Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to put stand-up comedy on a resume

Always leave 'em laughing. And if that's not possible, always leave them knowing that you're capable of being funny.

Every year, I get to look at soon-to-be-grads' portfolios, and every year I yell and scream at the comedy-writing students, "Why didn't you put your stand-up comedy experience on your resume?!"

Usually, the students look at me blankly as if to say that there's been nothing on Earth to force them to listen to anything I've said so far, and there's probably no point in starting now.

Nonetheless, it's true. Stand-up comedy is a great thing to put on your resume, because:

1. It gives you something interesting to talk about.
2. It shows you have a sense of humor.
3. It shows you're fearless.
4. It shows you know how to write to engage an audience.
5. It shows you're not opposed to having a drink or six after work. 

The key is to highlight that you did the stand-up in addition to other stuff, you also did communications-related duties, you performed at real places for real audiences, and you've got accolades. Of course, name-dropping doesn't hurt either. "I'll never forget the time I got drunk with Mike Wilmot and Derek Edwards at Carlos and Murphy's..." Bad example!

The stand-up experience on my resume:
Stand-Up Comedian, Winnipeg, 2000 to present.
  • Retained to provide entertainment for comedy clubs and events, in addition to daytime responsibilities.
  • Distribute press kits, news releases, and bios.
  • Perform at Just For Laughs showcases, the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Rumor’s Restaurant and Comedy Club, the Winnipeg Press Club, West End Cultural Centre, Pyramid Cabaret, and King’s Head Pub.
  • Worked with talent, including Harland Williams, Greg Proops, Russell Peters, Derek Edwards, Brent Butt, and Ron James.
  • Named one of Winnipeg’s best, new comics in the Winnipeg Sun.
Then, in your portfolio, include a photo of you doing stand-up. Under that photo, write out your best bit. Leave out the swears.

Done! Now you're more interesting than 99 per cent of everyone else applying for the job.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

CreCommedy Nights hit Rumor's on Nov. 2 and 3


CreCommedy Nights are coming to Rumor's Restaurant and Comedy Club on Sunday and Monday, Nov. 2 and 3, 2014.

Each night features a roster of Red River College's funniest Creative Communications students from my comedy writing class making their stand-up comedy debut - seven hilarious minutes of material each.

Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 7:45 p.m. There is no admission after the show starts. Tickets are $10 a piece, each night sold separately.

You can buy tickets from me between now and Halloween. After Halloween, tickets will be available at Rumor's by phone (204-488-4520) or at the door on the night of the performance (but last year sold out in advance - so you know what to do).

The talent:

Winnipeg communications jobs for Winnerpeggers like you - week of Sept. 21, 2014

1. Marketing and Events Manager, Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba

2. News Producer (contract), CTV

3. Fund Development Events Coordinator, Manitoba Lung Association

4. Content Specialist, IC Group

5. Marketing Coordinator, Birchwood Credit Solutions

6. News Announcer, Corus

7. Marketing Coordinator, North American Lumber

8. Communications and Public Affairs Specialist, Fairtrade Canada

9. Digital Content/News Writer and Editor, DEL Communications

10. Digital Broadcast Journalist, Shaw

11. Fund Development Manager, Society for Manitobans with Disabilities

12. Communications Specialist, Great-West Life

13. Communications Officer, Genome Prairie

14. Strategic Business Writer, McKim

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

These are a few of my favorite student advertising clients

 Today we salute you, Toad Hall Toys. 

The client has a bad rap.

Long famed in the advertising business for not understanding creative and providing unsolicited feedback when none is warranted, I think it's time we rebranded the client - because one of my most-favorite things in the world is meeting clients with awesome businesses and helping them promote the living hell out of them.

As a teacher, I particularly appreciate the ad client who allows advertising students to not only work on a campaign for his or her business, but also takes the time to weigh their ideas and give feedback at the same time he or she has a business to run.

In 10 years at Red River College, I've had the pleasure to work with these great clients on student campaigns; real men and women of genius, the lot.
Sample student work:

Now, may I please have some free stuff? Haw, haw...