They'll say, "Well, Chris should do what every other comedian does: He should pay his dues and go on the road and play comedy clubs."
Well, I've got a few answers for that. One, I've never even met a professional comedian*. I don't travel in those circles. So don't hold me to some standard that you think I should be adhering to, especially when no comedian or comedy agency I ever contacted could have the decency to speak to me. That industry can go fuck itself. I'm certainly not going to take my cue from an industry which contains not a single member I've even ever met. Though I perform the functions of a professional comedian, and though I claim the licenses of the professional comedian, I suppose it could be argued that I am not a comedian.
Two, performers go on the road for a couple of reasons: So that they can assemble an audience and so that they can deliver themselves to their audience. It's a location thing.
What is this 1890? Do I have to trundle to the next county in a carnival wagon? Uh, we have the internet now. I can teleport myself right to your IPhone or your Blackberry or to your office, wherever you may be. I can envision the day when I have some kind of holographic video camera in my studio where I perform. And you lay your IPhone 9.0 on the table and press the button and my life-size hologram gets projected right in your office. Or you set your IPhone 9.0 on the dashboard of your car and I do my five-inch-high stand-up routine during your drive to work.
I do not have to physically deliver myself to you to be considered worthy of your buying your ticket.
I think it's a "conceptual model" issue here. People can't conceptualize that a stand-up comedy show could exist outside of a comedy club. So they feel they don't have to buy a ticket because, obviously, if it's not a comedy club then there's no ticket buying, right?
People are always behind the times. I recall back in 1996, back when the internet was starting to take off, asking a real estate agent friend of mine, "Hey. I happen to know how to design websites and do database access. Would it help you make money if you could show your listings on the internet?"
And he said, "Oh, no. That's stupid. No one would ever do that. Real estate agents already have the MLS, the Multiple Listing Service. No one would want to see pictures of houses on the internet."
So I gave up the idea. Lesson learned: Don't listen to the experts. Most people are so far behind the curve that they can't even conceptualize the reality that you are constructing in your head. Had I ignored this moron, I'd be a billionaire by now.
So I am telling you that there is no legitimate reason whatsoever to be denying me my ticket receipts. I want those goddamn receipts, and I want them now.
If you are reading this, you are in my audience. If you are in my audience, you are obligated to buy your ticket. I do not give out comp passes, with the following exclusions:
Do not buy a ticket if:
- ...you are a personal friend of mine residing in Florida or Vermont or New Hampshire, or
- ...you cannot afford it. Here's the litmus test for affordability: Do you have cable TV at your house, amounting to at least $50 per month? If so, then you have an entertainment budget, into which you can easily fit me. If you have cable TV, you buy your ticket. It's that simple.
Other than that, I do not give out comp passes. And there is no newsroom discount. There is no law enforcement discount. I don't care if you regard it as part of your job to sit in on my show. You didn't get past the fat, hairy bouncer at the door without buying your ticket. Even in Lenny Bruce's day, police detectives had to buy their tickets before they could get in and make notes of what he said.
If you are reading this, you owe me my ticket, unless you are destitute OR you are a personal friend of mine residing in only Florida, Vermont, or New Hampshire. There are no other exceptions.
You owe me $100 per person per year. If you read even only a few things of mine per year, you are still in the theater. Step outside for as many smoke breaks as you like, but you didn't get in to the theater in the first place without buying your ticket.
You will calculate how many years you have been in my theater since 2007 and you will multiply that by $100. And then you will add the $100 Loser Assessment, the penalty I levied just for HAVING TO look at you thieving idiots every fuckin' day.
So let's say you attended since 2007. That's three years you've been draining my soul: '07, '08, and '09. One, two, three. That's three years, see? That's three hundred dollars. Now add your Loser Assessment, just because you're such a loser. That comes up to $400.
Now. You have several methods of delivering that $400 to me.
You can visit this link and send me my money by Paypal or credit card.
Or you can go to my Cafepress store and buy some overpriced junk. Some flimsy teddy bear I think I've priced at a hundred and twelve dollars. Cafepress gets the twelve bucks --which is what that piece of trash costs them-- and I get the hundred. See? That's one year's ticket purchase. So you buy four teddy bears. Or a Flip HD Mino video camera for $370. Mix and match. Whatever.
Or you can do it the old-fashioned way: Send me cash or a money order in an envelope. Send it by FedEx or UPS only (the Postal Service does not deliver here) to:
10 Rockingham Post Road
Rockingham, Vermont 05101
Those are your options.
Do you understand?
It's like pulling teeth to get people's lumbering brains to make the conceptual leap that a legitimate performance can occur outside a physical comedy club.
* I did meet a professional comedian once, someone based out of Orlando. We met in a personal setting and did not discuss comedy. So it is true, strictly speaking, that I have never even met a professional comedian.