WELL-MEANING COMICS TRY TO SPARE SOME CHANGE FOR COMEDIANS
Once you guys read the letter posted below, the pun in the headline will all make sense! Maybe. Basically, Russ Meneve and Ted Alexandro, two well-reputed comics working about NYC (I think they both work mainly bigger clubs and also do TV appearances) are trying to get comedians together to form a union-like arrangement between clubs and comics so that there is fair and equal pay across the board at comedy clubs. I am not really a club working comedian in NYC. I used to perform at the Boston Comedy Club, but if you work there, it is mostly non-lucritive unless you are a national headliner or something almost as good. Had there been a union, I'd have been making some money. I'd like to go to address comedians (like me) who mostly perform at alternative venues and a lot of music clubs. I'd also like to talk about creating some kind of basic pay agreement for comedians who perform at the many rooms and booked shows around New York. At the Comic Strip, they pay every comic at least $5, every time they perform. Though $5 isn't much to some, it's a round trip subway fare and a Yoo-Hoo to others. I believe that every single comic who works anywhere ever in NYC (unless it's an open mic with the exception that they were invited to perform at the open mic as a headliner or booked act) should have to be paid $5 or $7 or be fed. Though it is menial, it is still something.
Comedians who have day jobs or comedians who pound the pavement night after night, practicing, working out and performing around the city are WORKING and they should be getting SOMETHING for that, even if it's practically nothing.
I'd also like to get bringer shows outlawed, but that's a fight for another time.
SO, read the letter below from Russ Meneve and Ted Alexandro, and if you would like to attend, remember to e-mail and let them know you're coming.
Let's kick the ass of greedy assholes who kick the asses of comedians by raping them by means of robbing them of fair pay!
Based on the overwhelming positive response (in excess of one hundred
NYC comedians) a meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 30th,
at 3:00 pm. The location will be at the Writer's Guild of America, 555 West
57th Street (57th and Tenth Avenue). We will be assisted by a
professional negotiator for the Writers Guild, Jesus Sanchez, who has extensive
experience in cases exactly like ours.
Please, whatever your opinion, it is important that you attend the meeting. We hope to determine our collective goals founded on each individual's thoughts on what is most fair for us, as well as the club owners. Please e-mail back as soon as possible if you can make the meeting. If I may also ask each of you to make an effort to once again forward this letter to every comedian you can, as well as verbally relaying the meeting details. And you need not be a national headliner with television credits in order to attend. We want this to be an inclusive effort of all working NY comics because these are issues that affect us all, no matter what stage of our
career, and we all stand to benefit.
This is an historic opportunity to change the course of comedy in NY
and to right some of the wrongs of the past twenty years. We look forward to
your participation in this discussion.