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Ep 1 Avoid these 7 Deadly comedy sins with Jason rowland

Updated: Aug 13, 2023

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Produced By White Hot

Carole Freeman: Hey, welcome everyone to the very first episode of the Get Good podcast. I'm so excited. All right. Let me know you're here. And my very first guest, I'm, I feel so lucky, so privileged. I have Jason Rowland, who is the c e o of comedy feedback and the vice President of the World Series of Comedy, and oh my gosh, I'm gonna have more questions for him than, than we have time for, but I didn't even ask if you have a hard out I should ask that.

Do you, do you have a certain time you need to get outta here because I could ask you questions all night?

Jason Rowland: No, no, I'm good. I mean, I probably budgeted about an hour, but if we go long mind

Carole Freeman: about that within reason, right?

Jason Rowland: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I mean, you're only gonna be cutting into time that I'm either editing videos or audio for the festival or That I'm gonna be playing cards with my parents, so,

Carole Freeman: oh, nice. All right. Well, so sorry. Parents and, sorry festival people that are waiting for their videos, but for those of you that don't know much about Jason, let me just read his bio for you.

Jason Rowland CEO of Comedy Feedback

Jason Rowland is a veteran of the comedy industry and owner of the, oops, my thing's undercover owner and founder of the comedy feedback.

Jason has served as a general manager and booker of the comedy mix in Vancouver, bc. One of Canada's premier standup comedy clubs. Additionally, he has held the position of Vice President of the World Series of Comedy since 2017. The World Series of Comedy is North America's largest touring comedy festival, visiting dozen of dozen cities annually.

I'm not gonna get a voice work over for this reading this bio over the past decade in the industry,

Jason has judged for events like SiriusXMs Next talk, Top comic just for laughs, Homegrown at competition, NBCs Stand up for diversity, The Hot Breath Tight Five series and the main event of The World Series of Comedy.

In 2023, Jason helped launch World series of comedy records and created an exclusive agreement with Sirius XM for distribution of the content of content to the streaming platform. In addition to producing each album prior to release in the past decade, Jason has watched and provided feedback on over 10,000 performances, specializing in set construction for showcases, festivals, and contests.

Comedy feedbacks primary goal is to help comedians get more paid work for your future. So, Hey, is there a more better guest to have on this show you all? Oh, you know what? I forgot. I forgot to, to actually read what this podcast is about. I should have done that before, but you know what, it's first time.

Welcome to The Get Good Podcast with Carole Freeman

Hey, welcome to the Good Get Good podcast with Carole Freeman, the podcast for comedians that are serious about getting good. So whether you're trying to advance beyond the open mic scene or looking to get booked consistently at comedy clubs, this podcast is for you, comedian Carole Freeman.

That's me. Interviews, headlining comedians, club owners, bookers festival judges, comedy instructors, and more to find out their best tips, techniques, and strategies so that you can improve your standup comedy and get good and. I can in post, I can actually edit and move those around maybe, or I'll leave it probably,

Jason Rowland: yeah, I say you leave it.

I mean organic approach to comedy is great. So an organic approach to this podcast is great too. I'm really privileged to be the first guest. That's really cool. When I heard what you were doing, I'm like, holy smokes. Does that ever align with what I'm doing too with comedy feedback? I think it's an underserviced element in the industry.


Carole Freeman: There's a lot of I was like, I searched, oh, sorry, go ahead.

Jason Rowland: I was just gonna say there's a lot of peer-to-peer feedback in comedy, like comedian to comedian, but there's not a lot of elements where people pull back the curtain and talk about the industry and interaction between decision makers and comedians and how to facilitate that easier.

And also what you need to do as a comedian to make the opportunities you do earn help you shine. And so that's what comedy feedback is all about, is about helping comedians shine in the moments that they have the opportunity to present their showcase that. And this podcast is great because it's just gonna be unraveling that yarn of how the hell do you end up on stage and have a check at the end of the day.

And there's a lot that goes into it. So it's cool that you're exploring all those different aspects.

Carole Freeman: Yeah. I love that you're saying that because so many times I found with comedians, there's just a lot of rumors and gossip and badmouthing about like what they think, why they didn't get booked.

Jason Rowland: And people think the black book, there's no black book in comedy at all.

No one's ever been black booked from a club unless you literally dumped on the stage or you beat someone up or slept with the owner's daughter

Carole Freeman: or the owner's wife, maybe that probably is taboo as well. I see we've got some viewers, so go ahead and just comment. Let us Oh, cool. Know where you're joining us from where Jason actually can answer questions since we're live too.

The World Series of Comedy Feedback

So, and see, I get, I got distracted with that and now I'm like, yeah, cuz people will say like, oh well they just, you know, they didn't like me cuz of this or that. And, and one of the things, so I got into the World Series of Comedy this year for the first time and one of the things I found the most valuable besides the stage time and everything is just the feedback that you guys provide.

And, you know, not only from your submission tape, if you want that, but also after the performances. That's unheard of. I don't know, maybe, I don't know if anybody else is doing it. Maybe, you know, but this is something that's so valuable because how many times have you been not rebooked someplace and you're like, gosh, I wonder, and you're just gonna make up a whole story in your head, but you guys actually will share exactly like what you didn't like, what you did like, and how to get better too.

So, hey, you're joining the show. Give us a little comment, let us know where you're joining from. Welcome, welcome.

Jason Rowland: With the festival, we're all just big comedy fans and we wanna see everyone do their absolute best that they can. And so if there's some little glimmer of inspiration that we can provide with feedback whether like how to maybe structure jokes slightly stronger so that it sounds like more unique or from a more personal point of view or the actual construction of your set.

So that the way that the audience and viewers digesting the information that you're sharing through your comedy is more cohesive for them to follow. Like just simple things like making sure that you're grouping all of the same thematic material together, that there's an overall narrative arc.

People get a sense of who you are once they get off the stage. I think one of the biggest things that's come out of the pandemic is that for three years everyone had the opportunity to really, and I mean the entire population had the opportunity to. Explore more entertainment options well stuck at home.

And so they had the entire library of every special on Netflix and every YouTube special and every other streaming service that might have standup comedy on it. And I think audiences got a lot more perceptive about the actual mechanisms of standup comedy. And so now they're a lot more informed when they're coming back to the clubs that are now reopened.

So I think comedians need to adapt to that. So it's no longer just, oh, here's a funny joke I thought of. I'm gonna tell it on stage. You sort of need to impart the why and the intent behind what you're talking about on stage, and let the audience know that it's important to you. And then by proxy it'll become important to them.

Current Stand Up Comedy Style Trends

Carole Freeman: Yeah. Okay. That was one of my questions I wanted to talk about then is just kinda the current comedy trends, because things are so different. Like you said, even just in the last five years, they're very different. But you know, I grew up listening to standup in the eighties and things are very different than they were then.

So tell, can you speak more about that? Like, you know, what is it that right now is working versus even five years ago that's so different.

Jason Rowland: I think I mean this is an over-generalization, but I think it does speak to the trend that's going on in comedy is to get much more personal in your material.

Because the more personal you can get, the more memorable you'll become to whoever's watching you. And the more memorable you become, the more it's easy to recognize the talent and the structure and all of the elements, the foundational elements of standup. So then what you can do is you can take that personal information, turn it into something funny on stage that makes you memorable thousands of comics, and tell jokes about dating apps or dollar stores or credit scores or whatever.

It may be, but if someone can talk to one specific element in their life that's unique to them, it makes them memorable. The more memorable you are, the easier it is to get booked. And so I, I always talk about specificity in comedy. Get as specific as you can in the details of your jokes. It'll help make the joke more memorable.

You are more memorable, easier to book. Quite often comedians will end up at a festival or a contest and they'll be 25 to 150 comedians at that festival. If you can have a signature joke, then it's much easier to break the ice with any of the people. You'd be networking on the industry side. You could walk up to someone in the middle of the bar two days after you perform and said, I'm the person who told the joke about this.

And then immediately they're brought back to that. Mm-hmm. Bookers, remember jokes first name second. Okay. So work on a signature bit and try and get something very specific and memorable to you. And so the more personal you get, it makes the comedy. More interesting for the viewer, for the experience viewer, which is what I would call a club manager, Booker owner, judge.

And then the other thing about that too is it makes it lift proof. Like who's going to, there's no men that can tell stories about you being a divorced woman, right? So if you get specific about you and your life, then it's much easier for you to be unique and stand out from the crowd.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, that's, it's really funny cuz that reminds me of when I'm hanging out with non comedian friends and how they'll, they'll tell me a story that they think is really funny about something that happened to them.

And it's so hard for them to understand. They're like, oh, here's a story you could use in your bits, you know? And they're telling me some story about them and I have to try to explain that. Well that's funny because it happened to you. But if I go say, Hey, my friend Susie had this thing happen to her at the grocery store, it's like, it's not gonna land the same.

The Pitfall of a "Friends and Family Story"

Jason Rowland: Quite often in some of the feedback that I provide to especially, comedians that are more in the developmental stage.

So like people with less than five years experience, let's say quite often they'll end up with a story in their set that I would call a friends and family story. So a story that needs context and understanding your personality type, understanding of the situation for it to be funny. Now, the challenge is, okay, the premise is interesting.

The payoff might be interesting, but if the audience doesn't have any of that context or your personality traits, then the payoff's not gonna hit as hard. And so then it becomes a challenge. A writing challenge as a comedian is like, how can I tell the same story, get the same concept across to 150 strangers, and then have them all find it funny?

And so it becomes, okay, I need to keep the authenticity of this story, but I also need to just highlight the elements that are gonna be funny to people who don't even know me. And then with, if you reverse engineer from that situation, like, okay, if people are gonna laugh at me because they know me, Then maybe the beginning of my set should include some elements about my personality.

Defining Statement

And so I tend to call that a defining statement off the top. So I think that the trend in comedy is to have some personality traits kind of sprinkled in at the beginning of a set so that the audience has a little bit of a roadmap of where you might take them. So if for example, for yourself, you can talk about being divorced or you could talk about being a mother.

Those are gonna lay a lot of roadmaps where you could talk about finances, dating relationships, past relationships. So there's a lot of aspects, just those two traits about you can take on in future elements within the same set. And those are elements that can lead to more cohesion. So I know you and I specifically talked about bringing one of your jokes earlier on in the set because it was such a great.

Defining element of your personality. And I thought that when you did bring that earlier, that it made the other elements kind of fall into place. Now there's another really good trick in creating a showcase set, and that's taking your closer and trying to tell it first, second, or third in your set.

Because one of the true real life challenges of trying to get paid work in the comedy industry is that if you send out a submission video to someone, they're not gonna watch the whole thing with comedy feedback because you're paying for service. I watch your whole video with the World Series of Comedy because we agree sorry, we commit to watching five minutes total.

Put Your Closer Up Top in Your Video

If you send a nine minute set and your closer is at the eight minute and 32 second mark. I don't see it, but if you would've taken that closer, that was at eight 30 and put it at the 45 second mark, I'm now gonna see it. And so if it's a really strong joke now I'm gonna be much more vested and interested in what you have to say following that.

And so again, in a festival, most of the festivals commit to a certain amount of time to watch. But if you're just blanketing the entire Comedy Club network across North America trying to get an audition or a showcase or a guest spot or some paid work, there's no guarantee they're gonna watch the entire video that you send.

So try and load it up heavy in the front with some of your best hitters, because that'll encourage the person to be like, oh, this person is really great, really funny, I wanna watch more of what they have to say. Which increases the chance of you getting booked.

Carole Freeman: There's two things there that you're, especially what you provide and just having, being able to have that outside yourself feedback is so important because you can't see your blind spots.

And so you pointed out in my performance at house of Comedy the Phoenix Satellite for World Series of Comedy, that I had a, a closing bet that I was doing, that I was, I was trying to shorten it for the five minute set. And you pointed out how like it didn't hit, its hard because there was a bunch of stuff missing.

Like there was just more context missing that. I know the story, so I can't see my blind spots in that. So that's some of the, some of the stuff that's so valuable about getting this expert feedback of Jason's 10,000 hours, of 10,000 tapes or 10,000 hours, I don't know. It's, it's a


Jason Rowland: 10,000 sets I've seen live in the last...

Carole Freeman: Yeah.

And so he can see those blind spots. And I'll tell you what, I've been so impressed with his memory of, he remembered my submission tape and how my jokes set up and the punchline and then the feedback after my performance. I was like, I don't even remember what, how I, I told the joke in my submission tape, but you remembered the wording of it was so impressive.

Jason Rowland: So, One of the things that's really cool that comedy feedback has evolved towards is we now do these six week classes, and sometimes I get mentors to step in. And last night we had one of our classes just the fifth of a six week course, and my friend Ben Dar, so who's a international tutoring headliner out of Australia, jumped in and it's amazing like he'll, he, he's done two mentorship spots over the course of 40 or so weeks.

I've done total with these classes through six or seven cycles and the stuff that just keeps coming to him 20 years in the industry. And he is like, your showcase set is gonna be the most important thing you're ever gonna develop in your comedy career. Wow. And so it's, it's really about identifying what your strongest material is and finding the most digestible method to communicate that to an audience.

That's what's gonna open doors for you. The very counterintuitive element of comedy is that you spend so long. Working on your five or seven minute set, that you get very comfortable in that. But then it earns you the opportunity to do 15-minute and 25-minute and 40-minute sets, which means your five minute set gets rusty.

Mm-hmm. And then when your five minute set gets rusty, then you go back to a contest or festival and you're like, wow, I'm getting all this paid work, but I'm not doing well in these contests. It's one of those things you have to just constantly remind yourself that the showcase set is basically your verbal equivalent of a business card in comedy, and you need to have it up to speed and sharpened at all times.

When George Wallace Stopped in...

An amazing story that I have to share with your viewers about this is when I was running the comedy mix in Vancouver, George Wallace stopped in. And asked if he could go on stage and run his 12-minute showcase spot. I was like, yes, Mr. Wallace, you do not need to ask permission. You can go on stage and do that.

And he was gonna get a 12-minute guest spot in Jerry Seinfeld's show in Vegas the following week, and he wanted to make sure that his showcase set was tight. He's maybe, well, almost definitively a top flag comedian in the world right now, and was 40 years into his career at the time he asked this and he was still keeping his showcase sets tight.

So if someone like that can, then all comedians can take the time and focus their energy on that to make sure that, that's always gonna be a fundamental element of what you have in your arsenal. In case you get an opportunity that's unexpected at the last minute. You don't have to go and be like, oh, what jokes am I gonna tell?

Like, no, this is my seven, I'm doing my seven.

Carole Freeman: That's, oh, that's so smart to think like that too, because Thanks Derek. Yeah. Derek is watching Derek Knight. I met at the Phoenix Satellite World series of comedy. Derek, tell me where you're out of. Cuz I don't remember. Jason probably remembers his, it's Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs. Okay. Jason's so Derek is saying that Jason gives the best and the most useful feedback of anyone I've ever met.

Jason Rowland: Oh, thank you. Really kind. Awesome. Really, really kind words. And he's also a big Midnight run fan. So I mean, like, we're Buddies For Life.

Carole Freeman: Midnight Run. I don't know what that is.

Jason Rowland: It's the greatest movie all time. Oh, okay. Fuck, citizen King. Oh, sorry. Can I swear?

Carole Freeman: I think so. Yeah. As long as we don't have too many, I think Facebook won't ding us too much. So citizen not like, not like when I had Keith and Birungi on here and Keith couldn't keep his, his swear words under control.

Jason Rowland: Keith's the best. I love Keith so much.

Carole Freeman: He's supposed to be watching today, so I'm gonna give him a bunch of crap if he's doesn't watch. But yeah, he, he doesn't swear at all when he is off camera, but apparently on video he has to. That's all he does.

Jason Rowland: Maybe he was just pranking you.

Carole Freeman: Yeah, that is probably a lot of it too.

I think of comedy career is kind of a ladder. Going from open mic to bar shows, maybe not paid bar shows, and then paid bar shows like there's a bunch of rungs in this ladder to, you know, maybe finally getting in at the clubs and then you, you know, host feature and then headliner.

Then you've got theaters, and then you've got arenas, right? Like that's kinda the performance that I think of and. I think that I just, from what I know of, some of the comedians have been doing 'em for a long time. They think that once they get to one rung, they don't need to polish the stuff below anymore.

Right. Like you were just talking about how you never know when Jerry Seinfeld's gonna say, Hey, I need to do a tight 12. And you're like, but I feature, I don't, you know, I headline my local clubs, like, I don't even know how to do 12. So these skills are really important to be able to have at the lower rungs, even if you've bypassed those.

I, you know what you're saying.

Jason Rowland: I think also that comedians, once they get to the stage where it's full-time comedy, it's their full-time income. So maybe they might be supplementing it with some other, like, monetization of their intellectual property by selling jokes or writing scripts or something like that.

Hey, hey Keith. Then the thing that I would suggest is, All of comedy, all of paid comedy kind of becomes grouped in together. There's six fantastic comedians based outta Canada who do a tour called Snowden Comedy, and it goes to, I think last year they did 84 theater gigs, but then those comics are also working clubs and they're also working two night gigs, or they're also working a one-nighter at a 300 seat place.

Or they'll go up to the Yukon and do a one-nighter at a bar. So I mean it, once you get to stage where, You can monetize your comedy, you're gonna have different aspects of opportunities presented to you, but you generally need to pursue all of them. You might get to a stage where you sign with apco, which is the nation's second largest college booking agency.

They come to the main event of the World Series of Comedy. I'm sure that when you speak with Joe, he'll probably bring up Eric's name, but one of the comedians at the World Series of Comedy signed with them and before he left the main event, he signed off on 37 nights of college work. Wow. So that was 52 grand of income guaranteed walking out the door.

Wow. But he's also doing $50 bar shows in between those colleagues gigs. Yeah. It's just the nature of the beast. And so comedy has never really kind of gone the route of, let's say, Baseball where once you pass, once you're no longer in single A, you're always just gonna be in double A, and then you're always just gonna move up the triple A, and then you're gonna be in the majors, and then you're a major leaguer for life, unless you have to go back for an injury rehab.

But there's no injury rehab in comedy, just actual rehab.

The Comedy Game of Chutes and Ladders

Carole Freeman: But maybe it's more like the game of shoots and ladders, right? You go up a few ladder rungs and then you slide back down, you go back up there, you go around. Maybe it's a spiral.

Jason Rowland: That's a fantastic analogy. And one that I'll probably steal and I'll, I'll definitely make sure that I credit you for it.

Excellent. It is a game of chutes and ladders because everyone's goal, there's grass rings out there available, you know, like there's opportunities out there to monetize comedy, but you have to grasp follow them and see which ones stick. I mean, for every Pete Davidson who gets Saturday Night Live at 20 or 21, there's 10,000.

Comedians out there grinding an open mic or club scene. One major piece of advice I have for the open mic scene is to, for most comedians to change their mindset when they go to an open mic. So far too many in my opinion, especially from the submission videos that we get for that are filmed at open mics, is too many comedians go to the open mic for one of two purposes, either A, to win the open mic, or b, to make other comedians laugh in my mind as part of the larger structure of the industry of comedy.

Open mics are meant to be used as a format to workshop material. I've seen some really fantastic comedians go to an open mic and quite literally tell the same joke five times in a row with a different tag each of the five times to see which would work best. So then when they're at a club, they're gonna be able to engage the strongest with the audience at that club.

And so far too much I see people go into an open mic and being like, oh, I have to be the best at the open mic is no, the open mic is about getting better, and it's really, really hard in comedy to get your 10,000 hours of experience to become an expert in the industry five minutes at a time. So use those five minutes wisely, and that's when you should be manipulating material.

Different people have different writing styles. There's people out there who can need like word for word, pedantic writing style. And then there's other people who are really attitude driven and just need to get to the punchline. And it's like, as long as I give you enough information for the punchline to work, I can write in that style.

So I call that bullet point writing where other people need to be like really exacting on their joke structure, but the open mic scene is where you should be working on those elements of writing and and improving your performance.

Carole Freeman: Yeah, and I see that, you know, there's a culture at each open mic and if they're all kind of doing what you're talking about where they're just trying to win the open mic and then that's what gets everybody to laugh.

They keep, keep doing that cuz they don't know any different that they should be doing something different. And then new people come in and they're like, well this is how we do this.

Jason Rowland: Right. And it most open mic scenes are secularly, circularly run, cyclically run where it's usually someone who's very keen in the industry with less than five years of experience.

And then once they are starting to have opportunities where they can travel for comedy outside of their own geography, then they have less attachment to the open mic and it eventually passes hands. To someone who, again, is very keen, usually five years or less in the community and you sort of just end up with the same type of nebulous attitude towards the open mic.

And it's the single best forum to improve because it should be the Planet Fitness of Comedy. It should be a judgment free zone where you can just work any material that you want. But there's also these elements where it gets very cliquey. It's like, oh, you weren't great last week. Well, I wasn't great last week cuz I was trying to figure out whether pastrami is funnier than pepperoni.

You know, it wasn't about trying to win. The open mic is about trying to improve one word in my joke. And so I think there just needs to be a little bit of a softening within the open mic community. And a little bit more acceptance. And the cool thing about comedy is that standup comedy is booming.

Again, it's going through like a grassroots boom. And so sometimes these mics have like 30, 40, 50 people signed up to go to them and they have to implement a lottery, or they have to run multiple nights a week, which is great. It's great for the industry, but just allow people to paint outside the lines of an open mic.

Don't, don't make them feel as if they have to be excellent every time that they're up. That's not gonna make someone better.

Good Advice: Record Every Set

Carole Freeman: When I feel like I got a really good piece of advice very early on in my. I don't know if you call us a career yet, but in my starting standup comedy, and it was record every single set I ever do, and I ran into so many people in the open mic scene that are like, well, I only record when I think it's gonna be good.

It's like, how do you, if you have that kind of premonitions, you should be buying lottery tickets instead of doing comedy. But like, yeah, I just learned like get in the habit of recording every single thing because you can't get better unless you actually review what you're doing or le unless you have a memory like Jason, cuz he would probably remember exactly what words he said, but record everything.

If it wasn't great, you still have something to learn from that. That's the advice I got as well too, is that if you bomb, there's something to learn.

Jason Rowland: Absolutely. And so that's great advice that you got. The, the, the interesting thing about that approach is if you record every time, then your anxiety about recording is gonna eventually go away.

So you'll catch the lightning in a bottle moment. On tape because you do it all of the time. And so that's the best way to just and then the second thing that you sort of alluded to that I think is a really fantastic approach to comedy is the quickest way, like in any industry to improvement is to be self-aware.

And so the willingness to be self-critical is the first step to getting better in comedy. Everyone has seen it in comedy. When you start up in comedy, you kind of, it's almost like going to kindergarten with 12 or 15 people in your own scene. And people develop at different rates. And within that clique of 12 or 15 people, some people get success very, very early and they get more stage time.

They get guest spots at the local club. Sometimes they get asked to host for like a big name that comes through town, but then they might hit a plateau because they haven't been working the fundamentals of comedy because they had success early, whether it's because they were. More expressive or their performance ability was higher than their writing, and their writing still hasn't caught up yet.

Everyone develops at a different rate. Some people start with stronger writing. Some people start with stronger performance. And the goal of a showcase set is to show how you mirror both of those in equal weight. And so when you're starting to film yourself or record yourself for submissions to contest festivals for paid work or auditions at clubs, or to try and get a guest spot somewhere, you really only should be filming your prepared material.

What Your Tight 5 Should Actually Contain

Any riff that you do in the moment isn't gonna be evaluated by whoever's viewing it because that moment can't be duplicated at that person's club, but your written material can be every single time. And so that's one of the other focuses that comedians lose track of, is that your showcase? That should be your best, most well-rehearsed, tightest five minutes of material that showcases your writing style and your performance style to its greatest ability. And too often people just take a five minute chunk of a longer set and they're like, oh, this is good enough. This is what I do in comedy. It's like, no, it really should be a very refined, very specific set.

Carole Freeman: And I think that, yeah, that was a big eyeopener for me, realizing like, it's not just a five minute bit or, you know, whatever number of bits that add up to five minutes. It's kind of a highlights reel almost of Yeah. The best parts of your jokes that are cohesive and it's a whole new challenge to put together.

Lessons From Michael Costa

Jason Rowland: Yeah. It's kind of like a greatest hits. Mm-hmm. I remember speaking with Michael Costa after he headlined the comedy mix and asked him about his first Tonight show, and I said, well, what, what was your thought process of what jokes you were gonna tell. And he said it was nine and a half years into my comedy career and about half of the material I told in that four and a half minutes I hadn't set on stage in five years, but I knew it was my a plus, plus plus material.

I could figure out a way to weave a story through all of the material I chose, and I knew it was gonna be my business card to a thousand comedy clubs that night on television that it was gonna launch me to the next level where of those thousand comedy clubs that saw my Tonight show, I can figure out a way to hustle and book 40 of them.

And so then I was like, okay, it's not about telling the jokes that you are your favorites right now, or about telling five or six jokes that are really funny, but make no sense together in a, in a five minute set. One of the, another person I spoke with was Lachlan Patterson, who was runner up on last comic standing, I think the final year or the second final year that it ran on television and I talked to him about his Tonight Show and knowing him quite well, cuz the comedy mix was his home club. I knew his 60 minute set pretty well. I'd seen him probably perform it 20 times over the three years that I'd been working there by that point. And I asked him about The Tonight Show because he told a new joke off the top that I'd never heard before and it was about, oh, I moved to LA recently.

I wasn't able to work in comedy full-time, so I had to get a job as a dog walker and it's not even really a joke, it's kind of like self effacing. But then I realized him saying that statement off the top allowed him to talk about everything that that statement brought up. I wasn't in comedy full-time, so probably wasn't doing very well financially, was a dog walker, so I had to stay fit.

I was newly in a city, so it was probably single. So it opened up all these avenues. To explore a really great dating bit that he had a really great bit about going to a restaurant that he had a really great bit about going to the gym, that he had a really great bit about getting into comedy that he had.

And so now that one sentence off the top made the rest seem really cohesive. And so those are the things that you should be looking at when you're trying to create a showcase set to film and send out to someone. The greatest way to get booked is to perform in person, but that's not physically possible to do at every single club at the same time in the country.

So the next best option is to have a really good filmed showcase set of your best prepared material.

The 7 Deadly Comedy Sins

Carole Freeman: That's great. I love all the stories. I will, you talk about your. Red flags in your five minute sets or submissions. And I think of these as open mic, bad habits that you need to break immediately. If you wanna move beyond the open mic scene, you need to stop doing these immediately.

Jason Rowland: So, yeah, I think I can maybe even share my screen here. I'm gonna try it see if it works.

Yep. So these are my seven deadly sins for comedy. And I'll just talk through each of them so the, I know what I look like is such a trope. So trope was a pleasure.

Deadly Comedy Sin #1: "I know what I look like..."

Carole Freeman: That was so hard for me, cuz I have an opener that's along those lines. And when you said like, stop doing that, I was like, it always gets such a good pop at the beginning, so I'm like, okay, I'm gonna listen to Jason's feedback, I'm gonna not do it.

And I've, I I've been, I've stopped doing it since then. So it, it, it, you can live through it if you change. Yes.

Jason Rowland: Yeah. There, there, there is something at the other side of the tunnel. So when I say trope, it's just a really polite way of me saying hack. So to say the actual phrase, I know what I look like on stage is really, really trope.

So there are ways to do, I look like jokes, but in my opinion the best way to do so is to hide the reveal of what I look like. Mm-hmm. So maybe. Two minutes into your set, you tell this completely unrelated joke. And then as a throwaway or a tag at the end, you could say, oh, that's really rich for someone that looks like X or that's really rich coming from x, y, z, whatever the, the referral you're trying to make in terms of look like.

But there's been this sort of trend within especially within the open mic comedy scene because roast battles are becoming really popular as independent shows that people are getting on stage and basically roasting themselves with the series of I look like jokes. And that's not really the most clever way to get to that punchline.

So for me, the reason why this is one of the seven deadly sins is that if you just simply come out and go, I know I look like whatever's let's just choose something, the Little Mermaid whatever. Then you're just. Stating a fact. But if you can rewrite that and make it a hidden misdirect reveal in another joke, you go from something that could have been a massive negative flag in terms of your writing style to a massive positive.

Like, oh, they were able to sneak in and I look like joke in a very well written format. So that would be my challenge to anyone out there who has an eye look like joke in their set. It's like, oh, how do I get into this joke? Am I doing it in a easy, cheap, lazy way? Or can I figure out a way to get into it in a very clever way?

And so I think every time that you run into one of these deadly sins, it's not drop what you're doing like a hot potato, it just simply becomes a writing exercise. Okay, how can I salvage the concept and the payoff of this joke, but make the writing seem stronger? Because again, As I just mentioned a few minutes ago, you're only ever gonna be evaluated on your writing style and your performing style.

And so if your writing style is a little bit lazy in the eyes of bookers, I'm not saying that in the eyes of peers or whatever, but in the eyes of bookers, if it's perceived as being a little bit lazy, it's harder for them to unpack your seven minutes and say, oh, this person's showcase set was so densely populated with really well-written stuff.

I can trust that they probably have 25 minutes. Or did they take the easiest way out for every single joke and not expand the premise and not add more to it? Then I find it more difficult to extrapolate this seven minutes into a 25 minute set, and therefore you become less likely to be booked. So if we're getting back to your original question, how do I get booked more?

Showcase that you have really strong, unique. And clever writing. So that's absolutely one of them. I know what you're thinking, I think is the single most pretentious thing that can be said on stage. No one knows what anyone else is thinking. In fact, your job as a comedian is to make other people think a certain way.

So use your vocabulary to get them to think that way. Don't just say, oh, I know what you're thinking because you actually don't, you know, like some people are thinking about their mortgage renewal. You know, they're not necessarily.

Carole Freeman: I think that's the number one job of comedians is to get people to forget about everything else going on in their life.

Just be there in that moment. Forget everything else, stressful in their life and well,

Jason Rowland: I mean, that, that was the original role of the jester right? And, and I don't think that we've strayed too far from that role, and especially coming out of a pretty challenging last three years or so. It's really nice to have comedy clubs open again, and then we can just have this relief.

People buy tickets to comedy shows so that for 90 minutes they can just step away from their life. And I think that's a really great point that you bring up. And so what you wanna do is, while you have the privilege of performing for these people, make sure that you're as unique as possible when you're on stage.

And "I know what you're thinking..."

So these seven deadly sins are real big red flags that pop up in the ears and eyes of bookers when they're watching a showcase set or they're ja judging a contest or a festival live. I've been at the back of the room many times with multiple judges and just overheard them talking about these types of elements instead of paying attention to the person on stage.

Mm-hmm. And so anytime you have a red flag in your performance, it's a distraction that's unnecessary and it takes away from the content of what you're saying. And also might prevent someone from paying attention to what you're saying, because if you told someone, I know what you're thinking, and they get defensive about it, they're like, that's not what I was thinking.

They're actually now thinking that's not what I was thinking. Instead of paying attention to the next thing you say on stage. And there there's been so many times that when I've worked with a comedian in my consulting with comedy feedback that I've mentioned, two jokes before, the joke, you're not getting a laugh at, you're confusing the audience.

So they're not paying attention to the setup of the following joke, which means they're behind. And that's why the payoff's not working. The joke works independently, but the joke you have in front of it is confusing the audience. So if you fix that joke, you'll be surprised that miraculously the joke after it was now gonna work because people are just simply paying attention to what you have to say.

And so eliminating distractions is a massive, massive element of refining your writing, especially in the showcase set. So get rid of the, I know what you're thinking and just focus on trying to get people to agree with your opinion, because that's basically what you doing on stage. You're just expounding your opinion in a funny way.

Deadly Comedy Sin #2: Make Some Noise

Make some noise. That's the role of the mc or the hype person for the show in a showcase that, that should, you shouldn't have any, give it up for let me hear from my singles, let me hear from my parents. Unless it's in the context of a payoff to the, let me hear part. You know, like the applause level is different between those two.

So then you make a joke about the differences between the two. But a booker would probably much more appreciate you even getting rid of that part and just pointing out the differences between being married and being single, or having kids and not having kids. So the give it up for, or the pandering or asking for applause is a big, big no-no.

Especially in the showcase set.

Cheap Applause Breaks

Carole Freeman: Can I ask you a question about that? The there's something commonly you'll hear people say like, You know, oh, I just lost this much weight, or I just got divorced, or I just got married and, and that'll get an applause break. And do you recommend that you just write in a way that you're.

Not getting that applause break and just weave it into, I'm married and you just use this part as your premise, or is there appropriate time to get that applause for something?

Jason Rowland: I think that's a really good question cause I think there is an appropriate time to get that applause. I mean, if you lost 160 pounds, you should receive a little bit of merit for that.

But it also needs to be, you should be making that statement in service of the joke. If you're only making that statement to get the applause and then you don't build off of the fact that you lost 160 pounds, or you don't discuss what caused you to gain the weight or what motivated you to lose it or what the differences are in your life now between when you were heavier, when you're light or single or divorced, or with kids or after kids, pre-kids.

You know, if, if the element that you get the pander applause for, or the applause break or the spontaneous reaction from the audience feeds into the premise, then absolutely keep it. I mean, you never really wanna. Stop the audience from applauding. So one of the other things too is like if, oh, I lost 160 pounds, you know, like, oh, don't applaud that.

I see a lot of veterans say like, I served in the military, and like, oh, don't applaud that you, I didn't serve that hard. I know that's kind of a trophy joke for a lot of service members, but just let them applaud the audience. That's what the audience is there for. They're there to applaud. So if it's in the service of the joke, if the audience needs that information to be able to process what the payoff is gonna be in the subsequent joke, then yeah, keep it in.

Absolutely. That I wouldn't find pish. But if someone is like, are there any married people in the audience? Well, you're in front of 75 people. The math is Yes. Unless it's like a kindergarten class and then there's still potentially like two or three of them got married at recess.

Carole Freeman: Right?

Jason Rowland: They did so, so to me, like you don't need those types of panders.

But if. You get an applause break based on something that you say in your setup. Keep it in there if it services the remainder of the joke. A real big one. I'm gonna actually leave the, I'm gonna leave on this for last. Okay. Ironically.

Deadly Comedy Sins #3: No Notes on Stage

So taking not on stage notes on stage, it's just a big no no.

Like we if, if you can't remember, like this again, is for a showcase or a film submission tape that you're gonna send to someone, don't do it. If you're working in an open mic and you're trying to workshop some material, yeah, take your notes on stage, that would absolutely makes sense. But if you're trying to use your performance to try and get other work, whether through a film submission or a live audition, The booker's gonna see that like you can't even remember five minutes.

Deadly Comedy Sins #4: No Drink on Stage

It's the same as bringing a drink on stage, like you need a drink within five minutes. I always highly recommend to comedians that if you ever bring any drink on stage, it should only ever obviously be a bottle of water. There should be no misconception of anything else that it could be. And don't purposely bring any alcohol on stage.

You never know what trigger that's gonna set off on whoever's view in your tape. If you send out your submission video to 400 bookers across the country, you don't know how many of those 400 clubs have unlicensed stages or might be dry rooms, or the booker might be a recovering alcoholic, or they may have had to deal with a really bad drinking comic six months ago and they're like, oh, this person can't even get through seven minutes without a beer on stage.

I'm not sure I want to trust them featuring for my headliner next week if I'm gonna have to worry about whether they're gonna show up or if they're gonna be drunk on stage. Again, it's just a unnecessary distraction. So taking stuff on stage that is unnecessary in a film showcase, just eliminate that.

The Mic Stand

Carole Freeman: Speaking of the unnecessary distractions, can you talk about the mic stand then too?

Jason Rowland: Yeah, I think it kind of ties into what I'll get into in the, I'm gonna leave on this, but, okay. The mic stand can be a really good subtle, non-verbal element of communication with whoever's running the showroom. So whether it's the producer of the show, the general manager of the club, or a venue producer, that sort of thing.

If you go on stage and you're the type of person that holds the mic stand, that hold the, holds the mic independently when you perform, get up, move the mic, stand outta the way, get it behind you. And then as you're wrapping up in the last minute, 30 seconds, something like that, go and grab it. Cuz then the showroom manager realizes that you saw the light, know that you need to wrap up.

And it's a good non-verbal way. Of communicating. You don't wanna have the mic stand there that you're gonna lean on as a physical crutch coping mechanism. Far too many comedians have these subconscious coping mechanisms on stage, whether it's asking or telling the icebreaker joke that has no relevance to their personality traits or any of the other content of their material.

They're just like, oh, I wanted the audience to know that I was funny. Right off the top. Well, let's review the mechanisms that get to a comedy club. Patron buying a ticket, they've decided they want to go see comedy for a night. They're going to a dedicated comedy venue. The inherent belief is that someone at that dedicated comedy venue has already vetted every performer and they've passed a certain threshold, and they're all professional comedians, or they're all excellent comedians.

So the audience doesn't need to be convinced. They've bought a ticket because they're already convinced that everyone in the show is gonna be funny. So that icebreaking joke isn't for the audience. No matter how vehemently a, a comedian will argue this point with me, the only person that is being convinced that someone is funny in that moment is the comedian telling the joke.

They're only appeasing themselves. They are creating a coping mechanism where, oh, I wanted to prove that I was funny. Well, you don't need to. The audience already presumes you're gonna be funny because you're on a booked comedy show. And so then what I tell comedians is like, ditch the icebreaker and just get on stage with mid set confidence.

Because the audience already has that belief in you go out on the stage, command it, be convicted in your material, and you'll capture them right away. You don't need an icebreaker joke. And so that kind of ties in a little bit what you're talking about with the mic stand, just this level of comfort on stage.

If you can put the mic stand away and just get straight into your prepared material immediately a booker is like, oh, this person is experienced. I have much more confidence in believing that they have more time than just this seven minute set. And so, yeah, the mic stand can be like this really great nonverbal communication portal that lets bookers know how experienced you are in comedy.

And I understand that there's comedians out there, super, super famous comedians that lean on the mic stand and fidget with it and stuff. Well, they've earned that and they play arenas and theaters. But at the open mic level or someone just newly getting into club comedy, Ah, I wouldn't even come near that thing.

It could be a physical distraction, a visual distraction. What if you break it? Are you gonna go out the next day and spend your entire paycheck for the weekend at that comedy club? Buying them a new mic? So to me like the mic, stand away unless you need it while you perform. And so just again, just something on stage that could be a distraction.

Deadly Comedy Sin #5: Repetitive Word Use

Jason Rowland: Another one on this seven Deadly Sins, which is really funny. There's a clip that is on the World Series Comedy YouTube page that one of the comedians submitted a testimonial after one of their first performances in one of our satellites.

He had four and a half minutes set in a wild card and he said, guys, on stage 17 times to the point of the scene distraction that I was starting to write tally marks and no longer writing notes. And for those that know me, I take pretty cohesive notes. Like here is notes I took yesterday on a four and a half minute set with someone that was performing in our class on material that I was already very familiar with.

So those are like additional notes. So I stopped paying attention and all I heard was guys on stage, guys, guys, guys, it's this it's this massive overused collective noun to gather the audience's attention back to someone almost like a teacher would do. You know, guys, come on guys, you have to pay attention to me, right guys?

You know what I mean, guys? And so this comedian said, guys, 17 times in four and a half minutes did not advance. But someone dropped out of the second round and they were the first alternate to advance. So they ended up getting a seven minute spot two days later. But in the meantime, we had this conversation and they went back and they watched the video and they couldn't believe how much they said that.

And they were distracted by their own performance and they didn't even remember what jokes they told. And so in the seven minutes, I think they said it once, maybe twice, and they were already four and a half, five years into their career. So if you begin to identify bad habits in yourselves, these certainly are correctable.

And that comedian actually did a testimonial that was a hyper cut of all of them Saints guys, 17 times with like a little Pavlov dog dinging every time. It was really, really funny.

Carole Freeman: I, I think it's a testament to like, You get a habit early on and then it's just a, a, you know, mic stand or saying, guys, it's a habit and then you don't even know that you're doing it really because it's autopilot.

Jason Rowland: The, the thing that a booker really wants to feel is that a comedian is ready for club work. And these seven deadly sins really tend to tie, tie people back strongly with the open mic scenes still.

So if you can kind of get rid of these seven things, you are less likely to have that little beacon at the back of the brain of a booker going, oh, the spidey sense going, is this person more used to still open mic scene? Or are they starting to get a lot of club work? And so every time you can eliminate those bad habits at Bookers associate with the open mic scene, that gives you more opportunities.

Deadly Comedy Sin #6: Asking a Question as a Premise

Let's see, we got two more here to go. Asking questions as a premise intro. That's a, that's a really, really big one. There's a couple reasons for that. First and foremost is it's unnecessary. It just wastes time on stage. And in a showcase set time is just super, super precious. If, if you ask someone a question to get into a premise, you might be wasting 7, 12, 18 seconds.

You could tell another joke or at least a couple tags to a joke that you already have in your set. But the biggest thing is you now subconsciously approve the audience speaking during your set, and much worse after you're finished your set. So imagine if you're a feature and you start asking all these questions to the audience, and then they think it's okay to talk to the comedian and then the headliner comes out.

You're not gonna get booked back at that club again. You have no idea what the audience is gonna say. So you're opening this Pandora's box. What if they say something you're not prepared to respond to? But the biggest thing is you're up there trying to tell your prepared material. So if you are telling a joke about driving your car here today, you don't need to ask the audience, did anyone drive here today?

Like, just tell the joke. The response based on from the audience isn't gonna change your set list and the worst possible scenario out of all of those. So as much as I say getting the audience to be chatty is bad because it could ruin the room for you and for subsequent comedians, that's nowhere near as bad as no one answering you when you ask a question, because now all of a sudden you're on stage going, oh my God, is anyone even listening to what I have to say?

So the question's unnecessary, so eliminate it. I, I can't think of a single question I've ever heard on stage. In a live comedy show that was integral to how the joke played out. If you feel as if you need that connective moment for relatability factors or engagement factors, then very specifically craft that question to sound a hundred percent rhetorical.

I does not need an answer and only say it and then immediately answer it yourself and get into your bit. Like if you feel you need that internally to be like, well, I need to cast the line to get into this premise, so I'm gonna ask a question about it. I personally think it's unnecessary, but if you can't break yourself out of that habit, make sure that you, again, treat it like all of these other deadly sins as a writing exercise and get into, okay, how can I ask it as quickly and efficiently where it's not gonna cause a disruption and I can just get into the meat and bones of the material.

I don't think. Anyone anymore needs transitions between jokes. Mm-hmm. The, the greatest transition between jokes is laughter. If you can get an audience to laugh at one of your jokes, they're gonna trust the next one is funny and they don't give a crap about what the actual premise is. So just get into your premise, give 'em the information that they need for the payoff to work and just tell jokes, and especially in a showcase that you gotta come out swinging.

So asking questions and creating these disruptive elements within your set is only taking away time that you could otherwise be using to showcase your writing and performing style.

Deadly Comedy Sin #7: I'm Gonna Get Out of Here

Jason Rowland: And so we can do the, I'm gonna get out of here. Thanks. So me the I'm gonna get out on here. It's unnecessary. I understand a lot of comedians say it so that whoever's running the room knows that they know that they have to wrap up.

But there's other ways to indicate that. Earlier in our conversation a few minutes ago, we talked about you can grab the mic, stand back. If you grab the mic, stand back. Whoever's running the room is like, oh, this person knows that they need to wrap up. You can give a little head nod or finger wave when you see the light to acknowledge the light, so then people will know that you're gonna wrap up.

But the absolute worst part about saying I'm gonna end on this is, as we said at the very beginning of this discussion, audiences are far more savvy now. They understand comedy so much better now, that now they have the expectation that that better be your best joke. And if it fails and you just told them, I'm gonna end on this.

And then your joke bombs, you've done one of two things. I. You're either gonna lie and try and save yourself and tell a second joke so you no longer were ending on that joke. You're now ending on this joke because that joke didn't work. Or more importantly in my mind is you remove the element of the fear of missing out, and that's one of the greatest collective audience experiences that you can have.

Like think of going to a sporting event where someone almost scores a goal or almost gets a home run and you have eight or 10 or 15 or 20,000 people going, oh, that's my favorite sound in the world is the collective awe of slight disappointment or the collective cheer of success. Those are fantastic.

So imagine you're in a comedy club and there's 137 people on a Thursday night, and you tell them you're gonna end on this. Well now those 137 people are checking out on you. They're starting to get ready for the next comment. They're leaning back, they're no longer engaged. All of a sudden they're not your fans anymore.

Whereas if you tell them a great story at the end of their set and then you go, goodnight, I've been Carole, they're being like, oh, we wanna see more Carole. So by saying, I'm gonna end on this, you will remove any potential for that to happen on stage. And the last thing that you want as a comedian is for the audience to want more.

Because if the audience wants more, then the Booker wants more. And then the Booker will have you back. Don't ever say, I'm gonna end on this on stage. You just remove any potential for you to end up being the champion of that room. And it just creates another of those little mini distractions that we talked about earlier.

So those are my seven deadly sins and my reasoning behind them. But I think all of it is sort of focused on reminding comedians that you wanna remove distractions on stage and focus on your prepared material and focus on your performing style, because that's the only thing you're ever gonna be evaluated on.

Carole Freeman: So great. So great. I think that this suddenly seven deadly sins can be a comedy bingo. Like next time you go to an open mic pull, pull these out and just, you know, make hashtags next to 'em. And I challenge you all to get, like, get rid of these yourself. And like Jason said, don't fall into like, well, but what if, what if my friends at the open mic don't laugh at me?

Do you wanna go beyond that? Do you wanna move into the, to the clubs and challenge yourself to see if you can get rid of those too? So Crickette Gill is a perfect speaking of not needing segues or transitions, this is a perfect segue, right? Crickette is asking, do you offer critique? Absolutely to check out your work.

And this is like as if she was planted in the audience, but this is just a natural progression of what you're off talking there. So Jason, what, what kind of services do you offer for comedians that are looking to get better?

Jason Rowland: Could, in 2019, I started and you can see the website right here, congrats.

And it's purely focused on helping comedians improve. It's about sharing these tips from behind the curtain about whether or not what bookers are looking for and what you're really gonna be evaluated on in terms of your comedy that could lead to paid gigs or showcasing opportunities that could lead to paid gigs or so when I first started, it was a full.

Service consulting one-on-one element. And so you would sign up and depending on the length of the video you sent me, you would get a full report with 25 criteria that bookers look at. You'd get a scorecard out of 500. I would tell you where on the scale you would fall, what areas you need to improve upon.

Each of those 25 criteria would have notes. Then there'd be a full written report, a full timeline of your performance. So at the 18 second, that was the best delivery you had of the whole set. At two minutes and 45, you contradict yourself because at 1 37 you said you were single, but now you said you have a boyfriend, like, which is the, which is correct.

You need to clarify that. If you're gonna have this chronological, Progression within your narrative it be set. So very, very detailed feedback. So I can I do that?

Carole Freeman: I can attest to that. He, my five minute set at how's a comedy for the Phoenix Worlds series A comedy, he had an entire page of notes to share with me and it's just amazing.

Jason Rowland: I, and I'm just a big fan. So, and I also want people to succeed. So I want to try and provide as much information as I can so that you could succeed, succeed in the ways through a booker's eyes. And so I think that's what comedy feedback shares the most, is the fact that it's from a booker's perspective or a judge's perspective.

Whereas most comedy coaching and consulting is peer to peer or comedian to comedian. And mentorship is immensely important within comedy. But also think guidance in the right direction towards what bookers are actually looking for can help. And I think that's a niche that I've kind of like jumped into.

And then last year at the main event, I was having a discussion with a comedian and they had mentioned this element where a fellow comedian was a web designer and was having trouble meeting rant, and he is like, oh, if a bunch of comedians get together and they chip in money together, I'll write websites for everybody.

And so it clicked this bell in my head. I'm like, I can offer multiple students the same opportunity at the same time. So I started creating these six week classes. And so there's a six week showcase prep class that's available at You just click on the link that says our new prep classes and It takes six weeks and each of the six weeks has a different theme and the format of it is you submit your five minute video.

In week one, I provide feedback. Our other feedback, coach, Arian seller, she provides feedback. We have a producer that will play the videos and keep us on time. We get, we have a flashing light to make sure we don't run long on the feedback, and then we open it up to the class for peer feedback as well. So you're getting industry feedback.

Peer feedback. And then your goal then is to go out in the following six days. Take those suggestions, refine your set. Refilm it, resubmit it. Get critique on the updates. Refilm it, resubmit it, get critique on the updates. Do that for six weeks in total. So hopefully that journey over the month and a half gets you to a really tight, refined five minute set.

And then thematically, as I mentioned, every week we talk about a different theme. So week one is bad habits. Let's get that outta the way right away. You know, week two is gonna be authenticity in comedy. Like where do you draw, how can you restructure some jokes that sound. False that might have a audience member check out.

How can you restructure that? So you put it in a hypothetical so it still sounds believable. So that's like adding, might wonder, think those types of words into the construction of your joke. So now it no longer is like, oh, I'm clearly lying to the audience. I'm just saying this is what I think could happen in this situation.

Which is true. You can think anything in a situation. So then you no longer remove your command and conviction. And then week three we talk about we also have inspiration in comedy. We have taken inspiration from other elements of the arts literature, art, movies, television. So we take a really holistic approach to.

Helping comedians refine their showcase set. But it's all from the perspective of what's gonna be most digestible for industry insiders and people who can really help you get more stage time and get, ultimately get more paid work.

Carole Freeman: Love it. And in addition to your six week course, you also do individual feedback.

Jason Rowland: Yeah, I do one-on-one sessions that start at, I think 1 29, and then the six week class is 3 99. But if people sign up through Today's podcast will, I guess maybe in the description, do you have a code that you can use?

Whoever signs up they can get 25 bucks off and then I'll also kick 25 bucks this way.

Carole Freeman: I, I think we did, I'll have to look at my email, but I think I shouldn't say the code and tell it. You told me the code already, but I'm like, I don't wanna say it if it's wrong, but I'll Well, why don't we put it in the show?

I'll put it in the, in a comment below on the Facebook and in YouTube. I'll put it in the show description for you later. So, and also if you're like dying to have it earlier, just make a comment. Well, why don't we make reply to it?

Jason Rowland: I can make it whatever I want it to be. Oh, okay. So why don't, don't we go CFCF23.

It'll be your initials and then comedy feedback initials and then the year.

Carole Freeman: So yeah, people sign up just save 25 pipe and talk at the same time. This is. So it'll save. There we go. So this is for Jason's six week feedback class.

Jason Rowland: Yeah.

You'll save 25 bucks if you sign up using that code. And all you do is you log onto comedy, scroll onto the page that says our showcase prep series. Get towards the bottom of the page, and then you sign up and use that as the referral code.

Carole Freeman: If, if you're trying to do it right now, like you're live with us, he hasn't set it up quite yet, so give it a couple minutes up.

Oh, he has here, so. Oh, you have, ok. Yeah. Yeah. How did I question your efficiency?

Jason Rowland: Hi Andy. Andy just dropped in. Andy was a member of our most recent cycle six weeks ago in the comedy feedback showcase prep class. He's been super, super nice and kind with his words of encouragement, not only to his fellow participants within that class, but also of the class in general.

And, and he's super, super funny dude out of Seattle. Oh.

Carole Freeman: And so how do I not know him then? That's where I, that's where I moved from three years ago.

Jason Rowland: I think he started up just a smidge after you left the,

Carole Freeman: okay. And Andy Andy is saying Jason Rowland is a amazing, safe, critical feedback is invaluable. So will you just talk a little bit about that, the safety of that?

Because a lot of times as comedians we like, everything's great and everybody's been telling you, you're so great and you're so funny. And we haven't actually been exposed to that like, little tiny bit of like, this could be better. And sometimes people have a hard time with that. Mm-hmm. Will you talk a little bit about,

Jason Rowland: well, my goal is not to offend people, not to restructure their jokes.

Like a lot of comedians will tell other comedians like, oh, this is funny if you do it this way. And a lot of the feedback that we have in the classes, I love that concept. Is there a way that you can maybe tweak it a little bit so that you don't lose the structure of the joke, but you just strengthen how you tell it so that the punchline will hit harder?

A really great example of this is there's a comedian out of Indianapolis named. Aza, Asia Chardonnay. And after our event in Sacramento, we went out and we chatted for a little bit. And she turns to me, she goes, the way that you provide feedback seems so comforting. And she goes, you could tell me to stop telling every joke I have.

And I'd be like, yes, Jason. I think you're right. Just the way that you're giving the, the feedback. And, and I think that just comes from the way I was raised and the environment that I grew up in. My parents are very supportive of everybody and I, I'm, the last thing I want to do is offend so much, especially on their intellectual property and something that's so passionate and dear to them.

No one's ever gonna get to the stage where they're literally on stage telling people about their life without having some element of passion involved in that. And the last thing I wanna do is break down that passion. But what I wanna do is share my knowledge and wealth of experience and say, okay, I love your passion.

If we slightly guide it this way, I think it'll be received better. Not, it has to be guided that way. Just think about it, consider it. One of the things for me is all the discussions that I have with comedians, and I think you and I specifically had this discussions at the end of the conversation about the feedback of the set.

I think one of the last things I said was, you don't need to implement any of these changes, but I hope the conversation may be stimulated something for you to consider and maybe even not something we talked about, it might have stimulated a second thought. And to me that's where the comedian's wellness to be self-aware and self-critical and.

Try and improved and try different things can really help. I'll give an example with Andy. Andy is a pretty frenetic guy. He's pretty deeply in the ADHD territory, and one of the things was he would be quite chaotic on stage and then when he started to come out and mention that to the audience so that they had that knowledge upfront, it made all of the material that he discussed following it much more digestible because now the audience was.

Empathetic to his cause, and there were teammates with him on this journey that he wanted to share about his life on stage. Because for Andy, it's really important for him to be inclusive on stage and for to talk about really difficult issues. He has a background in psychology and he wants to challenge the norm and be able to discuss about mental health issues on stage while still making it funny, which is what he accomplishes.

But there still needed to be that foundational element where the audience understood that that's the journey he wanted to take them on. And so just by incorporating that little thing off the top about warning them that he might be a little frenetic or a little chaotic in his presentation, allowed them to join him on the jour journey.

And the biggest thing that you want to have on stage is anytime that you elicit an emotional response, you want it to be skewing far more to the empathy side of the scale than the sympathy side of the scale. Mm-hmm. So every comedian knows those jokes that they have, where they get a groan as the punchline.

To me, that's not an indication that you need to lose the joke. To me, it's an indication of, again, what I've mentioned a number of times today, a writing exercise. How do I now tell this joke where the audience feels like they're my teammate in this, as opposed to they need to feel sympathy for me, they need to feel empathy for me.

So those are some of the elements that we really try and preach with comedy Arian, who's one of our feedback coaches has been involved in comedy for as long as I have, and she offers a perspective I can't offer, you know, I mean, I try to be as empathetic as I can, but I don't understand.

I'm 51 and single. I don't understand women at all. So having her as part of the team is fantastic because she can relate to some of the, the material that may not resonate well with me, you know? And so I think we just created a nice little team.

Carole Freeman: Hmm. I love it. So. Great. Well, anything else in, I mean, it's interesting cuz we're still going and we're still getting more viewers and things like that too.

But I know you've gotta go play cards with your, your family and have some off time relax. You, you travel so much going on for World Series of Comedy, I can't imagine. What are, are you at home right now?

Jason Rowland: Actually I ended up renting up my condo from March 19th to July 31st in Vancouver to a really lovely couple from Ireland.

And so they're living in my place right now. And right now I'm at my folks place. Okay. In Comox, bc and I've probably spent 12 or 13 days total there over the last three months and might spend six or seven more so of that. So the four and a half months that I'm not in my condo, I really don't have a home base other than my parents' place for maybe about 10 or 20 days.

But we're basically two weeks on, two weeks off. June, we have three events. We're gonna be in Louisville. Minnesota and do, and Texas. And then I come home for a little bit, well, my parents home for a little bit, and then we're off to Boston and Detroit and Boston is one of the really, really fantastic stops on our, on our tour.

It's a really beautiful club in a really beautiful hotel, and I just love Boston. It's a great sports city. I'm a big sports fan, so it's cool.

Carole Freeman: Jason, I think we just figured out your defining statement. I'm 51 single year old and still live with my parents.

Jason Rowland: Yeah, yeah. I think I, I, I think even in the class I, I was teasing someone, maybe Sorl, which was one of who was one of the other participants in the class that Andy was in, and I'm like, if I had a defining statement, it would be I'm 51 and single and I don't understand women because it's just gosh.

Absolutely true.

Carole Freeman: It just came out. I think Crickette says I am a woman and I think she meant to say, and I still don't understand.

Jason Rowland: That's funny. That's great. Did you, I know that you had you had emailed me maybe a series of six or seven questions that you wanted to go over. Did we end up touching on all of 'em because I have time I don't need to take off.

Jason Rowland's Keto Weight Loss Journey

Carole Freeman: Another thing that we haven't really hit on is that I want to, just to, for my own personal curiosity and maybe I'll cut this out and put it in my other podcast, cuz by day I'm a, a board certified keto nutritionist, and Cavin had mentioned that you do keto. So I'm just really curious about that part of your life and I, I just am a people person and wanna know, Yeah, a little more personal stuff.

So how, how, what's that journey been like for you? If anything?

Jason Rowland: This is what'll get us banned on Facebook talking about keto.

Carole Freeman: It, we're the record viewers right now. We can't stop now. Jason, look at all it,

Jason Rowland: it actually ties into a little bit about comedy for me. So I used to go and fill in as general manager after I left the comedy mix from time to time.

And one of the, one of my coworkers there, one of the servers had lost like 25, 30 pounds and. She's what, five, six. So it was quite noticeable. And between shows on Friday, we used to like share power bars and energy bars when I worked there full-time and I offered one, she goes, oh, I can't eat this. I'm like, why are you allergic to something?

She's like, no, I'm on keto. And I laughed at her in her face. And for anyone who knows the comedy club industry, the time between the Friday early show and the Friday late show is time that you don't have at all. So I really didn't have a chance to like, apologize for laughing at her until after the show was over.

But I just went up to, I'm like, what kind of hippie BS is this Keto stop? And she goes, I think you might be interested. You're a scientific guy and you're a numbers guy. Why don't you just go home and look at the subreddit? So I looked at the subreddit and I'm like, oh, this is. Actually kind of interesting.

And then I went back the next day and asked her reasonable questions about it and she said, give it a week, and if you don't like it, then give it up. And so in that week I lost nine pounds and I was like, okay, I think I can do this. And I am a bit of a numbers guy. And as you mentioned earlier, I have a pretty strong memory.

And so to me, keto became less about. A way of eating or a way to ingest food and more about the puzzle of like, okay, how can I get to this many fat, this much protein, this many carbs? And I was like, okay, if I have cheese, it's gonna cut out this. If I have berries, it's gonna cut out that. And so it just became this really interesting math puzzle to me.

And next thing you know, I was about six or eight weeks in and I was down 20, 25 pounds. And as you've probably experienced it, anyone else who's gone through keto, and apologies to anyone who's watching this part, who's being completely bored by this, but if you can get through about six weeks, then you just sort of don't notice it anymore.

You've kind of adapted to that way of eating. And to me, the biggest challenge was finding a way to save the flavor profiles of foods that I liked while dumping carbs. And so things like blending frozen broccoli and cauliflower into. My version of mashed potatoes and using that as a base for pasta sauce instead of actual pasta or using some of those congee noodles and stuff like that.

So, I mean, I was very, very pedantic for probably 16 months to start with which got us through the following year's main event in the World Series Comedy, which is just like a week where I'm on my feet and I'm just running around. And that week I lost an additional nine pounds. So over the course of, from when I had started, I went from 2 0 6 to 1 67 and I felt I was about.

Eight pounds underweight at that point. So when I got back to Vancouver, I had just slurped and a pizza. I was like, okay, now I can just manage. And so it's been five years.

Carole Freeman: Oh, wow. Yeah. Yeah. I just celebrated my eight year anniversary of starting it myself, and then about seven years of doing that professionally.

And while maybe it seems like it has nothing to do with comedy, like you said, I mean, part of it when people do it, they're. Their brain and their focus, and maybe this is part of why your memory's so great too, is that maybe it always has been, but it, it changes the way your brain works and you have clearer thinking and more focus and and it gets rid of your appetite and cravings as well.

And so for being able to be, you know, if you've got a full weekend of shows or you're doing sick shows and you don't really have any time to eat or think or anything like that, it, it frees up a lot of time and all that kind of stuff. So, and you know, we're at a point where like 80% of our population is metabolically unhealthy, so it's not that a lot of people can't can't it from this.

Jason Rowland: So I've ebbed and flowed on it. I've stayed with it for the most part. There's been cheat days, especially during the pandemic. But I, I just, more so than anything now I've just kind of adopted that it's okay to go low carb if you want or need to. And there was pushback when I first initially started doing it.

People had health concerns. Were, were like, if you look at it, it's just our regular meal, but without French fries and bread, you know? Yeah.

Carole Freeman: It's, you know, meat and vegetables and a little bit of, you know, butter or something on it. Like, yeah.

Jason Rowland: So, I mean, my parents are rarely conscious of it when I visit them.

They try and stay low carb as well, or they have low carb options for me. So, but I also like know that there's moments within. Discussing that way of eating. Mm-hmm. That you can come off as a keto asshole. So, yeah. Yeah. So sometimes I'm just like, okay, you sort of need to know your place and be like, okay, I'm just getting the chicken wings and I'm not explaining why I'm getting the chicken wings.

Carole Freeman: I have, I have a whole bit that, like, I've kind of fleshed out a little bit, but I haven't spent any time on working on it. And I, that's a whole other topic about how do you know, like keep working on your type five versus working on new material. But, you know, I've gotta, I won't say the premise cuz then maybe somebody will go run with it here,

Jason Rowland: but, well our one of our co-hosts with the world Series Accommodating 2019, so pre pandemic, I felt he was getting a little heavy.

He wasn't really, but maybe he was 10 or 15 pounds heavier than he should have. And so he actually one day just like asked me about it and I'm like, in a non-ironic way. And then he went keto and same thing, he went real hardcore pretty quickly and dropped quite a bit of weight really quickly. But then he did work it into his set.

He's like yeah, I've been keto now for. Almost seven months. I've lost 37 friends. And so I was like, okay, at least he can incorporate this and still have fun about it.

Carole Freeman: So yeah, I'm like, you know, the, the trope about like, how do you know if somebody's vegan or keto? They'll tell you about it.

Jason Rowland: Yeah, for sure.

For sure. Yeah. And to me now it's just the more of a, a way of eating and my approach to food is that it's fuel. And with, I think anyone who's ever had challenges with overeating or binge eating in the past is, it's been an emotional tie to the food. And the food was just a secondary element of something.

I'm sure there's deeper psychology behind it, but now I just sort of treat it as fuel. And then like when I'm hungry, I feed myself. And if I feel like splurging, then I feel like splurging, you know? And the nice thing is like, 99% of the stuff that I love before is still available on keto or some sort of option to it.

You know, like I play a lot of poker, so when I, if I win a poker tournament, I always treat myself to steak. I'm like, well, that's still the same, you know.

Carole Freeman: That's great. Well just didn't, we'll close on this. You guys have any quick questions you've got for Jason while we're still here? While we've got him here?

Oh, I'm bringing the mic stand. Let's see. I'm bringing the mic stand up front to let the producer know that I'm getting ready to wrap up here. Yeah.

Jason Rowland: Yeah. This is a big closer. It's been real fun. It's cool to like, like I said, dip my toes in this environment. I like the premise of the podcast. It's a great name too.

Get good. And I think that anyone who has a chance to watch this either live or if they're watching it archived Yeah. Drop me line. If you have any questions about comedy feedback might email us pretty simple. It's Jason at Comedy Feedback. Dot com or you can just jump on that website and take,

Carole Freeman: are you sure you wanna put that out there on the internet?

Jason Rowland: Yeah, I'm pretty okay with it. Just make sure picture of me wearing a, a booter. So, so there is a question that just popped up from Lynette, so, okay. In order to be eligible to do the World Series of Comedy. And then the thing that I highly recommend is to tune into the next episode that Carole does with Joe Lowers, who created the World Series of Comedy, but I've been involved with it for the last eight years.

Is jump on the website, read the faq. There's a lot of information on there, but in essence what you need to do is you need to submit filmed video submission of five minutes in length, that six video judges will review and score and rank. And at the time that you sign up, you can opt into optional bonus performances outside of the main event.

If you sign up for the World Series of Comedy, you're signing up for our year end. The main event championship contest at the end of the year, which will be in Las Vegas from September 17th to 23rd. So if you In 2023? Yeah, in 2023, if your if your video submission is within the top 101 scores of everyone that's submitted that year, then you would get into the contest portion.

But even if you don't get into the contest portion, we offer the same extra options and networking opportunities for everyone that is registered and makes their way up to Las Vegas. And we even find extra. Stage time, so everyone's guaranteed stage time if they make their way to Las Vegas. Everyone has the opportunity to participate in our daytime professional development seminars where you can have one day, it might be a q and a with bookers and club owners.

Another day it'll be my set construction seminar. Another day it might be a seminar on finances within comedy. Another day it might be a seminar about submission videos. And then in the evening we have the contest shows. And then late in the evening and throughout the whole week, we have networking events including a dedicated meet and greet on Thursday afternoon.

So if you have the opportunity to sign up for the World Series of Comedy, I recommend only doing it if you know that you can carve out the time in late September to come to the main event because it's basically a week long comedy conference and it's a great opportunity to meet 150 comedians that might be able to provide references to their local club might be able to do co-produce shows with you.

What of the cool things for me is you're not gonna be in there, Keith. We're good friends. I'm just teasing him. The the one thing that you'll find out if you're in the top 101 comics by mid-August based on your video submission score. And we're gonna be at the Strat Hotel at LA Comedy Club.

They're brand new, beautiful 260 seat venue. And so there's gonna be 14 shows there. And then between three and six shows offsite for the additional comedians that would be coming out to get stage time. Just to showcase for the industry, we usually have about 50 industry members out there between club owners, club bookers managers apca, so the College Booker, carnival, cruise Booker.

There's tons of stuff to come out there. One of my favorite things is like just seeing on Facebook, two comedians I know didn't know each other. Before meeting at the World Series and now they're producing like a little tour through Ohio or Iowa or Texas or something like that. So it's a really, really cool, fun event and it just is about 200 people hanging out for a week, all like-minded approach to comedy.

All about trying to get better, all about trying to find a way to connect industry and comedians and getting paid work. There are literally seven or eight clubs that send out their booking agent to the main event to book their entire year of features that week. Wow. Wow. There's, there's work to be had out there and you don't have to, one of the greatest phrases anyone has ever said about the main event is a participant who came out in 2018, I think, or 2019 Kojo Prince out of Florida.

He said there's only one champion at the main event. But everyone who goes can be a winner. All you have to do is go out there and put in a little bit of effort, networking, and you're gonna find new friends in the industry that are gonna help you get paid work. Hmm. And as Keith said, it is an. One of the best cities in the world.

I would, I would, I'd put Vancouver up there. Melvin. I think Keith is a little biased, but

Carole Freeman: he's very biased.

Jason Rowland: Well, yeah, oiler is lost, but that's cuz I wasn't fine.

Carole Freeman: So What other questions do you all have for Jason about his comedy feedback?

Jason Rowland: I'm so honored to be number one. I'm number one.

Carole Freeman: Oh, that's so great. Well, if you. If you're interested in Jason's comedy feedback course, it's six weeks and, and he's given you a special code.

If you're watching this, it's cf cf, so Carole Freeman, comedy feedback 23 saves you $25. And so CFCF23 saves 25 bucks and go get some amazing feedback. And I, I think it's just a shortcut. You know, the shoots and ladders. This is a. Is that, I don't remember the game, but sh is the shoot the shortcut. So I think that your comedy feedback course is a, is a shoot to move up the comedy ladder quicker.

Jason Rowland: I love it. I love it. And the, the thing is about sharing information, and that's what comedy feedback is all about, is like what, what information can we share that can fast track people? Yeah. Let's iron out the habits before they happen or nip them in the bud once we see them happen. So and yes, cricket, the world Series of Comedy is still taking submissions.

There are still two satellites available that you could register for optionally, but the registration for the main event is open all the way until the first week of August. So, yeah, if you can, you can jump on their website as well, or our website. I guess.

How to Develop a 25-minute Set?

Carole Freeman: So Johnny's got a quick question. Is it, I don't know if it's quick or not, but Right.

Is it good strategy to come up with six subjects that would equate to five minutes each for a 30 minute set?

Jason Rowland: Well, I, there's, I think it really depends on your personality and your performing style. So for anyone who's like a letter Kenny fan out there, one of the performers on letter Kenny is actually a Canadian standup comic named Kay Trevor Wilson.

And Kay Trevor Wilson is a very eloquent, long wind, long form storyteller. And so his 45 minute set is probably, Five jokes. And I highly recommend his special. Jumping on YouTube and listening to his album he says the single funniest word I've ever heard on stage in my life. He has this joke about accidentally catching his apartment on fire, waking up in a daze, seeing this grease fire on his stove, and thinking of, oh, what can I do to put this out?

And then he says, historically, water has been good for fires. Well, now in the audience, you know, water is not gonna be great on a grease fire. But then he corrects himself and he goes historically, and he has this really funny speaking pattern. And when he says that historically the second time, it's the loudest I've ever laughed at a standup comic in my life.

But he's the type of performer that would be able to come up with six subjects. Write at least five minutes each and get a 30 minute set out of it. Other comics, like the Stephen writes of the world, they're gonna need 45 jokes in a 30 minute set. So it really all depends on your personality type and your performing style.

I do like the idea that you're alluding to of grouping themes together. So you're probably saying like, oh, is there a good strategy for me to have like five minutes themed about family and then maybe five minutes themed about my former job and five minutes themed about an extracurricular activity and five minutes themed about something else?

I, I think that's a very good way because it's much more digestible for the audience. I've been editing an album from a third party performer that we're gonna release through W S O C records and a couple times in the album I, I catch myself thinking, okay, on track two he mentioned he got. He quit his job and then on track 11 he mentioned he got fired.

So like only one of those two can be true. So just make sure you're not contradicting yourself in these different subjects where maybe you mentioned something in subject number three that contradicts something in subject number five. The best way to build a solid 15 I think is probably come up with a really tight five to start with and then evaluate, be self-critical and evaluate what's my writing style.

Am I someone who can peel more layers off of the same joke? And if so, then I can probably expand a five minute set into 15 by tripling the amount of in expansion within each of those jokes. Or do I have to, similarly to what Johnny was asking do I have to now create, okay. I've done my five minute showcase set off the top.

Now I need to add another five minutes and then a secondary five minutes. I will give you all an example of someone at the World Series of Comedy who won the entire event in 2016, I believe. Eric Knowles, and he's a former Marine and he had this really great seven minute set about being a former Marine.

That was just hilarious. And for the first two rounds, he exactly repeated the same set, almost word for word, definitely the same act outs in the performance. But then when he advanced to further round, that had more time, all he did was he added a new joke. So the first seven minutes was still the exact same about being a Marine.

Then he added three minutes or four minutes about being a stepdad. And then when he advanced the finals, which offered the opportunity to do 25 minutes, he did the seven minutes marine, four minutes stepdad, and then added another 14 minutes of different experiences from their life. So it's difficult to give like a finite.

Codex answer, you know, like in Da Vinci code, when they find that scroll and they unroll it with all the correct symbols and it opens, comedy isn't like that. You can't just find like the perfect code to unlock how you're gonna end up performing. What each individual performer should be evaluating is, okay, what's my style?

Like, what's the best way for the audience to digest the information I wanna share with them? And then that's how you would build. If I'm a one-liner, then I just need to write a shit ton of jokes. If I'm a storyteller, then I can maybe unravel this story and go through those little tangents and then bring it back to the center.

So I, I think it's, it's not the greatest answer in the world, but I do really think that it's case by case basis. The two strongest ways to build a solid 15 R two, create a really tight five, and either expand within the same premises within that five, or try and find, as Johnny was alluding to, three separate subjects that you can get a tight five on.

Someone who's taken the comedy feedback class multiple times has taken it multiple times to add an extra five minutes each time that they've signed up to the class. So their first time they were in the class, it was to work on their tight five minute set. Then the second time was to add a new tight minute, tight five minute set, and the third time was to add a third type five.

So now they have a type 15 if they ever need that as a feature set or to film a short special or something like that. So there's different ways to approach it, and I think it all really depends on your own writing style and performing style. And I think at the end of the day, it's the audience that really dictates the style of comic that you're gonna be become because it's their reaction to how you perform is the direction you should lean your writing toward.

Carole Freeman: The reviews are pouring in for the podcast, The Get Good podcast. Everyone's raving about it across the country, all over these fine states, the United States.

Jason Rowland: It's the number one podcast on Air Live right now, featuring you and I.

Carole Freeman: It is, it's true. Oh my gosh. This is the best audience you all are. Great.

Jason, anything else about zero sponsorship? Oh, oh my gosh. Okay. You reminded me. I wanted to ask, because I looked at your Instagram after we met in Phoenix. Yeah. What's the story with your cup? You have, oh, you have this cup

Jason's Special Cup

Jason Rowland: That's, so, in Boise in 2017 or 2018, I went to Jackson's to get a just a fountain pop.

I don't like Fountain Pop in Canada, but for some reason when I'm in the States, I love it and I, I actually love mixing flavors, so I usually do Coke Zero and Diet Mountain Dew mixed together. And so I bought this cup in. Boise, Idaho, right when I started keto. So I'm like, okay, I can go fountain pop and get all these diet pops.

I had that cup until. Three weeks ago when it literally broke in my hands in Reno and as I, was it called soda? Yeah, it was filled with soda and it was in the center console of my car. Ooh. And so it flooded the center console with the mixture of Coke Zero and Diet Mountain Dew. And so that was pretty nasty.

And so then I'm like, okay, well there's a Jackson's in town, fortunately because not every town has a Jackson. So I went to the Jackson's, I told the guy behind the counter the story, and he's like, oh, you can just have the cup, man. If you're a loyal customer for five years, refilling that, just have it.

So we get to Phoenix. I. Two weeks later, maybe I leave it on the counter when I'm giving feedback to all the comedians after one of the shows from House of Comedy at magic Mushroom or whatever it's called. Oh, the the the pizza place? Yeah, the, the pizza joint and the server threw it in the garbage.

Carole Freeman: Oh, so the previous cup?

Jason Rowland: Yeah, the previous cup I had for five years and then the cup subsequent I didn't even have for five weeks. So, so then I had to like, tail between my legs, go back to Jackson in Phoenix. But I mean, that's not that hard. It was attached to the shell next to the In N Out, which is my favorite fast food joint in the state.

So, so not too bad.

Carole Freeman: Oh, we need to get you a lanyard so that you

Jason Rowland: Yeah, please don't take my cup all the time. I, I should just get a sticker to put on the cup and like, this is not lost. Please return beer.

Carole Freeman: It's found.

Jason Rowland: Yeah, yeah. Contact comedy Yeah. Yeah. Like and without exaggeration, sort of like, just slightly touching back on our conversation about keto, if I would not have found.

Zero sugar Coca-Cola or Coke Zero. I don't know if I would've stuck with keto because I was one of those guys who would drink like two liters of regular Coke a day or like have one of the massive Slurpees every day. That was my real, real addiction for sugar intake. Wow. Yeah.

Carole Freeman: Yeah. So, well, I can imagine that your liver enzymes are very happy now with you giving up the soda.

I don't know. You know, we're open to sponsorships on this show. We don't have anybody sponsoring yet. If Coke Zero would like to Yeah, that'd be great.

Jason Rowland: Coke Zero and In N Out. I I would literally, oh my gosh. Sell my soul for a six pack of Coke Zero. I agree.

In N Out vs. Dick's Burgers?

Carole Freeman: It's a big hot topic about which Burger Joint is the best.

I agree. In N Out. They, we didn't have those up in Seattle. We had Dick's. I think in and out is way better. Oh yeah. We're gonna get arguments in the comments about this.

Jason Rowland: Well in and out for me. There's one very good secret menu, food, food item. I would not argue that it's the best burger joint. I would say it's my favorite because I found my favorite food, fast food item there.

So what do, what do you get? I get the animal style, protein style, no tomato, no pickle. Double. Double.

Carole Freeman: Yeah, flying Dutch one's a good flying Dutch and. Wait, the, is the Flying Dutchman, the just the patties and cheese? Yeah. I'm forgetting now. Yeah. Yeah. Protein styles with the lettuce wrap and the veggies.

Yeah. Flying Dutchman. I'll get like two of those sometimes too.

Jason Rowland: Yeah. If I have, like sometimes if we're at a condo, like we were in Arizona for the festival and I know that I have like a head of iceberg lettuce, then I'll just get the flying Dutchman and I'll make my own lettuce wrap back at the condo.

But yeah, that's my go-to. And then I recently found that raising Cane's chicken fingers is fairly keto compliant. Like each of the fingers is about two net grams of carbs. So you can have like a five piece and it's only gonna be 10 or 12 net grams of carbs. So I'm like, okay. To me, the biggest thing to stick with keto was when I found that Church's chicken, two pieces of white meat.

Would fit in my my carb limitation. And I'm like, okay, so I can keep some of the bad habits of eating fried chicken and watching hockey on a Saturday night.

Carole Freeman: I meant look at all these comics with their in and out flying Dutchman habits here, and then Andy's up in Seattle and he's like the in and out Dick's debate.

Dick's is the burger joint up in the Seattle area, folks, if your

Jason Rowland: I, I trouble with Dicks only because I went there actually the first night that I met Andy I Arian and I drove down from Vancouver to watch Andrew Frank alumnus of the Oh, okay.

Carole Freeman: I know him from Seattle.

Jason Rowland: Watch his class. And then we went out to Dick's afterwards and they only offered their pre-fabricated burgers.

Mm-hmm. So even if you pulled off the bond and stuff, the cheese was stuck to the bond. So then like, okay, I paid. $4 and 50 cents for an Eighth Pounder burger. But if I wasn't keto, I could see the validity of dicks. It looked delicious, but I was like,

Carole Freeman: nah.

Yeah, no modifications there. So. Well, Jason, is there anything else that you were hoping I would ask about or anything else you wanna say in closing here?

Jason Rowland: No. I mean, this has been real fun. I think, like I said at the very beginning of the podcast today, is that this is a little bit of a niche that's underserved right now. And so it's just kind of weird how the butterfly effect of life can take you in certain directions that you and I didn't know each other three months ago and two weeks ago even.

Carole Freeman: Yeah. Yeah. And well I guess you saw my submission. You knew me before I knew you.

Jason Rowland: Yeah. And and now we're sort of sharing the same kind of. Insight into like a very small window of what comedians should be looking for in terms of trying to get paid work. And I think that we're like living in the same space without even really knowing each other before.

And then just as soon as we met in person, it was kind of like, okay, these are two like-minded people that really agree upon a lot of the approaches to comedy. And too, too often in comedy, people get really defensive about their positions either with writing or performing. And I think that anytime someone is willing to be self-critical, that that's really the first step to improvement.

And so a podcast that's centered around being self-critical is really great. And I found much more receptive response than I anticipated when I created comedy feedback for, to develop clients and get these classes up and running. And even within each class. I was very, very structured in the very first class that I did, cuz both my parents are educators.

I'm like, okay, I'm gonna give people a syllabus and we're gonna follow along. And then I realized quickly it just became a community of six like-minded comedians, sharing ideas and trying to get better. And so then I, the focus was less on the actual curriculum and then we just started exploring themes in comedy and ways to get better.

And each of those individual classes are still friend groups amongst themselves. Mm-hmm. And so it's been really interesting exploration for me to develop these classes and then see that how supportive they are. Because far too often we hear within the comedy industry of backstabbing or cliques or people not getting along.

And then for me, the experience has just been 180 degrees with comedy feedback. And I've just been so privileged to have people appreciate our sharing of our knowledge. It's two comedians to try and help them get better, and I think that's the goal of this podcast as well. So it's really cool that we aligned.

Carole Freeman: Yeah, it was the spontaneous I, I'll call it the pre episode, maybe episode zero that I did. It was after my first performance that I just interviewed a couple of the comics that were on the Phoenix satellite. And, and the feedback was so great just about that. I was like, looks like I am starting a podcast.

And I, I just love this part. I love talking and interviewing people and, and all that kind of stuff. So it's like, it's perfect. I'm, I'm so excited about it. And I, if you, all of you in the comments watching this, like, who would you like me to interview? So again, I'm focusing on club owners, bookers and headlining comedians, people that are definitely experts in helping us get better.

You know, gimme some comments of like, who you would like me to have on here, and if you have the connections to them, that's even better. But I'll just kinda give you a teaser of some of the comics I have coming up. So tomorrow I talk about Joe Lowers, the CEO of World Series of Comedy. I've also got agreement from Corey Michaelis out of the Seattle area.

He's a comedian. He has a Dry Bar Comedy special as well as, He teaches comedy kind of a six week little starter series that he does. I don't know what the name of it is, but he has like a little tiny course of like going from never telling a joke to being able to get on stage. And Tyler Boeh, who is a, also another dry bar comedy special he's outta Portland, Oregon.

He's agreed to come on in the future, as well as Robert Mack who has two Drybar comedy specials out there. So those are some of the people I have lined up already. So, but again You know, I love your brainstorming. Tell me who you'd like to see on here and we'll, we'll try to make that happen. So again, go see Jason's website,, and he's got a special code if you want to check out his six week, five minute showcase or show, what's it called?

A showcase prep course. Is that what it's called?

Jason Rowland: Exactly.

Carole Freeman: It's a six week showcase prep course and he's got a code there for you. Cf CF 23 saves you $25. So go get a shortcut. Take the fast track to getting much better at comedy to get good. I gotta make sure I use my catchphrase in here, so, yeah, that's right.

Jason Rowland: Yeah, you should say get good, good, good.

Naming of The Podcast

Carole Freeman: Okay. I wanna, I was gonna say this at the very beginning, but I was brainstorming names of this podcast and I wanted, first idea I had was getting better. And I, I hear the, the Beatles song in my head. My joke every day, my jokes are getting a little better, is I wanted like a parody version of that.

And I looked, I looked up the lyrics to it, and there's a segment in there where he is singing about how he beats his wife and he's, but he's getting better. He doesn't beat her as much. And I'm like, what? So apparently the Beatles, it's the term beat in the Beatles is not for the, the rhythm of their music.

It's because they like to beat their wives apparently. So I was like, LeBron cool. But Teddy, frankly, Kevin actually helped me brainstorm the idea. Cause I was like getting good and he came up with get good. So Kevin gets a shout out. Cavin Eggleston the host, one of the host

Jason Rowland: also one of the, one of the fastest growing YouTube pages is Good. Good. So it's kind of like, eh, good, good. Yeah. Good, good. Golf is they've, they've added a million subscribers in the last year. Oh, okay. Crazy. Yeah. It's cool that you have Cory coming up. He and I had dinner in Vegas. Oh. Something like that. He's great. He happened to be in town at la com club and we stopped in to talk to the ownership group there and then he decided to join cabin and Joe and myself for dinner out at Ellis Island for a little 9 99 steak dinner.

Carole Freeman: Love it.

Jason Rowland: Well, thanks again for having me on. Thank you so much. Hopefully some people find some interest and send me an email and ask some questions about comedy And then I'll catch up with you again in person soon, I'm sure, right? Yeah.

Carole Freeman: Yes. We'll be seeing each other very soon, the main event for sure.

Jason Rowland: Maybe before then as well.

Carole Freeman: Great. Well, thank you everyone for watching and all your comments has been very fun. And and we'll see you all next time. Thanks. Bye now.


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