Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Selling Yourself: Your Blurb

Your "blurb" is one of the key tools of attracting the audience and the attention of promoters. It is a piece of prose ranging from a few lines to 6+ paragraphs about you, your comedy and various quotes from summarily-written reviews or off-hand compliments given to you by an actual semi-professional comedian.

Shortly before the first ever blurb was written

Much like the ability to call yourself a fully-fledged comedian, there is no need to hesitate in coming up with your very own blurb - do it after your first gig. Hell, do it before your first gig: it's only going to be mostly lies and self-aggrandising speculation anyway.

It is important to use adjectives to describe yourself. The more fantastical the better. "brilliant" , "amazing" , "energetic" , "unrelenting" "comic presence", etc. There's no need to have referential evidence of any of these attributes; it's just to get the audience through the doors, money out of their pockets and attention for your own hungry ego. Remember, you're the show.

The use of clich├ęs in blurbs is particularly common - "blew the roof off" , "leaves the audience wanting more" , "wowed the crowds" etc. It is an odd practice, as all the acts in one line-up can end up sounding exactly the same. It would almost suggest that the featured comics aren't as experienced and successful as one (or they) would assume. Luckily nobody questions this.

Sticking the name of a better or more well-known comedian in your blurb (without asking) is guaranteed to catch the eye of the average punter (and not irritate the other comedian you mentioned at all). Simply having shared the same stage as the well-known comedian throughout the course of one night, is enough to say you "supported" him or her. Incidentally, there's no need to actually go on directly before him/her or be asked specifically to support them (by say, their manager/agent), or even get paid for it. You supported them, and that's that!

Also, remember to ask the more successful comedian what they thought of your set (even if they didn't see it or pay attention to you, which is likely). If they said "I liked it" , "That was OK" , "Stop bothering me", feel free to translate that into whatever delusional persuasion you happen to be of. Something along the lines of "Excellent and unstoppable comedy steam train!" should do. Remember to attribute the particular quote to them all the time.

Always check if there is a reviewer in at the gigs you do. This can be a handy opportunity to get a quote to use for your blurb that may not be as devastatingly obvious that you wrote. The quality, circulation or notoriety of the publication they write for is irrelevant, so long as the review is positive. Ensure this by being overly friendly with the reviewer, buying them drinks, etc. Although research would suggest that reviews are merely the opinion of one person, and do not reflect the overall feeling. Make sure that the review corresponds with your overall feeling.

You are now ready to write your blurb! Some people may find it difficult to write about themselves, so an aid is provided below. This usually proves to be a good technique, so long as you are honest.

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