the road for a little over a month now and have come to a realization that we've tried to move a little to fast. We've had just a couple days off here and there, and pushed so hard that we haven't been able to see very much of each town we are in. This is a bummer, because it's part of the whole reason of the tour.
Thankfully, the midwest is hard to book in August, because most comedy is shut down for the month, so we're going to take that as a sign, to slow our pace a little bit. This means we won't get finished as early as we hoped and may have to reorganize our trip a little bit, but I think it's worth it. I have never been as tired doing comedy as I have the last couple days, and although we still made people laugh - and were professional - I don't think we gave the last show the energy we would have liked.
We also found, that we've taken some pretty bad deals just to perform in a specific state. Although we've had a lot of fun shows - and by comedy standards they were still successful and fun - by survival standards, we need to take a step back and be more realistic about future gigs. Actually, in August, the shows we do have booked are more practical and realistic for our needs, so that is good. We've also learned a lot this first month, some of those things were hard lessons to learn with huge financial repercussions. Such as, always use a contract. Yeah, that's an important one. Also, never use a third party hotel booking site such as ORBITZ, but if you do disregard our advice, use a credit card and not paypal to book it. That was a huge lesson we learned.
The best part of our trip, and I can speak for Doug on this: is meeting and hanging out with the local comedians in each city. Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, San Diego, Spokane, Salt Lake CIty, Albuquerque, Reno, Vegas, Denver....are just some of the towns that we've met some super talented, fun and awesome people. If you need a comedian in any of these cities, let us know and we'll give you some recommendations. One of our many goals, is to hook up local comedians with new venues, that we've booked, which have not had comedy before. This has actually worked well, and we've had a few venues meet with local comics after our shows to set up regular comedy nights. Comedy is a low maintenance entertainment option for most venues, because all you need is a mic that's hot. That is it. With the comedy scene exploding EVERYWHERE in the country there is a lot of talent out there that has been doing open mics for a couple years, and are now ready to expand to showcases and produced shows.
We have also have a newfound appreciation of booking agents. Finding venues, booking rooms and making sure they pay a consistent and promised amount is a lot of work. Being able to have a booking agent negotiate all of that, and make sure you have a room and that you know exactly how much your getting paid AND THEN MAKING SURE YOU GET THAT PAY is an invaluable service. To be able to just drive, show up and be funny is rad and we really appreciate the times we've gotten to do that, especially now.
We also have partnered with a hospitality trade service for the 2nd part of our tour which has been awesome, and we can't wait to stay at our first venue. If your a touring artist, you can find out more about the service here: http://www.ignitehospitalityservices.com/. It is not only a great way to lower the overhead of touring expenses, but is a way to network with people that live and work in the area that we're coming to do shows. This helps us find the perfect venue, and know a little more about the area. We've also used Couchsurfing.org and have had only fantastic results and met some amazing people in the process.
Can't wait to do more shows, we have some awesome ones coming up after our break in Sheridan, WY; Billings, MT and Minneapolis, MN. Oh and some surprise shows in North Dakota. We're going gorilla in our performing tactics for this un-bookable state (for us). Stay tuned to see where/how we accomplish performing comedy in this state.