Friday, May 31, 2013

The Usual

Bookers love to complain about the flaky nature of the stand ups they book. It is a reputation most comics need to realize we earned. Well, at some point some comic did something really stupid and now bookers judge all of comics based on this. Again, its a reputation that is usually well earned by comics. But what about the bookers? What about when they mess up? Most of the time no one wants to say it at a public level because they want to be booked again by this person. Why? Why do we bend over backwards to be polite when the gig they are offering us really isn't worth worrying about either finical or artistically? Before I go farther with this rant let me say that the bookers I deal with regularly are bookers who are pro's. I wish all comedy bookers were like this.

I just had a situation play out over the week that I know all comics will identify with. I got a call from an agency I've never dealt with. The assistant asked for my email. They were under the impression I had received their emails. I would of too if the email they thought was mine was mine. I guess spelling Joe with an "e" at the end of it never occurred to them. I don't know who standupjo is but she's got some mail of mine. 

I suppose they could of Googled my name, gone to my website or asked anyone how to spell the name Joe, but why bother? The assistant asks me how I spell my name. "Really? OK, J-O-E." She seems genuinely surprised this is how it is spelled. Whatever. They get my email and a few days later I call back because I haven't heard anything. "Oh,"  the assistant says, "Didn't he send you an email?"
Here we go again.
"can you tell me the pay and what position I would be on in the show?" I ask.
"You should of been emailed that information already?" she replies.
This is where I want to reach through the phone and smack her but before I say anything she seems to realize the problem. Why can't you simply speak that information out loud into the phone?

A another day goes by. I send am email asking again for the info. No reply.
Today I sent an email explaining that I have no confirmation for the gig, I have no idea what the pay is and after checking my spam folder I cannot find a single email close to what this guys name is or the name of the agency. For once I get a quick reply and the reply via email is, "…June is now booked. We can try again for a later date and here is the guys email. Please send a photo and bio for future gigs…" Wow. So if I am reading this entire situation correctly I lost out on a gig because someone can't spell my name?

I am drawing the line here. Being in this business means paying your dues and swallowing a lot of shit when you know you're right. We all put up with it. But when an agency contacts me for gigs and then can't even spell my name correctly enough to get my email right and I am punished for it by losing a much needed well paying gig, its them. Not me.

Ah yes, indignation! I hope it pays the rent!
Joe K.