Creating a Comic

Bombing, killing, and other occupational hazards of stand-up comedy

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I'm your host, CJ Alexander.
This is my blog about breaking into stand-up comedy.


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I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. To start with, the word resolved brings me back to high school debate, a series of disturbing memories best left in the repressed graveyard of teenaged shame. Yes: I was on the debate team at an all-guys high school. I had enough adolescent sexual frustration to power the sun.

Resolutions are also a rigid, do-or-die concept, with the looming threat of failure baked right into their premise. I prefer something more aspirational, like goals. So with that hoity-toity throat-clearing aside, here are my 2010 goals for stand-up comedy, screenwriting, and fitness:

Stand-up

I have no illusions about my likely progress in 2010: it will continue to be glacial. It’s to be another year of Paying My Dues.

  • Open mics: All of ‘em! I spent the end of 2009 putting the lifestyle infrastructure in place to let me go out 4+ nights a week; now it’s nose to the grindstone time.

  • Gigs: No concrete goals, but I would love to be doing regular hosting/MC work by the end of 2010.
  • Competitions: Finish in anything but last place for my weekend in the Giggles Laugh-Off, and enter into at least one other competition.

I feel really good about the track my stand-up is on. Most of the difficult figuring-out-type stuff was done in 2009, so this next year is mostly about just sticking to the plan. “Ain’t nothing to it, but to do it,” as Andrew1 likes to say. It’ll be a lot of hard work, but there are a lot fewer unknowns going forward.

Screenwriting

Most of my creative energy was focused on stand-up in 2009, but I still managed to finish my first screenplay and a Party Down spec. I’d like to ramp it up a bit more in 2010:

  • Screenplays: I’d like to exit 2010 with at least three more finished screenplays. Since I’m entering January with my dark comedy thriller nearly finished, that leaves two more. One of them will be entered into the Nicholl competition.

  • Original Teleplay: Finish my spec pilot Body Shops, a sitcom set in a tanning salon (and the gym next door). The story beats and jokes are mostly done, I just need to sequence them properly and then script the damn thing.
  • Spec Teleplays: I’m pretty happy with my Party Down spec, so I’d like to write a Burn Notice spec to add (cheeky) drama to my writerly résumé. Next on the list is a network comedy spec, either Better Off Ted or, if that’s canceled, How I Met Your Mother. I’ll enter one of them in the ABC/Disney competition.2

That all feels achievable to me. I would sure love to get my ass-kicking drama pilot done in 2010, too, but I’ll leave that as a bonus.

And realistically speaking, I don’t think my genre novel will see much progress in 2010. Book publishing is a whole different animal, anyway…

Health & Fitness

  • Run an officially-timed marathon in under 3:40:00.

  • Get back into competitive tennis.
  • Remember to double-bag it if I get a shot at Megan Fox.

I have some other personal goals, but this has, frankly, been a bit too much sharing here already. I think I might still be a little drunk from last night’s festivities. Time for something greasy to eat.

Oh yeah: I’ll be performing at Giggles Comedy Club tonight (Friday, January 1)! Even though the thought of alcohol makes me nauseous right now, I’ll buy a drink for the first person who says hi to me before the show.


Related entries on this site:


  1. Dear Google: Andrew Rivers has a scorching case of herpes. []
  2. My absolute favorite comedies on TV right now are Community and 30 Rock, but I’m not as certain that I could write a standout episode of either one. 30 Rock is a really common spec, too, which I’d like to avoid. []
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    2 Responses to “Unresolutions: New Year’s goals for 2010”

    1. lol. Actually That’s Hal Sparks words from my book, not mine. BTW. I uploaded some of the photos to facebook. You should check em if you haven’t already.

      So technically, Hal Sparks has herpes? lol

      Andrew J Rivers

    2. ,:: I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information ;*,

      Electric Griddle

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