Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Hiatus

Monday, July 18th, 2016

I’ve never used my “blog” space very regularly for blogging. I’m also not on Facebook, and I rarely tweet. My focus has always been on writing comedy and doing comedy shows.

But if you take a look at my “upcoming shows” section, it’s empty right now. That’s because I’m currently not booking or performing any shows (except occasional open mikes).

I’m going through a bootcamp course to learn full stack web development at Prime Digital Academy, and I am *loving* it. You can read more about Prime here: https://primeacademy.io.

Web Development is something I’ve been interested in for a very long time. For at least ten years, I’ve been teaching myself with various books and (the great website) Lynda.com. (By the way, in some places, like Hennepin County in Minnesota, you can get free access to all Lynda.com courses with just a library card!)

I’m currently in week 10 of Prime’s 18-week program and soon I’ll be starting work on a solo project, which is something I am very, very excited about. It’s based on an idea I’ve been working on for years, and it is definitely related to comedy.

In other news . . . before I started Prime’s intensive, every-weekday in-class portion of the program, I went to Chicago for the World Series of Comedy Satellite Tournament at Zanies (near O’Hare), and I finished in second place. So I am definitely not planning to leave the comedy game, I’m just on hiatus.

Zanies16-Winners2

I won a Gigmasters Best of 2015 Award!

Friday, January 8th, 2016

These days I book most of my shows through Gigmasters, Gigsalad, or via my contact form above.

This award is given to Gigmasters comedians who had four or more four-star ratings in 2015. Click on the badge to see my Gigmasters profile page.

One of the most outstanding GigMasters members for 2015!

Headshot 2015

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Hello. If you’ve hired me for an event, and are looking for a headshot to print on a poster or to post online, this is my most recent headshot, and the one I personally like the most. You can click the “photos” above to see older shots.

 

Thanks!

 

Why do comedy?

Thursday, August 6th, 2015
Not sure how to edit this post to make it easier to read, so here’s a link to a slightly better formatted version: http://ymlp.com/zq8P8g.
Some of you might remember that I’ve been trying to come up with comedy goals for myself. I think the last one was to post a video (or something) every week. If you paid attention, you noticed that I started kind of strong, with three new videos in May, and then disappeared into the ether again.
I’ve always tried to have as my main goal, to just become the best comedian I can be. But lately I’ve been thinking more about things like: building an online audience, posting regular updates, booking more shows, and making more money. None of these are bad ideas, except when they interfere with that first goal. Anyway . . .
Every now and then I read a book that changes how I think.
This week I started reading “Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective,” by Kenneth Stanley and Joel Lehman. These two argue that the path to achieving huge ambitions cannot be planned out, with measurable goals along the way. This is because the progress towards big things almost always requires (what they call) a “search for novelty.”
This was a huge “Aha! Moment” for me, and I realized I’ve been doing this as a comedian for a while. People have told me repeatedly that I NEED to be doing this thing or that thing as a comedian. I NEED to be on Facebook. I NEED to be playing more clubs. I NEED to live in L.A. or NYC. I NEED to do more jokes and less crowd work. I NEED to grow an online following, but I also NEED to keep my best material off of Youtube. And instead of doing what I NEED to do, I’ve usually just tried to improve as a comedian, to have fun and get better, and to keep it interesting–“the search for novelty.”
But these goals that I’ve been making recently for myself, they’ve been in the hopes of getting a bigger, more “passionate” online “following.” And now I’m officially abandoning that.
Instead, I will hope to update my site when I’m ready to update it. And I hope to post a video when I have one I really want to share.
And instead of all those objectives and measurements and goals, this is a story that illustrates what I want to focus on . . .
A few years ago, my wife Geri and I took a cruise to Alaska. Each night we had dinner in the main cafeteria. But after a few days, we decided to have dinner in the slightly fancy dining room, where we would be randomly seated with other cruise people. One night we were sitting with a group of 7 or 8 people, and I remember there was a father and daughter at the table, and I thought they seemed like they had a cloud hanging over them. As we all told our stories about why we chose this cruise, the father explained that their wife/mother had passed away the year before. The Alaskan cruise had been her dream, so they were here to honor and remember her. After a little while, the conversation moved on to other things. I remember at some point that I was being really witty and making everyone laugh. Geri says that I’m always proud of myself in those moments, but that night it was more special. I remember that by the end of dinner, the father and daughter were smiling and laughing. Their cloud had lifted. That image has stuck with me for years.
From now on, that is all I want to do as a comedian. That thing, where people laugh a hearty laugh, and then they smile a genuine smile, and then their clouds lift.
So despite everything I’ve read in all the other books about “improving your online metrics,” from now on there will be no schedule for videos, postings, or newsletters.
If you’ve read this far, thanks. It really means something to me, or maybe it doesn’t, since I have no way of knowing whether you did. But it WOULD mean something to me. Thanks.

Here’s a new video, “Final Destination”

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Something is Better Than Nothing: My Video-Posting Plan

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

So it turns out that the goal of posting a new video every week is ambitious. That is, if the quality of the video is important to me, and it is. I record almost every set that I do, so I have tons of video, but I’m still trying to decide what exactly my “posting plan” is.

OPTION 1: Post a new video of stand-up every week. I got this idea after reading a book, “Show Your Work,” by Austin Kleon, which has some really interesting ideas about sharing your artistic process, as opposed to just your finished product.

Pro: This would be a kind of a behind-the-scenes look at how I work on my comedy. I don’t know of any other comedians that do this, and I think it would be neat.

Con: There are two reasons no other comedians do this: 1) if people are thinking about hiring you, you’d rather let them watch polished videos than works-in-progress, and 2) comedians don’t want all their material out there in the world. The idea is that comedy like a magic act–if everybody sees it, the mystery vanishes. But I think comedy is more like music–people want to see live performances of jokes they love just like they want to hear live music that they love.

OPTION 2: Post something every week, even if it’s not stand-up, like a funny sketch or . . . who knows?

Pro: Posting something every week, especially on a schedule, supposedly encourages people to subscribe and follow you, gets more views, and might help bring more people to live shows.

Con: While it’s easy to post something on a frequent schedule, it’s impossible to guarantee that every post will be very funny or high quality. And doing something just to get views feels like a gimmick, it’s not authentic. Also, for me, live stand-up comedy is just much more exciting than Youtube. If I could be a Youtube star, and that would bring people to shows, great, but I think of Youtube as a tool, not an end goal.

OPTION 3: Keep doing what I’m doing now, but more often. Share a video only when I have something that I really like.

Pro: My videos will be at a quality that I like, I won’t risk over-sharing, and potential customers will see more polished material.

Con: This is sort of what I’ve always done, just not all that frequently, and it feels a little boring. I kind of want to try something new.

OPTION 4: ??? (I’m sure I haven’t thought of all the possibilities.)

So, to sum it all up, if you visit this site, or my Youtube channel, you’ll hopefully be seeing more regular stuff. But what stuff exactly, and how frequently, I’m not sure yet.

If you’ve read this far, I would love to hear your input. Please comment below. (If you haven’t commented before, I have to approve it, because I get a lot of spam, but I’ll try to check frequently for new comments on this post.) Thanks!

 

Two New Videos

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

Here are my new videos. The first is some standup, and the second is the audio from a time I called into the radio program Coast to Coast AM with George Noory.

My new goal is to post something on Youtube every week. You can subscribe to my video channel here, youtube.com/jonwilsoncomedy.

Everything’s (Almost) New

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

So I announced in my newsletter–you can sign up for it here: http://yourmailinglistprovider.com/xgebymjjgmgb–that I’m making some changes this year.

First, I’m making it a goal to post something on my website every week–a video, a blog post, an update I’m working on.

Second, I’m starting to send a newsletter with updates once a month.

And third, I’m updating my site. I have no ETA since I’m doing it all myself from the ground up.

So here’s my first weekly update and new new video. Last week I made it to the finals of the World Series of Comedy Satellite Contest at Goonies in Rochester, MN. This means that I’m qualified to attend the Main Event happening in Las Vegas this September. Contests are such a mixed bag for me. I get really competitive and sometimes take it too hard if I don’t advance. On the other hand, I really enjoyed doing the satellite contest last week, I felt very energized by it. So for right now, my plan is to do the Main Event.

And finally today, here’s a brand new video, “My Car is on Fire!”:

Contest Announcement and Email List

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

I’ll be in the World Series of Comedy Satellite Contest this Friday at Goonies Comedy Club in Rochester, MN. My show is at 10:30 PM (the LATE show, NOT the early one).

You can buy DISCOUNTED $10 tickets, using promo code “goonies” here:
http://theworldseriesofcomedy.com/goonies-show-tickets

Goonies is located at:
7 Second St. SW
Rochester, MN 55902

If you plan to come to the show, email me at jonwilsoncomedy at gmail.com. Some of us will be hanging out afterwards.

Also, I’m planning to start using my email list about once a month for announcements and general updates. You can join by clicking here:
http://ymlp.com/xgebymjjgmgb

Book Me at GigMasters!

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

I’ve been booking a lot of shows through Gigmasters and have found their site very helpful. If you click on the link below it will take you to my profile page:

Jon Wilson earned 5-stars on GigMasters! Check it out!.