April 9, 2014

Professional Standouts - By: Marcos Lara

Marcos Lara
As a producer and a comedian, I'm always excited to work with comics who go above and beyond the call of duty. It's this type of professionalism that sets them apart from the hundreds of other comics in the Chicago/Midwest area and most importantly - keeps them working.

This scene is full of funny people, but exceptional professionalism is a rare trait. With all of the negativity that has been cluttering the Facebook groups and Twitter feeds lately, it seemed like a good time to list some examples of the type of exceptional work that keeps comics in demand.

Ali Clayton
Ali Clayton:
Clayton does not punch out when she gets off the stage. The numerous times I've booked her, she has always stuck around afterward mingling with the crowd, sharing hilarious stories, etc. One time she even stuck around and performed some karaoke... turns out she has a great voice. The country singing world's loss was our gain.

Lance "B-Rich" Richards:
Richards came out to an open mic at a library all the way in Rockford that took place during the library's regular hours. He didn't complain about the distance he had to drive to perform in such a non-traditional scenario, instead he just got on the mic and killed. Two other producers were at that mic and all three of us booked him for several more shows, all of which were paid. Lance has delivered each and every time. Lance's consistency, work ethic, and overall positivity have made him a name that draws audiences.

Martin Morrow
Martin Morrow:
Morrow puts integrity above easy laughs. I booked him for an show recently and even though this was not a "clean room" and we had a anything goes policy, Martin noticed there was a grade school kid in the crowd. He made it a point to self censor a bit and while performing a joke using the "n-word" because he didn't want this boy growing up thinking that it's "cool to use it." While other comics had used the word at previous shows without causing any offense, I truly respect that Martin has certain standards for himself that he does not compromise.

Pares Ratliff:
Ratliff not only puts on a hilarious high energy show, he also does a great job of promoting shows for which he is booked. Pares was booked for a show in Rockford and he brought a van full of people from Chicago with him. On top of that, he even arrived an hour early. Pares demonstrated a mastery of the three most important elements of the business, being funny, being reliable, and drawing a crowd.

There's a plethora of comics out there with whom it's a blast to work with, even if I didn't mention them here, I still remember them when it comes time to book paid gigs. For the sake of this post, I just wanted to mention a few performers from the Chicago scene who have left a lasting impression.

Contributing Writer:
Marcos Lara