I'll tell you exactly what [industry guys] are looking for - people who are getting the most attention from other industry. They wander like blind coyotes in packs and jump on whatever seems to be creating the most noise. They have no insight and scramble around whatever apple is the shiniest like cartoon drunks in a scrum around Mardi Gras titties...
I was once in my early years of comedy and semi-popular in the ranks of the open mics in Phoenix when a comic higher-up in the ranks - Joey Scazzola - caught me giving advice to a new guy.
He said "Never give anyone advice because you're only telling them how to be more like you." Every time I've erred and given someone advice, I remembered that.
If you want advice, you most likely just want someone to reassure you of what you already know. If they tell you otherwise, you'll either discount it or you'll take their advice and no longer be following the instincts that got you in this to begin with. So either way, you didn't need the advice...
Should you take my advice? Fuck no. I would have told Dan Whitney to dump that silly "Larry the Cable Guy," that he'd never make a dime with that goofiness. I would have told Daniel Tosh that his show would never work, that he was just interrupting good Youtube footage like a latter-day Bob Saget. I would have been wrong on many occasions.
My best advice doesn't even work for me. I thought going on stage on mushrooms for New years Eve would make for exceptional comic insight. I've convinced myself that 2900 dollars in the bank is "fuck-you" money. I was sure that making fun of a tragic burn victim in a room nearly empty would be hilarious - especially to the burn victim. Oops.
You learn everything from experience. You could get a doctorate in listening to someone else's road and not get shit from it.
I like the inherent contradiction of someone giving advice that you should never listen to advice. Provides a nice lil' feedback loop.
My .02: I don't think ALL advice is bad. I mean, I post advice from others and give my own preferences here. Personally, I think it's nice to have input from others. Can help save you time/mistakes.
The key is being willing to ignore that advice and trust your instincts instead. What's right for someone else could be a terrible idea for you. The bits of conventional wisdom you reject are what make you unique. I just see it as more of a balancing act than the all-or-nothing scenario Stanhope paints.
But that's not nearly as interesting as Stanhope's rage so I'll give him that. With so much faux dangerous "edgy" comedy out there, it's fun to see someone really put himself out there consistently in an "I don't give a fuck" way like Stanhope does.
Labels: about standup
Permalink | 7/13/2010