Went to a comedy show last night

So I went to a comedy show last night in Albert Lea, it was put on by Jeff Polis a local comedian and had hired 3 comedians including headliner Isaac Witty who was the headliner of my last show in Mankato. Last nights show had about 25 customers myself included, it was hardly a big crowd but it was a good show.

While the first two acts were not family friendly, it was funny. I enjoy going to stand up comedy shows, but I fear it is a dying business even Jeff announced after the show that he has been putting on 3 shows a year for the last 10 years, but he may not continue with such small crowds.

I have lived in Albert Lea for over 6 years and have been through before then and I never heard of his shows until after I did my first show here in Albert Lea. I know I heard a commercial for the Comedy Live event on 94-9 The Breeze, and I saw a flier at Kwik Trip but I don’t know how much they advertised.

While I love the idea of going to live stand up comedy shows, and I think putting them on is even cooler I know I won’t keep tilting at windmills for long. I don’t know maybe the idea of going out and having fun with your family is a thing of the past and I just need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Read more of my thoughts on my website http://wisecracking.com/

Then check out my KickStarter.com campaign to raise money for more local comedy!   http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/680281287/wisecracking-comedy-tour

So what does it take to put on a comedy show?

It takes money first and foremost, but it takes more than that it takes getting the right entertainer and letting the right people know which takes advertising.

For the show in Albert Lea I had hoped to get a big enough group of open mic people who would have a good time telling a few jokes. But after spending over $1,000 mostly on advertising I could not find enough people, I had went to different venues and groups around town talking to the about it and handing out fliers at events in Northbridge Mall I even went to the college in Mankato and was only able to find one person willing to both make the drive and also agree to be family friendly.  Another person who agreed was someone I already knew, and that was only 2 people hardly enough for a contest or a show.

Just 2 weeks out before the show, I was unable to find enough sponsors to make my free show viable, and without enough folks to go on stage it would have been over, but I was able to get help from Joey ILO to put on a real show with real comedians, and I had signs up at Northbridge Mall along with new ads on the radio but the stations that I had advertised on then were not able to get me enough people in time.  I don’t blame the radio stations or anyone else, it is hard getting new things to catch on.

Back in the 80s a company stopped advertising because they already were a well known company, and business fell by 20%.  Another big business that everyone knows has big box stores located on the edge of town but yet they spend money advertising.  The key in advertising is repetition, even a cute ad is only good if the person watching the ad is first moved to act, and then is able to remember your company’s name and then remembers to do it.  Good campaigns take a long time to build momentum, and the most successful companies keep the message out and fresh or it will soon be forgotten as the drum beat of business and our busy lives keeps moving forward.

I was a fan of stand up for a very long time, but often could not find clean comedy and often it was price prohibitive, so I figured I could start a business and offer family friendly clean stand up comedy at a low cost, but as I start putting on shows I ran into road blocks most of which could have been overcome if I had more money.

The problem is a venue will charge you, and set restrictions.  Then to get a pro comedian you have to pay them a good wage.  You might need to buy or rent chairs and equipment depending on the venue.  And then you need to get the word out as I mentioned above about advertising.  All of these things can be done but when you’re a new guy without big bucks it is an uphill battle.

The second event in Mankato I tried things differently this time I charged $10 and paid for professional comedians, hoping that tickets sales would add up to the totals I was paying for things but that back fired.  I bought ads on a local radio station and did a ticket give away, but at the end of the day I only had 8 actual tickets sold, out of a crowd of 40 which was less then the 50 at the last show in Albert Lea and most of the people were people I knew of or radio contest winners.

I could go into more detail but the point is it is not easy to get a good quality show on and have it be promoted right.  This will not stop me because I believe in my mission of providing quality low cost entertainment for the family.  This is why I am looking for new comedians to grow with, and doubling down on my advertising budget.  I also believe Albert Lea will get better results for me because there are less entertainment options here, and in Mankato I was one of many and there was too much noise to be heard by the right people.

People passing by in Mankato Place had commented the night of the show that they would love to go to another show but they hadn’t heard about the one about to start so they could not attend.  I will be doing shows in Mankato again after I get the formula right in Albert Lea.

If you look at shows like American Idol and The Voice clearly there is not only a demand for people willing to watch but the lines of people who want to try out for these shows is long, and I believe in time I can build up a comedy competition, and I know for sure with all the people going to movies every week that a market for comedy and other shows can be created as well if the price is right and the show is good, but of course it still comes down to creating awareness and demand, which I believe I can do and that is why in the next 5 plus months you will be hearing more from Wisecracking Comedy of Albert Lea!

questions?   email me or call me!

Brian Link owner and founder of Wisecracking Comedy

CELL: 612-810-4710  EMAIL: brian “AT” wisecracking “DOT” com

OFFICE ADDRESS: 1119 East Main Street in Albert Lea, Minnesota 56007

LOOKING FOR COMEDIANS!!!!!

So do you think you’re funny? Well Wisecracking Comedy is looking for new and upcoming comedians that we can grow with.

We have shows scheduled in Albert Lea, and are planning some in Mankato this is an effort to provide low cost quality entertainment the whole family can enjoy. We are focused on smaller towns because the choices for entertainment are more limited, but we think good clean comedy can go everywhere.

There are many good clean comedians now but not enough venues, and hiring established names is hard to do in smaller towns where the value of the name recognition is less and paying them what they are worth while keeping the ticket price is hard to do.

In time as the love of stand up comedy and other quality live shows grows in these markets we will be able to expand our offerings but as they say in baseball this is a building year.

So for that reason we are looking to find and hire new comedians and help you build your brand.

questions??
Then ask Brian Link the founder of Wisecracking Comedy
EMAIL ME OR CALL ME:

email: brian “AT” wisecracking “DOT” com
cell phone: 612-810-4710

our mailing address: 1119 East Main Street Albert Lea, MN 56007

Who is Wisecracking Comedy?

We are a small entertainment company based in Albert Lea who is dedicated to bring quality family entertainment to small and midsized cities around Minnesota, Iowa, and soon as we can, everywhere else!

Originally I set out to create a radio brand to offer comedy challenges on local radio stations along with other original programming over time including radio dramas among other things.

A small media company without a lot of money has a hard time getting noticed, so I looked at several options including online radio. The problem was where to start, starting a website is easy but getting people there is not as easy. So I decided I needed to work with local radio stations, and with most stations it is hard to get an unproven show on the air. I decided buying time and selling ads was the way to go and after much searching I found a station willing to give me a shot, that station was KBEW 98.1 FM a Country music station in Blue Earth Minnesota, about 30 miles from Albert Lea.

Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea allowed me use of a space in their mall for the show, but finding people brave enough to enter a radio comedy competition was not easy, nor was finding sponsors.

About 2 weeks prior to the show I knew it was not going to work, I only had 1 sponsor and 2 contestants. I made a call to Minneapolis based comedian Joey ILO who I knew a little through my job at KKMS Radio where he had done a clean comedy event for them and had been interviewed on KKMS Live and other shows on the station.

Joey excepted doing the show and brought some of his comedian friends with, and it was a great show! He not only saved me at the last minute, he also helped guide me to the fact that there is a market for clean comedians and that putting on professional shows and charging a ticket price may be the way to go. AND HE WAS RIGHT!

I again put on a show this time in Mankato a city with double the population of Albert Lea and more of a regional center, but it was not enough to build a bigger audience. So again I looked to how I can build this family entertainment company, so I decided going back to Albert Lea was the best avenue.

I am now planning to do a second show at Northbridge Mall this time around I will charge a $7 ticket price and feature a new comedy troop I am working to form. I want to help build up new talent, and provide an alternative option for family fun in small towns. In time I hope to develop a farm system of family friendly comedians and to promote other quality shows.

As for our name, in 1997 when I created the brand it was to be a radio network offering stand up comedy and other funny shows 24/7 and it was called simply Wisecracking Radio later as it developed into a radio show it was known as the Wisecracking Radio Comedy Challenge. After the February 29th event I changed focus and called the company Wisecracking Entertainment, then Wisecracking Family Entertainment.

Today I have opted for a shorter simpler name to reflect our core mission, hence:

WISECRACKING COMEDY

Welcome to our new wisecracking website 01-31-13

Hello I’m Brian Link founder of Wisecracking Comedy and I would like to welcome you to our new website, or at least our new design using wordpress. The posts below serve two purposes, 1 they get out some of our early information again for search purposes, and it is a test of the new set up.

Over time we will be tweaking the look and feel of this site and adding new information so check back! :-D

Wisecracking Family Entertainment 2012

Wisecracking Entertainment

AFTER THE FEB 29TH EVENT WE HAVE LOOKED AT CHANGING FOCUS FROM RADIO TO PUTTING ON LIVE COMEDY SHOWS.

I feel a market exists to pay a comedian to perform and then charge a ticket price that is low enough for the family to afford. We plan to keep with a family friendly model and provide quality entertainment options to small and under served markets.

Down the road again I will look to build up a radio comedy challenge, but first I must gain brand value in the comedy business.

Our first comedy event is planned for October 2012 in Southern Minnesota details will follow on this page.

Get tickets for the Mankato show on Sunday 12-16-12

YOU CAN ALSO GET TICKETS THE NIGHT OF THE SHOW IF AVAILABLE!

THE WILL CALL AND BOX OFFICE WILL BE AT THE MANKATO PLACE SECURITY DESK IN CENTER COURT STARTING AT 4:30 ON 12-16-12

GENRAL SEATING GET THERE EARLY FOR THE BEST SEATS.

need information or have questions contact Brian Link:

email or phone:

brian “AT” wisecracking.com

612-810-4710

We are Wisecracking Comedy!

Wisecracking Family Entertainment was founded to provide a great night of family fun with good clean humor that everyone in the family can enjoy!

We had our first show in Albert Lea in February 2012 at the Northbridge Mall, now we are bringing our family comedy show to the Mankato Event Center in Mankato Place on December 16th 2012.

We have general seating tickets, come early for the best seats!

visit our facebook page: http://facebook.com/comedyradio/

email us:

brian “AT” wisecracking.com

call us:

Brian’s cell 612-810-4710

postal mail:

1119 EAST MAIN STREET

ALBERT LEA, MN 56007

Congradulations to Joey ILO!

Wisecracking Family Entertainment would like to wish Comedian Joey I.L.O. the best in his new gig in Branson, and for helping us land a new headliner for the December 16th show!

find out more at:

JOEY ILO: http://joeyilocomedy.com/

PURE COMEDY SHOW: http://jimstafford.com/