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Goodies page
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Past goodies:
Top Comics look back at their careers and
Reveal valuable tips, dispel myths, etc—

June 18, 2012: Alec Baldwin interviews David Letterman on "Here's The Thing"
January 4, 2013: Charlie Rose interviews David Letterman on his PBS-TV show "Charlie Rose"
January 2013: Vanity Fair “Special All-Star Comedy Issue,” Table of Contents
January 2013: Mike Nichols and Elaine May 6-page article in Vanity Fair “Special All-Star Comedy Issue”
July 25, 2013: Colin Quinn delivers the keynote address at the
ComedyPro conference at the
Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, Canada

Plus:
Jim Richardson comments on Quinn's keynote with an
Eye toward both clarification & expanding on key points.

New:
August 26, 2013: Everyone in the tech & TV industries is passing around this speech by Kevin Spacey
Plus:
Alfred Hitchcock defines his idea of happiness
Plus:
December 22, 2013: Send it to Xmas Re-write!
Plus:
BONUS: Planning Your Own Professional Career in Comedy & Speaking

Alec Baldwin interviewing David Letterman 14-2013.David Letterman at his talk show desk.

One of the best interviews of a top stand-up comic, this David Letterman piece gives an objective description of the performer's rise to national stardom.
It also dispels many myths about the process.
•Alec Baldwin is a particularly good interviewer, benefiting from his time co-hosting Turner Classic Movies and his long career on national television.
"Here’s The Thing," Episode #18, June 18, 2012, New York City radio station WNYC:
http://www.stand-upcomedyworkshop.com/audioClips/heresthethingpod061812_dletterman_pod.mp3


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Charlie Rose interviewing David Letterman 1-4-2013.David Letterman on Charlie Rose Show 1-4-2013.

•Charlie Rose more recently interviewed David Letterman on PBS-TV, Friday, January 3, 2013:
http://www.charlierose.com/watch/60165837


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Check out the Vanity Fair “Special All-Star Comedy Issue” in the January 2013 issue.
Vanity Fair cover Comedy Edition - January 2013.

•Table of Contents:
http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/toc/contents-201301


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Nichols and May on bar stools.

•My favorite article is on the comedy team legend:
“Exclusive: The Reunion of Mike Nichols and Elaine May”
•All 6 pages re-printed online here,
plus an hour and 22 minute audio clip with those voices!
http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2013/01/nichols-and-may-reunion-exclusive


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Colin Quinn close-up photo.

Colin Quinn delivered the keynote address at the ComedyPro conference at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal on July 25, 2013.
Disclaimer:
•The accompanying web page was peppered with both misspellings and inaccurate quotes; so, I am not linking to that abortion.
However, let me caution those who care about such things that:
•Colin does some peppering himself: adding adult language and so much gratuitous use of the f-word that he comes across as an aging, punch-drunk fighter who none-the-less has flashes of comedic brilliance.
•His cautioning the audience during his stumbling opening remarks that he is only working off rough notes in defiance of oddball requests from the festival's producers wisely sets the tone while reducing expectations from this well-liked SNL TV star and bare-knuckles club comic.
At first, I thought that his speech needed to be paused often so I could add some clarifying annotations, and not mislead the uninitiated.
•However, Colin is just setting us up: he comes through like a champ, giving pithy tips to open micers, local headliners, TV stars, comedy club producers, agents and managers.

Anyone interested in hearing another valid voice from the comedy inside track will find this a meaningful addition to our career-tips themed web page.

Here it is, in the raw:


OK: I yielded to temptation and annotated my running thoughts with an eye toward both clarification and expanding with my reactions to some key points.

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Everyone in the tech & TV industries is passing around this speech by Kevin Spacey.

On August 26, 2013 Kevin Spacey took the stage at the
Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival to give the keynote address,
called the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture, and
delivered a stirring speech about the future of TV.

Summary:
We can save the TV industry $300-400,000,000/year by eliminating series "pilots" which have a worse than 90% failure rate and thus, do not predict the success or failure of a series.
Netflix produced "House of Cards" starring Spacey, releasing all 12 episodes for Season 1 at once.
This proves that "the audience wants control, they want the freedom. If they want to binge, . . . let them binge!"
In fact, this disproves the complaint that audiences have increasingly short attention spans if "they can watch an entire season of a TV show in one day!"
"When the story is good enough, people can watch something three times the length of an opera!"
(Eight second applause break.)

Audiences want quality and talent wants artistic freedom:
innovation and financial success must go hand-in-hand.
Aim higher rather than play it safe, and have patience:
"Breaking Bad" was a slow starter on TV that did not find wide acceptance until re-shown on Netflix and repeated on American Movie Channel to build audience.
Positive buzz and quality of audience gave more awareness than the early rating suggested, and were critical in building a brand.

"The Sopranos"
took four seasons before reaching its apex and "Seinfeld" took five years to make it into the
Nielsen's top 30.
Having a commitment to ideas and keeping faith in the talent & a good show "has to be preferable to a pilot system that just throws everything thing up on a wall and hopes something sticks!"

In 1998, with the success of "The Sopranos," talent found more freedom on TV than in the film industry:
TV took over with more sophisticated stories just as the Internet was maturing to provide different delivery systems for product.
Therefore, audiences will seek content providers who give them what they demand;
i.e., complex, smart stories available whenever they want and on whatever device they want.

The risk now is to become too institutionalized by relying on just what is working

Cameras are platform agnostic. And to audiences, it is all content: "It's just story!"

We must "observe, adapt and try things to discover appetites we didn't know were there."

It is a myth to think that no one knows what works, that it is all a crap shoot:
•professionals do know what works.

"Not one of us in this room will ever see a 30 share in our lifetime, and it's a wonderful, freeing thing."
("The Cosby Show" in 1986-1987 is the last weekly TV show, network or cable, to get better than a 30 share in the Nielsen rating at a 34.9 share.)
Netflix placed targeted marketing and brand higher than ratings.

We no longer live in a world of by-appointment viewing.

The water cooler has gone online.

Stories are the great leveler, crossing borders to unite audiences.
"We have to work just a little bit harder to share these experiences together, and try not to ignore each other quite so much."
(Standing ovation, 52 seconds: definitely a headliner!)

Here is the highlights version (4:55):

And here is the full version which is literally ten times longer(46:53) with some extra treats:

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Definition of Happiness:
"A clear horizon — nothing to worry about on your plate,
only things that are creative and not destructive."
Alfred Hitchcock


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Re-write of "Night Before Christmas."
Re-write of "The Night Before Christmas"


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Page created: January 6, 2013, 5:38 pm PST, updated Monday, June 9, 2014, 6:56 pm PST
Copyright © 1997-2014
Calendar | Video: tips | Endorsements: tips | Coaching & Co-Writing | Coaching order form | About Us
Lessons 1-35: Descriptions | Register: Lessons 1-4 | Register: Lessons 5-8 | FAQ | Contact Us

Sub Headings: even more tips!
Studying Comics | Comedy Roots | Comeback? | Defense | Character mask | Robin | Censorship
Writer's block | Camcorder Coaching | Memorizing | Remembering | Stage Movement: setting a bit
Business | Business Cards | Your Web Site | Open Mics | Evil "Bringer Shows" | Audition | MC tips
Promo Packet | Contact media | Interviews | How to get BIG-$ Gig$ | Agents vs. Managers
Newsletter | Goodies | Auditioning: TV & Movie parts | Site Map: more tips
Improvisation: Thinking on Your Feet | Jonthan Winters | Joan Rivers | Hecklers