Paul F. Tompkins: "You provide the audience, I’ll provide the show"

Want to bring Paul F. Tompkins to New York City? Sign up for this Facebook group. If 300 people sign up, he'll book a show here. That would be fun since he's hilarious.

He's already done this "Tompkins 300" approach in a few other places. PFT explains how it all began:

“You get three hundred people to say they’ll come see me in Toronto and I’ll go to Toronto.”

So this enterprising young man, comedian Bob Kerr, started a Facebook group pithily entitled, “Bring Paul F. Tompkins to Toronto!” He asked for people to join the group if they were committed to seeing me perform. He asked that folks not join for “support,” that they not join just because they like joining groups, but that they only join if they were serious about wanting to come see me live in Toronto. Bob said, “You should only join if you’re actually going to be there.”

Within a few weeks, the group’s ranks had swelled to 305. I checked it out. It seemed legit! I booked a show.

A couple months later, I was in Toronto, performing two sold out shows on a Sunday night for two smart, respectful, appreciative audiences. These people didn’t come to “party.” They came to see a show. It was a magical night for me.

And it tasted like more.

I’ve become fed up with the comedy club system for reasons that would cause you to self-murder should I elaborate. I don’t want that to happen. I have long thought, There’s got to be a better way than this. But I had no idea what that way could be until my experience in Toronto.

So here it is: you provide the audience, I’ll provide the show.

Pretty great idea.

Gotta imagine the crowds at these shows will be really enthusiastic too. I think part of what made that CK at Comix show last year so great was that it was announced at the last minute so the crowd was filled with people who follow him on Twitter. Get a room full of superfans together and you're set up for a fun time.

Maybe this is how everyone will do it in the future? (Well, everyone who's already managed to get thousands of fans in the first place.)


2 Comment(s)

Blogger myq said...

But is this the "right" way to do things?

He basically just emailed the population of different cities and asked them for spots.

He should have just kept quiet and waited for the cities to book him.

3/5/10, 9:43 AM  
Blogger soce said...

Yes.. it's easier to make a room of superfans laugh than to win over a crowd of strangers.

3/5/10, 10:33 AM