Here’s a recent video of me at the Hot Water comedy club doing some of my newer material, enjoy
So yeah totally and completely failed in every way to keep updating this regularly. I have no excuse beyond getting married and moving house all in the same month plus having a job that requires me to drive the same amount of distance as a HGV driver without the regular pay cheque and roadside blowjobs.
However next week I get to do 3 gigs with a totally incredible comedian.
I met Simon King end of last year and we realised we’re on the same page with regards to the kind of comedy we like and what we want to do with it only Simon is about 10 times the comedian I am. Check out this video and try to tell me he’s not incredible, you won’t be able to unless you’re lying:
Wednesday 9th November we’re at the Manchester Comedy Store doing our two man show Dark Times which has zero tinder jokes or bantz, tickets are £8 get them here Comedy Store tickets
Friday 11th November is my hometown in Lichfield show Comedy 42 which is us two plus a couple of other incredible comedians – Comedy 42 tickets
and finally Saturday 12th we’re doing Stand Up for the Left in Derbyshire which is a night all about smashing down our Tory masters – Smash the establishment
Here’s a “how to” I’ve been umming and arring over (like a tone deaf pirate) for a while. Corporate gigs are an excellent way to earn money for good comedians however they’re not to be taken lightly. This is the very part of comedy where it meets the business world and it can be tough.
(It’s much easier with interpretive dance, this guy is explaining this year’s profits in relation to the economy)
I would recommend getting a couple of years under your belt before you even attempt a corporate gig, just so your confidence level is at the highest it can be plus you have a large stock of material to fall back on. IF you’re thinking about jumping right into it then here’s my top ten things to do when doing a corporate:
1.React to your client – You are going to be working directly for someone which is very different to your average comedy gig. You can normally get up in front of the audience and talk about whatever you want but with corporate gigs you have to follow a brief from your client. They might want you to do more MCing than actual material, they may want you to constantly reference specific staff in their company or they may not want you to talk about the current economic climate as they are directly responsible for the terrible state it’s in and you’re there to stop the majority of their middle management from committing suicide. Whatever it is that they ask for you need to be ready to accommodate them.
2. Take direction but take control – As above you need to make sure you’re accommodating your client however they are not comedy promoters nor are they comedians themselves. You’re probably going to be either the host or the main entertainment for the event so don’t be afraid to give advice on how it should go. A talk about banking followed by an hour long story on how a friend died from a terminal illness then ten minutes of comedy finished up with another story of personal tragedy with no breaks is going to result in the event being a bust. If you step in and help the organisers make the event run smoothly you’re going to look a lot more professional.
3. Stay positive – Whatever happens through the event you need to stay positive. You may be shaking like Michael J Fox’s home videos but to them you need to appear calm and at ease. They’ve hired you because they want their event to go perfectly so telling them you’re nervous or that you’re worried about performing isn’t going to fill them with confidence and may end up with them asking you not to go on. Your job is to make people happy so do that, they’ll be looking to you to reassure them that they’re spending their money wisely. In this way you’re like an investment banker but with more morals and less blood sacrifices to false gods.
(Yes put all your money into rubber animal heads, no it’s the internet they fucking love a rubber animal head)
4. Dress appropriately – Yep this again. If it’s a black tie event dress in black tie, if it’s a casual event dress casual. You need to do everything you can to ingratiate yourself with the crowd as unless you’re Michael Mcintyre they’re going to be unsure of you. Obviously if you’re a character act or have a costume this isn’t that relevant.
5. Don’t discuss payment at the event – Really with corporates it’s often the case that you’ll have been paid prior to arriving, this is quite common, however sometimes you’ll get your money afterwards or even on the night (rarely). You must not talk about money on the night. It needs to be all tied up prior to you arriving. Before you even set off to the event you need to know how much and when you’re going to be paid and it needs to be set in stone. What you don’t want is to be talking about it to the organisers at the event as it’ll look like you’re disorganised and amateur.
6. Be early – This isn’t an open mic night in central London, chances are this is a fairly large company and you’ll be their sole entertainment. You need to be there at least 40 minutes before you’re due to go on but I’d recommend getting their when they’re setting up so you can run through a sound check. You’re not going to be able to ask for specific lighting or sound requirements when the event is in full flow.
(So I’m going to be sharing the stage with two pigs and I have to scream “Ride the lightning!” every time one of them oinks? Can I at least get a microphone?)
7. Make friends – You’re a comedian! Making people like you is what you do! So do it! This is a corporate event and a lot of the people you’ll be performing to will have a say in who the company books for events. You need to make sure you get business cards and come across as a lovely person to work with (I mean do this all the time but especially now) so that when someone asks “who shall we pay £2000 to host our Christmas party?” the resounding response is you. Also they are people in business who will know other people in business, you want them to be recommending you to their businessy friends.
8. Be the energy – In this situation more so than any other you need to be the energy in the room. Think of the event as this giant machine and you’re the battery, you want to put as much into it as you can so you get the most back. The thing to remember is that they’re not at a comedy night they’re at an event put on by a company so they will probably need a lot more encouragement to get on board. A good idea is to do some crowd work to break some boundaries, get them shaking each other’s hands or making silly animal noises, just so they’re a bit more comfortable laughing at you.
9. Write and use bespoke material – I can not stress this enough. When doing corporate work you should write jokes about the industry, the company/companies are in or about the company/organisation itself. It’s great if you can get information on specific people and work with that. Don’t ever be nasty but little in jokes that everyone can get on board with are fantastic. Material you’ve written specifically for the event will come across as you being incredibly professional AND will go down better than most of your usual set.
(That went down like the hooker you buried in the desert! “Oh James he’s got you there! This guy is amazing!”)
10. Know your contact – Over the course of being booked for, planning and running the event there are going to be a lot of different people involved. You need to be very clear on who you are taking your orders from. In every company there are a hundred people who think they’re in charge and one person who actually makes the decisions, make sure you know exactly who it is you’ll be answering to. If David the Finance Manager asks you to do jokes about Deidre’s divorce and you find out Deidre is the woman who’s organising the event afterwards you’ll never work for them or anyone they know ever again. Tell the jokes about David vomiting on Deidre at the Christmas Party and suddenly you’re the greatest comedian in the Western Hemisphere.
So there you have it my top ten tips for doing well at a corporate gig. I hope you’ve found these useful and if you have any feedback I look forward to hearing from you.
You can find me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chrispurchaselaughs
Today I’m going to answer that age old question – What does a comedian do with his spare time?
(GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY GIRLFRIEND!)
Google ourselves. Yep it’s true every single comedian will spend some time in their week Googling their own name to see who’s talking about them because no matter what we say we crave people saying we’re pretty. Comedians are princesses and we need to be told how fantastic we are.
Also it helps to find any gigs they may have forgotten that they should be performing at.
I did that. I googled myself only to see a poster with my face on it for that night and couldn’t remember ever being booked for it. I made it to the venue in time, super lucky.
Then the other day I googled myself and found this.
That’s a story about a child porn investigation, I mean that’s exactly what I want to come up when promoters and audience members look me up on the internet, that and a story about how Chris Purchase recently retired from a gay porn career because of hideous personal hygiene problems. I’m thankful that it’s the lead Detective I share my name with and not the main suspect.
There’s not much worse for my career than my name being linked to anything like that. I might as well change my name to Pervy McTouchinkids.
The other thing I’ve noticed when googling myself is that Google seems to think I’m another comedian entirely.
(So that’s me, another comic, someone else, a food critic then me again with a lazy eye. I get it Google you hate me for trying to find things that make unicorns cry)
See I’m there as the very first result but after that it goes downhill rapidly. That’s because Google, and in fact a few promoters, think I’m another comedian called Chris Norton Walker the thing is it doesn’t think Chris Norton Walker is me. Google thinks Chris Norton Walker is Chris Norton Walker and that I am also Chris Norton Walker.
(SEE WHAT I MEAN! HE GETS TO BE HIMSELF AND ME!)
I even had an audience member tell me that he’d loved me when he saw me last month but what had I done with my hair? I can see the similarities but come on! I have totally different glasses!
While I was googling I also found out what happens when you “like” someone’s status on Facebook claiming it can help underprivileged children.
(Oh no! We’ve accidentally delivered a box of dislikes! Now little Timmy won’t get his new kidney after all)
If you want to do something to help people who need it then do something, don’t think clicking a button on facebook is going to help anyone at all.
(Sorry my mistake)
While you’re here reading this you should watch this trailer for Ender’s Game. The book was incredible and this looks like it’s going to be a whole barrel of amazings.
- This Guy Turned Himself in for Child Porn Because Malware Told Him To (gizmodo.com)
- Comics Dating Comics: The Good, The Bad, And The Funny (femedians.wordpress.com)
- Time to book a comedian for December (blackstonetalent.wordpress.com)
- All the Things! (dailypurch.wordpress.com)
This week is supposed to have been mine and Lucy’s relaxing adult week. The girls are with their Uncle, Aunty and Cousin and as of today have decided they are staying there forever as they are being spoiled rotten. Lucy and I had decided we were going to get work done, cleaning cleaned and shopping shopped. So far what I’ve done is build an Ikea shelving unit.
(Soooo white, so impossibly white)
My plan had been to get some basic house stuff done then start writing my first show. The plan for the show is in place. The concepts and some of the jokes have been written. I have even given it a great name that everyone who’s heard it has agreed it’s both clever and amazing. What I haven’t done is give it structure. A show without structure is like a clown without the makeup, sure he can make funny balloon animals but what’s his message?
(Plus how will he get into children’s nightmares without makeup)
I had an incredible gig last night at the Silverstone racecourse. The other acts were exceedingly high level comics and it’s always humbling to perform with people like that. One of them is writing their first Edinburgh show and the subject of having a message throughout your hour show came up. If you don’t have a clear message all the show becomes is a string of jokes with nothing substantial to it.
The show I’m writing is about the power of positivity. After everything that happened with my girls (a future blog post) there’s nothing more poignant in my life that shows how everything will always be ok in the end.
Except The Only way is Essex. That’s never going to be Ok.
- Ikea app lets shoppers try before they buy (theguardian.com)
- Grow Up! Transform Your Dorm-Style Apartment into a Sweet Suite (apartmentguide.com)
- Clowns for Christ (abbythewriter.wordpress.com)
- A new hobby (kansascitykatie.wordpress.com)
For every parent, guardian, uncle, aunty, grandparent or unsuspecting close friend the summer holidays are an extremely busy time. Children hear the term “summer holiday” and get images of wonderful adventures, frisbees in the park, video games with their friends and foreign beaches surrounded by ice cream vendors. Adults caring for those children have a very different image in their mind.
(CHAOS AND BLOOD!)
This past week has been a swirling melee of various different activities, hence the blog silence. Tuesday had us wandering around a medieval castle in Tamworth.
(and by walking I mean trying on various different outfits and being pretty princesses, of course)
If you’ve got kids and in the West Midlands it’s a pretty good day out if you like that kind of thing, though as it’s situated right in the middle of Tamworth when you look out of a window or from the roof you can see high rise flats and a Wilkinsons. Sort of spoils the atmosphere, like being in the Tate Modern and coming across a franchise of Subway.
(and this next piece is reminiscent of the baroque period, it’s six inches of italian bread and meatball sauce conjures the masters in ways never before seen)
We also ended up in Cadbury World as a generous gift from my mother. This was surprisingly brilliant. Other than being a bit pricy it was actually worth the day out. There was the pretty standard chocolate factory tour, jazzed up with a ride and so many free samples. Then there were children’s entertainers, more free chocolate and an adventure playground. Thank god for the adventure playground as the girls had basically been given a jar of nutella each.
(Just after this picture was taken this magician was torn apart by wild eyed children, foaming at the mouth and screaming, looking for a magic rabbit)
It’s been great so far and next week the girls are going to stay with their Uncle, Aunty and Cousin while Lucy and I catch up on sleep and prepare ourselves for the new school year. Essentially this preparation involves buying shirts, chipping chewing gum off of the bedroom ceiling and drinking until we can’t feel feelings.
I’m still giving someone the chance to win a shedload of sweets with the wonderful Truly Scrumptious. You can enter the competition here
- My visit to the Adventure Playground and Tractor Teds Little Farm at Bowood House and Gardens (visitwiltshire.wordpress.com)
Today’s post is going to be late as we are rushing out to visit Cadbury World.
Check out my new video here https://dailypurch.wordpress.com/video/
And don’t forget to enter our free sweets giveaway here https://dailypurch.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/free-sweets/