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With the entire continent engaged in some of the most polarizing politics seen in decades, everyone seems to have one thing in common: Everyone thinks people these days are too easily offended. But they aren't. They're no different than they've ever been. And, as for political correctness, it doesn't exist.
For Debra DiGiovanni, speaking to a full house is much more appealing than speaking to a group of six. The visual artist turned comedian has been doing stand-up for more than 15 years. While she knows that she's most comfortable when behind a microphone, the industry and audiences are still getting accustomed to seeing more women take the stage.
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A fellow comic, Jen Grant has been in the news. A lot of people, some of whom barely know her, have been standing up for her. I figure I should too, since she is one of my best friends, my next door neighbour, people often mistake us for sisters, plus she made me a muffin yesterday.
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At its best, YouTube is the Garden of Eden; not only for the next generation of comedians, but actually forming the next generation of comedians. It's way more than just a promotional tool. At its worst, YouTube is the ruthless Angel of Death, and perhaps for an entire comedic genre...namely, stand-up. Gulp.
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The overall impact of the show on the stand-up business, however, can't be disregarded. Last Comic Standing put stand-up comedy back in prime time. For years, stand-up comedy on television was relegated to basic cable and late-night talk shows.
I never tell people the kind of money I make. Mostly, that's because it changes all the time. Some clubs pay very well, some not so much. There is no industry standard and the money changes from week to week, depending upon everything from experience to location to number of shows performed per week.
In September of 2010, Troy Conrad launched a new format of stand up: unscripted and on a topic that the performer sees at the same time as the audience. It is (quite aptly) billed as "Stand-up Without a Net. I recently spoke to creator Troy Conrad and Paul Provenza about Set List, and the changing business of comedy.
Elvira Kurt was voted Funniest Female Comedian at the Canadian Comedy Awards and received a Gemini nomination for her one hour comedy special Elvira Kurt: I'm a Big Girl Now. That special also nabbed...
Carla Collins spends her time whirling in and out of comedy clubs and charity events, on and off film and TV sets, and basically anywhere there's work to be done. The comedian, actor, author and once...
Every week I drive 90 minutes to do just five minutes of stand up comedy. Sometimes I'm the funniest guy on earth. Sometimes nobody laughs. Sometimes I yell at drunk people. Then I drive back home. Three hours to do five minutes. Crazy? No, it's the most important thing I do all week. Why? Stand up comedy is Navy Seal training for becoming more interesting.
As much as it seems like comedy is a calling, it doesn't mean my first night was perfect by any means. As a matter of fact, upon reviewing footage, I noted that I barely made it to the stage. Nerves don't discriminate.