8/22/2012 11:00:00 AM
The odd thing about radio is that it can make you famous in a market like Edmonton in a way 20 years of performing comedy out of the same market can't. Every year the months of October, November and December are the busiest for a "corporate comedian" starting with the fall sales meetings and ending with the company Christmas parties. Every year I used to travel all over Canada to perform comedy with specific "language and content" restrictions booked through my agency. Every year my agent sells me to the clients by referring them to video of me and enthusiastically quoting from the references of past customers.
It's about this time of year that people start thinking about booking their entertainment for their Christmas parties and my agent is starting to see a trend of people specifically wanting "Andrew Grose from 630 CHED" but not realizing I'm actually a comedian. At least 4 customers in Edmonton even requested me for their fall function who have actually had me before but didn't know I was the 630 CHED Andrew Grose. I was just that funny comedian they had 2 years ago whose name escapes them.
You would think that 20 years of live performances, 8 Just For Laughs and countless TV specials would cause at least a few people to remember your name but no... the closest anyone comes is "The Bed in a bag guy" or the "Tim Horton's drive through guy." You would think that if everyone had a great time at a show they would say to themselves "I should find out who that was" but no... by the time the boss pays the bill and the warehouse guy embarrasses himself by drinking too much my name is lost along with the name of the waiter that brought him the drinks.
But get on radio 5 times a week and within 2 years you're a household name... but not as a comedian... as a radio host. That's the catch. I'm a far better comedian than I'll ever be a radio personality and I primarily joined radio to get more comedy work but very few people seem to be connecting the dots. My agent tells me some think I'll cost too much, others didn't know I actually had an act, some know me as the organizer of the Edmonton Comedy Festival and a few think I'm trying to launch a comedy career from radio. Radio is my job. Comedy is my career and my passion.
The comedy clubs still book me as a headliner they know and have worked with in the past but with a limited number of days off I can only take club work 2 or 3 times a year. Being able to do a "one nighter" is even more rare although this weekend I'm using up 1 of 2 remaining days off to drive to Saskatoon and Regina to do just that. What I really need is corporate comedy work in Edmonton and the surrounding area so I can still make it to CHED the next day.
So the next time someone you know mentions my name could you please say "Did you know he's actually a comedian as well?"