Because you can take the boy out of Corporate America but you can’t take Corporate America out of the boy, I still do a year-end business review.
That same day, I wrote an overall statement for 2010: “Achieved the feeling that I’m gonna be OK. This closed out 8 years in the game for me. Very cool things happen around Year 9 and Year 10 so, as long as I can keep playing for 2 years, I’m not gonna sweat what does or doesn’t come thru for 2011. I have a career in entertainment and am grateful everyday for this. I’m happy with my current lifestyle and can do this for a while still… dwelling in LA and traveling for shows. I get to see my family often and have reconnected with friends from so many past lives. Unbelievable.”
And I still feel that way. Unbelievable. I wanted to get a standup set on TV in 2011 but I also slacked pretty hard on making it happen. Read on for what was accomplished in that realm and beyond…
These were my goals for 2011. Just as last year, I’ll award myself a 0 for nothing accomplished, 0.5 for something significant accomplished, and a 1 for fully accomplished.
- Top 2010, financially. 1. I haven’t done the final tally but I’m pretty sure 2011 is my most lucrative year.
- Perform one-person show. 0.5. This has been so much more of an undertaking than I ever projected. I did perform a reading and found another director and feel that 2012 is finally the year for it – after thinking I was gonna stage it in 2010.
- Create and distribute continuous online content… blog posts, pictures, videos, podcasts, newsletters, and more. 1. I cannot believe that I actually did this. I indeed dropped a blog post every Monday. I released something new every Tuesday, be that a newsletter (monthly), picture, or joke. I posted a movie quote every Wednesday on Facebook and had people guess ’em, further establishing myself as “the king of the world” when it comes to film references. I interviewed somebody and released a podcast every Thursday. I dropped a video every Friday. Whew.
- Land some high-profile and compelling guests for the podcast. 1. I interviewed Comedian/Actor Kevin Nealon, UCB Co-Founder Matt Walsh, Comedian Godfrey, Whitney Lead Actor Chris D’Elia, Playwright Rajiv Joseph, Comedian Maz Jobrani, Actress Sheetal Sheth, Actress Reshma Shetty, and Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco.
- Perform and record live talk show. 0. It’s simply too early to accomplish this. I want to convert the podcast into both audio and video and use that for the talk show.
- Book acting gigs in TV/Film. 0. I auditioned a fair amount but hopefully the law of averages will kick in for pilot season this winter/spring.
- Book standup gigs on TV. 0. I did get the booker of Conan to like me. That’s no small thing. But I owe him a followup tape.
- Get a few blog posts to go viral, even though “viral” apparently went out of style in 2010. 0.5. I did write several blog posts that I liked a lot and one that got a fair amount of attention. Still, I am looking for syndication on a site like Cracked.com or HuffPo.
- Release more merchandise for store. 0. I didn’t even try. Nothing has sold but I’m glad it’s there – makes FI.com more of an enterprise.
- Land some programs for Funny ‘Cause It’s True. 1. We conducted a very successful program for a large CPG company in New York at Gotham Comedy Club.
- Continue building relationships with headliners, comedy clubs, corporations, and fans/friends online. 1. I did 2 shows for P&G and 6 for GE. I continued to work with Kevin Nealon. Stayed in close touch with Russell Peters. Sebastian Maniscalco took me to the Hollywood Improv and earned me “paid regular” status at Gotham Comedy Club. I did two guest spots at the Parlor in Seattle and the booker wants me back. I remained Tim Allen’s favorite host at Laugh Factory. And UCB Co-Founder Matt Walsh got me to be a monologist at UCB. Pretty cool.
As I stated last year… as the Les Brown quote goes, “Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.” And if you’ve seen my one-liners, you know I tear it apart by wondering whether he understands astronomy.
But the idea is a good one. I think goals should just be slightly out of reach. And out of the 11, I got a 6. 54% is a failing grade, but given that these are strategies to achieve the greater objective of “to make as many people laugh – and think – as I can” – and because I obtained that, 2011 was still a big success. And it’s higher than last year’s 50%.
I’m proud to say that 2011 has been my best year ever. Here’s the list of accomplishments:
- Maintained the feeling of well-being that I “earned” at the end of last year – I don’t think anything is more valuable than this as it’s the extension of my proudest (and most humble) accomplishment/blessing in life… the amazing relationships I have with my family and friends.
- Had my best financial year.
- Booked a 7-city tour in India, scheduled for next month, hosted by the US State Dept.
- Became a paid regular at Gotham Comedy Club in NY, featuring all wknd for Sebastian Maniscalco.
- Booked NACA Nationals.
- Conducted 4th Funny ‘Cause It’s True program for large CPG company in NY.
- Performed 75-min standup show in Muscat, Oman.
- Continued to build relationships w/ Kevin Nealon, Sebastian Maniscalco, Russell Peters, Tim Allen, and Matt Walsh.
- Interviewed some amazing guests on my podcast, including Comedians Kevin Nealon, Godfrey, Chris D’Elia, Maz Jobrani, & Sebastian Maniscalco; Actors Matt Walsh, Sheetal Sheth, & Reshma Shetty, and Playwright Rajiv Joseph.
- Released continuous content all year – Blog Mondays, New Stuff Tuesdays, Quote Wednesdays, Podcast Thursdays, and Video Fridays.
- Featured for a weekend at Las Vegas Improv, booked personally by founder Budd Friedman.
- Performed standup for 90 minutes at Boston College.
- Got the booker at Conan interested in me… professionally, that is.
- Did a 5-hour reading of the one-person show in (obviously) draft form to a close-knit group of friends at my apartment and landed a great director to help bring it home.
- Got material featured on Pandora’s new comedy channel (without trying).
- Completed improv and sketch writing training at UCB.
- Developed and delivered thrice a 75-min presentation on Personal Branding.
- Featured on NPR and in GQ India and Telegraph.
- Increased fan base… numbers: Facebook friends (from 4,128 to 4,765); FB Fan Page fans (from 774 to 1,123); Newsletter recipients (from undisclosed to undisclosed… so pretentious); YouTube subscribers (115 to 187); Twitter followers (from 1,354 to 1,846); and now have a Klout score of 54… whatever that means.
Last year, I had 20. I’ve focused.
And the year isn’t over. Boss.