Welcome to the first issue of The Other Comedy Newsletter: A newsletter for independent comedians who are building a solopreneur career in Canada.
My name is Clifford Myers. I am the founding comedian of The Other Comedy Company. I have been performing independently for 13 years.
I made this company for two reasons:
1) Shopify fired me in my underwear
2) Which gave me the opportunity to create the comedy company I always wanted to work for
What would that company do differently?
They would elevate Canadian comedians to global audiences
We have the tools and resources to build audiences independent of corporate monopolies. Building an engaged audience gives you bargaining power when negotiating with corporate partners or discussing your live rates. There's a difference between being exposed to a global audience and being elevated to a global audience. One of those audiences sticks around. The other doesn't.
Why does this matter? Few reasons:
Comedians have more success when they cross-pollinate their audiences
This in turn creates more work, opening up independent markets
Which allows comedians to reinvest in their own careers so they can afford a manager, a lawyer, visa applications, recording equipment and so forth.
How are we going to do it?
Transparency. I will be open-sourcing this entire experience of building an independent comedy company. Everything from marketing to raising funding. I have a positive-sum mindset and don't believe anyone has to lose for someone else to win. I welcome competition. Also, CASC is interested in partnering on education. Very cool.
Hybridization. The pandemic impacted our industry to the point where many of us couldn't work. I'm creating a flagship digital product to funnel profits into my reinvestments: live shows, festivals, independent productions, tours, you name it. But if shit hits the fan, we'll have work to fall back on. And if shit doesn't hit the fan, we have comedy-adjacent work during our off-hours when we're not on stage. Win/win.
Open Roster. My plan is to keep the company asset-light so I don't burn cash in overhead and operate through strategic partnering. This means that everything we work on together, we're approaching as partners, and both sides know what they're getting out of the deal. No smoke and mirrors. No favourites. Just what works and what doesn't.
Obviously we have a long road ahead. I've been building the company since May and I'm nowhere near where we need to be. But I thought this would be a good time to start connecting to more comedians across the board so we can get the word out on what The Other Comedy Company is trying to accomplish.
The company's motto is Comedian Owned & Operated because I want our team to be (mostly) independent comedians. It’s important that anyone who works with us empathetically understands the pitfalls and blockers facing Canadian comedians.
Got questions? Ask!
Want to have a virtual coffee chat? Let’s set it up!
Till next time.
“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”.
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