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     Chili Challis

           Lifetime comedian, comedy writer and coach

My Blog



Posted on August 19, 2013 at 1:04 PM Comments comments (2)
People often say that you have to open some doors to get somewhere in show business. Actually what you want to do is open some studio gates. When a few gates in Los Angeles opened for me on a regular basis I knew I had arrived. It was a good feeling, scary sometimes but good, my hard work and years of sacrifice had paid off. NBC was saying,
"Oh yes Chili Challis come on in!"....That's what's up! ;)

Don't look at anything as a closed door. There's no such thing. Invisible doors don't exist. What exists is if people that can do you some good know about you or not. And if they do what do they know about you? Is it positive? Is it pleasant? Are you causing a ripple?
Or is it that you're all edgy and slightly naughty, and if so is there a market for you somewhere?! How can you help them?!! That's what they care about. Do you have a market? Do you have a fan base? Does it seem as if you're developing one?! If so 'they' want in for sure.

How to create a ripple or two? Every journey begins with the first step....
*Do the work! Work some stages and use the time effectively to develop not only your jokes/bit/impressions etc but also your character and your story (POV) that goes along with everything. If you're playing to your buddies in the back of the room at a couple of open mic nights a week- YOU'RE NOT DOING THE WORK!
If you're seeing who can do the most shocking gross material for each other -YOU'RE NOT....well you know!
I seldom yell twice. ;)

*Find your strength, is it writing? Is it improv, quick thinking type audience participation stuff? An odd character? Is it being a good mimic (ala Jim Carrey, Maria Bamford) ...the possibilities are wide open for you to bring to the standup comedy stage. Anything goes as long as you're reaping in the only things an audience can give to you, their attention, laughter and applause.
Find those strengths as quickly as you can by having the courage to use the stage for what it is, especially in the early going; your gym, your workout space, a canvas to paint on, it's empty until you fill it...go up prepared, energized and ready to push that freakin envelope for yourself. Don't forget to use the reaction of a few audiences to get a feel on if you're translating correctly and if they're feelin' ya! 

*Don't be adverse to drawing a little attention to yourself. Showbiz is ALL about drawing attention to yourself.
Have a website, some business cards, a short bio, promo & pic you can attach to an email immediately when asked. And when you can, even a private channel vid of you crushing an audience is valuable. But only a private channel where you can send somebody a link to watch. Don't just spill everything out on Youtube just because you can. Work smarter and display to the world when you're ready.

*Lastly but not 'leastly'... begin a system of NETWORKING ...make friends, don't be annoying but be around, gather people into your circle. Gain some friends and be one. Never talk crap about anybody, avoid that gossip thing that can sink your image...stay above the riff and be an honest to goodness artist. Your interest should be in growing and in other people that are growing. Stay positive, keep a smile on your face. An true artist can see thru the absurdity. Always be willing to help and accept help graciously, which sometimes along your path comes in the form of a critique or two. It's all good.
Now stop imagining doors keeping you's simply whether you will do the work, learn and take advantage of your strengths annnnd if you will be proactive in getting the information out there and putting yourself in position to succeed.
One day perhaps Hollywood studio gates will be opening for you! Man that is an awesome feeling!! I gotta tell ya!!!! ;) 


Posted on August 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM Comments comments (3)

"Forget about having an identity crisis and get some identity capital. Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that is an investment in who you might want to be next."  ~clinical psychologist