Driving 600 miles in a blizzard to do a 25-minute set at Johnny Big Balls’ Comedy Haha Laughter Sarcasm Den on Route 158 for $75 (minus gas, tolls, mileage, dinner and snacks) is great and everything….but it’s also okay to stay home sometimes and make money in your sleep. A great way to do that is record a stand-up album and get it played as much as possible on as many platforms as possible so you can rake in those tens of dollars of dough. Plus, you’ll have a body of work you can be proud of and maybe you can finally retire those old ex-wives-amirite and I-was-a-lesbian-in-college jokes we’ve been hearing since before The Grisly Pear was a Thai Restaurant (inside NYC joke) and write some new stuff. So stop putting it off and JUST DO IT! Scroll down to see Vicky’s Five Ways to Make Sure You Record Your Album in 2019.
Comedian and author Vicky Kuperman has launched a new weekly podcast entitled She’s Got Issues, which brings together experts and comedians with different points of view for a fun discussion to explore the issues facing people, animals and the planet. Upcoming topics of the show include sharks, pit bulls, prayer and fitness, with guests ranging from SiriusXM host John Fugelsang, marine biologist Frank Quevendo, comedian Sherry Davey, Father James Martin and author Justin Silver. Kuperman is a regular panelist on John Fugelsang’s SiriusXM show Tell Me Everything and named one of Huffington Post’s 12 New Comedians To Watch. New episodes of the independently produced show will be released every Thursday. Listen to She’s Got Issues on iTunes or Stitcher.
#1: SET A DATE! Like Charlotte said to Harry in Sex And The City when he did not appreciate the Jewess she had become in the name of love: “SET A DATE!” Seriously. This is step number one. The best way to get something done is to direct your energy towards a specific date. This will give you the focus you need to make sure the other pieces start falling into place. And by “falling into place,” I mean you’re going to work your ass off to place those pieces there yourself.
#2: LOCK IN A VENUE It’s hard to set a date if you don’t know where you’re going to record your album. Start researching venues. Start thinking about why a place is good for a live recording, and what challenges it might present. Are the ceilings too high? How are the acoustics? Are the seats too far away from the stage? Are you going to go with a club, a cabaret room, a black box or a theater? There are pros and cons to all of them. Are you recording this as a video special, too? (I suggest not to. Do one thing at a time unless you think you plan to sell it as a special, and then that has to be a whole other conversation). But if you ARE recording video for posterity or to get a 30-minute submission tape out of it as well, or smaller clips, then you have to look at the layout of the room from a visual perspective. Are the ceilings too low? Can you shoot the crowd in a way where you won’t disrupt the show? Here’s something you can do: crowd source. Ask comics who have recorded albums, especially those who have recorded in different types of venues. I have done three recordings; one in a theater, one in a black box, one in a cabaret room. I can tell you the good and bad to all of them. Sometimes comedians are each other’s biggest resources and we don’t even know it.
#3: BUDGET. When I recorded my second album, I did it with comedian Max Cohen on the same night. Great way to get both of our fan bases out for one show. We did it at The Wild Project in NYC, a wonderful 99-seat theater. We each had an opener and even had an intermission. We budgeted the sound recording, editing, theater costs, lighting person, tech person, marketing costs, and the crew, and then we divided that by 99 and there was our ticket cost. By the end of the night we had made all of our money back and broke even. The album recording is not a time we cared about making money. But it was nice that we didn’t lose any, either. All album downloads and SiriusXM and streaming royalties we got after that were considered profit for each of us.
#4: TELL PEOPLE. You have a venue, a date, a budget and even a ticket link! But there’s one step standing in between you and cancelling it all right now: telling people. Tell your mailing list. Tell you neighbor. Tell your friends who live out of town so they can make travel arrangements Tell your UPS guy. Tell everyone and anyone. Tell them to put it on their calendars. Most importantly, tell them to put it on YOUR calendar. Telling other people is a way to hold yourself accountable to following through. Setting a date in your head is not enough. You have to put it out into the world and make sure it’s not just a little secret.
#5: NETWORK FOR THE REST. You want it played on SiriusXM for that sweet, sweet cash? You want press? You want a publicist? You need the best sound guy that comedy money can buy? You want a New York Times spread? You want to be #1 on iTunes on the day your album comes out? Believe it, and you can achieve it…with your network. Stop hating on people who’ve had success and start paying attention to what they’ve done. Take a look at the comedians you know who’ve had the things you want, and just ask them how they did it. You may get the thing you fear most: success.