Being a straight Filipino stand up comedian in the Philippines, I earn most of my comedy income from corporate gigs. Yes, I do have to sell out to corporate Philippines from time to time to augment my revenue to buy milk for the kids. And no, the P150 you pay to watch me on Mondays at Spicy Fingers in Greenbelt 2 is not enough to even cover my Meralco bill, although Marlon O. works there now so maybe he can hook a brother up.
It’s very different when people come over to the comedy club to watch you and when you have to go to the corporate show and perform for the client. So here are some quick pointers you should know, if you ever get booked:
1. Do a clean set as much as possible. Replace “f*ck” with “freak”, “sh*t” with “shoot”, and “cheating son of a b*itch” with James Yap.
2. Avoid mentioning competing brands. Don’t mention Cialis if you’re doing a gig for Viagra and vice-versa. And if you’re doing a gig for either company, maybe it’s time to reflect on where your career is heading.
3. Start strong and end strong. Don’t mess around. Hit them right away with some quick one liners and get them by the balls (but don’t say balls in your set unless you’re referring to tennis balls). Most of the time, these employees tend to chit chat while you’re performing (which is what they do to bands) so get their attention and keep it til the end.
4. Act like a motivational speaker. Since they didn’t pay to come see you (their company did), they are not as forgiving as the crowd in the comedy club. So get them on your side by pandering a bit. Get them to agree with whatever you’re saying. Things like, “You guys like working for (company name)? Yeah! I love (company name)!” This will make them feel you’re one of them and it will make them more comfortable laughing at you, because in some strange way, they’re just laughing at themselves.
5. Get paid before you get up on stage. You never know who you’ll piss off, so better have the cash in your wallet before you perform. That way, if things go bad, at least you’ll be running out with the money.
Remember, the most important thing is to make the big bosses happy because they will be the ones who will book you again for future events. Also, be nice to the events organizers because you will probably work with them again in future projects. Happy corporate whoring!