What I’ve learned from being in a band, doing stand-up and performing as an actor has changed my life. When I was in a band it was all about the show. Bringing the audience in through my performance. I also cared about the songs, style, and how clean my playing was. Well, up until I started really getting into the “act” of things. I bought something more to the show and turned it into an event. It was all about making the audience enjoy their time watching us play on stage. BUT, let me break it all down. Because bands, on the whole, if they know what they are doing, market themselves like crazy. Stickers, shirts, CDs, you name it. Even in the beginning of the game, they are trying to get people to take notice. Sometimes they even work with other bands to help bring unity to a common ground. That’s a smart thing to do.
Comedians, not so much. Unless they are successful, how many local comics do you ever see giving out free stuff? Stickers? CD/DVD of their old performances? Shirts? Other than when you see me of course I mean. I know what they do when something is being done… they hand you a flyer for the next show. They have a website that is underdeveloped and was last updated some two months ago. They also go on stage, perform and then get off stage and hide in the back… or leave right away. Now, bands do this too, but we are talking about how to be successful. So, bands that are doing it correctly with merchandising (giving away free stuff) and getting out there in the public/audience to shake hands, laugh a little and connect are growing their personal fan-base. Either by networking very well or incorporating a bit of marketing in there.
Alright, actors. What have I learned from actors that comedians and bands should be doing? Well, this brings me back to the beginning. Everything changed when I started to perform onstage during the band days! I mean, performing, putting on an act on stage. Not just me up there with a guitar. I mean dressing the part, being the part and walking around as the part. It all adds up. Actors also do what comedians do, they perform, get off stage, hide in the back and leave right away. What happened to hand out stickers? Shirts? Information to get to their website? Does it make sense to let people leave with something to remember you by outside their bad memories of your performance? Heck, if anything, mingle a little with them. The more face time you give them, the more their long-term memory will take effect because of the emotional connection you gave them.