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How To Get Passed 
at The Stand


Published on Jan 29th, 2015 | by Free Standup NYC

Article by: Patrick Milligan, Booker and Owner of 
The Stand Comedy Club

There's a simple formula that I abide by when it comes to looking at and using new talent at The Stand. I have it broken down to a 3 step criteria: Ability, Personality, and Marketability. Let me go into further detail:


1. Ability

Obviously this is the first and most important step in being considered for stage time at the club. You have to be able to make complete strangers laugh in a unique and compelling fashion. Your act has to be honed, and you must be able to hang in there on the same lineup alongside some NYC heavyweights. 


You can't be nervous or inconsistent. As a young performer I expect you to bring your "A" game to my stage each and every night. It is all about the competition, as there's always scores of other comedians waiting to take your spot. 


When you're established and comfortable, then you can take some risks...but that has to be earned. 


2. Personality

I always tell comedians: "The drama you create far exceeds the talent that you have." If you are bothersome to me or my staff, then I have no use for you. I will go out and find other performers who are just as funny, and much easier to deal with that would relish the chance to get some stage time.


Always act professional while at the club! The biggest offenders are usually getting drunk at the bar and making complete jackasses of themselves. This puts my staff and the venue at risk. It is also a good way to turn away paying customers. Show some self control while you're here. I could care less what you do on the outside. This is a product we are selling, and it's never a good look when you're acting foolish. 


3. Marketability

If you can bring it on stage, and you are delight off stage, the final piece is seeing if people will come out to see you perform. Being both a club owner & booker, I am going to invest in those who can fill seats. Every decision effects my bottom line. 


As a club that does showcase events, I rely on using all different marketing angles when promoting an event. If there is a way for me to target a certain crowd or scene you're attached to, then I will book you accordingly. 


Some examples: If you're on an MTV show, I will target fans of said program through our social media. If you're just coming off a hot set on a late night TV talk show, I will include a clip of it. If you're on the radio or have a popular podcast, I can find a way to invite your listeners. Every show is a formulatic combination that I use to garner interest from the public. 


The Stand is unique in the fact that we don't have a drink minimum. We also don't rely on shady tactics in terms of getting customers in off the street. We rely on our relationship with NYC area residents. They put their trust in us.


I personally take full responsibility for who goes on stage and I am also the one to blame when a show doesn't draw well. Just know I will do everything in my power to make sure an event is successful and utilize whatever assets we have on our end. The venue's reputation is just as important as your personal reputation. 



-Patrick Milligan


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