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About ShaunLandry

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  1. Matt Besser (who is a talented man) asked to get opinions from performers. I have not performed at UCB. I do know the original four founders. Also I have done improv comedy at places very similar to philosophy as the Upright Citizens Brigade. R. Kevin Doyle from Hawaii posted one of the articles going at UCB hard in The Improvisational Theatre Worldwide Group on Facebook. In return, Thomas Dotstry posted this link, Matt asked what a performer thought that has performed in UCB. I would like to respond. Honestly and openly not as a stand up..but as *an improviser* and the idea of "Pay to Play": This is cut and pasted from this Group: ------------------------------------------------------ I wrote a long opinion on this topic that I decided not to post on the original Salon Article. I'm just going to post it here, R: Improvisers are more inclined to Pay to Play than stand-ups historically. Ergo...Stand-ups just found out what improvisers (and this also includes in Los Angeles "Membership Theatre Ensemble Actors") have been doing to be seen for their art. If you wish to get paid for your performances, my best advise is to NOT do your show at an improv establishment. Especially places like UCB and iO and even Second City in Los Angeles. For you not performing there? There are ten ensembles who would like the free space. At UCB especially they are one of the theatres where you don't even have to be a *student* to come in and if they dig you...they will let you use that space. For free. You are getting a full house that has been marketed for free and a free stage with a built in light guy and in most cases a piano player. They are charging less than a movie ticket to fill the house. If people cannot figure out the basic math of how much that costs and why they are not getting paid in places like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles? My advise is (before they even ask for that free space) is easy: Look at how much it cost to rent a building in that area, how much it cost to keep it open with lights and power, then think about complaining when you just had a jammed packed house of people see your 30 minute show (stand-ups)...when you are getting your free drink only doing ten minutes at an open mic somewhere. For stand-ups who don't get the idea of improvisers not getting paid? Apparently they have forgotten about some of the big standup clubs in Los Angeles. Where in a lot of cases these "Rooms" *will not let you go up unless you bring a house* They will ask you to buy a bulk of tickets to assure that they are going to pay for the space. So...if you don't bring anybody? At least they know the stand-up paid for tickets...and if you don't do that and don't bring anywhere from six to ten people? You go home not doing a show at all. I'm trying to figure out how that is better than getting a free space with a light person and a full house you don't have to worry about trying to pack. As an artist I believe in getting paid something. Whether it is monetary or whether it is building my resume to something else. Those choices are my decision and where I decide to do that is my own. I don't dig pay to play when it comes to the student who is still paying their level classes and performing every Tuesday night and then heading to the bar and buying drinks. Never have been. But that is the decision of the artist to do as such. You cannot force an establishment to change policy. But as an artist and I'm not part of your student body (and I have had the honor of getting a ton of free space from theaters around the country to play) That for me is a boon to put up a 30 minute to an hour show. *There is no out of pocket cost coming to me doing as such* and I'm at the point in my life where I don't need the gas money or the free drink. I have a pretty decent credit card now. I damaged my liver enough at improv festivals, thank you very much. I get paid other places. Why...because I also find (and audition) for the places that do that. Finally. Holy shit. If you don't know about the theater you are performing in before you get there? That is your bad. That is so Kurt Metzger's bad. If UCB promised him money and a drink and stiffed him on it? I would get it. They never did. Know where you are performing. Overall: Comedy is awesome and wonderful and I love all the patrons in it in their own specially needed ways. ----------------------------------------------------- That is what I wrote. This is coming from an improvisational performer. Bottom Line. If you don't like the space and how it is run? Don't perform at the space. For every five stand-ups that no longer wish to perform at UCB? There are five improv ensembles and six Sketch Comedy Ensembles who don't mind at all in New York or Los Angeles. (and quite a few stand-ups in Los Angeles with their mouth gaping open thinking: Holy shit. They are not making me pay fifty bucks for ten tickets to do a show? *With a PBR drinking crowd???* Where do I sign up?). Create that space for people and do what you wish to do for yourself and others: The same way four amazing improvisers (and pretty amazing people) did once upon a time..