a priori/a posteriori

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Networking in NYC, aka the NBA Finals

The past two weeks have been pretty good up here, and I think a big part of that has been because of networking.

Writing and stagetime are huge, of course, but a big part of integrating yourself with the scene up here is just feeling like you’re a part of a few social circles.

Last Wednesday and Thursday was the most I’ve felt like a part of this scene since I got up here. And it had little to do with stand-up. I found out about a bunch of New York comics that play basketball every Wednesday, so I met up with them, played for a few hours, and had a good time. The games were fun (despite oppressive heat and the identical-twin-comedic-duo “The Lucas Brothers" taking the rest of us to school a little), and it was cool to get to hang out with other comics as people, as opposed to a (for all of us) work setting.

The next night was Thursday, which happened to be Game 2 of the NBA Finals. One of the main Thursday hang-outs for comics is a good show in Manhattan at a bar called ‘The Kabin.’ I think the show ended about 11:15, or right about when there were 7 minutes left in the 4th quarter, and the Mavericks were down 15. And so there really wasn’t much attention being paid to the game on the TVs in the bar. Any NBA fans were more just talking about how LeBron and Wade are way too good for the Mavs, and that the series was going to be a sweep, and that it was just kind of a bummer.

Then the Mavs got a bucket. Then another bucket. Then Kidd hit a 3. Then Jason Terry hit a jumper. And then as we all watched in shock, it was a 2-point game. Then it was a tie game!

And then, with pretty much everyone in the bar now watching - Dirk Nowitzki hit a 3 that put Dallas up with 26 seconds to go, and the entire bar went crazy. Miami hit one right after to tie it, but Dirk hit another shot to win it, and then all we could talk about was how it was a series now, and how clutch Dirk was, and anything else we could think to talk about. The whole bar was buzzing. For about a minute, and then only six of us cared again...but still. Buzzing!

But it was just kind of nice for that six of us, who were clearly way nerdier than other comics when it came to rooting for grown men playing a game. It felt good because we felt like we were a part of some smaller group than just all being “comics.” We were the "sport-obsessed, loser comics.”

And that felt good. Now when I see those guys out, I know we have something in common beyond just wanting to seem like we like each other.

And that’s what networking is, really. It’s just being friends with someone for a reason that has nothing to do with your work relationship. I found a few of those circles this week, which is probably why I feel a little more like I’m digging in some roots here.

Go Mavs.


  1. I heard the Mavs are taking alchemically charged waters. Is this how they beat Miami on their home court? Is this a legal substance? Here is a webpage describing what they might be using. Shawn Marion and Mark Cuban are mentioned towards the bottom of this page.


  2. I think you may be right. I looked at the site. I saw something about it somewhere else but I have no idea if it is legal. Well I hope it works for the Mavericks!

  3. comedy in NYC has very little to actually do with comedy in NYC.

  4. Yeah, good call. I’d be more excited about your comment, Josh, but I’m still trying to get over the fact that my referencing the “NBA Finals” triggered a series of spam-ments trying to convince me that “alchemically charged waters” are the next sliced bread.

    But totally. Learning that.

    Thanks, man.

  5. it was not always this way. In the last 4 or 5 years there was a big switch in the dynamic of stand up. You have industry people going to comics' houses for parties, dating comings, hooking up etc.

    There was a time when Lucien at the Strip and the old guy at the Cellar (I forgot his name) only put up good comics and told bad comics they were bad and/or hacky. The Cellar had a strike rule of no tv credits, you old not get passed. Even when you had credits, you had to get 2 comics to recommend you or one KILLER (If Seinfeld said you were cool, you got an audition). Those guys were brutally honest, but comedy as an art flourished because of it.

    Now that's gone. I could give you more examples but not in a public forum. Maybe we should PM, you can tell me about Austin and I can tell you about NYC.