Hey Dave – Does anyone really send out DVD’s or videos anymore? Do bookers even look at them? I think youtube is the way to go. - C.L.
Hey C.L. – I like the way you think. It’s techno, it’s modern – it’s green.
I’m all for eliminating DVD’s in the booking game. As for videotapes, they belong in a museum displayed next to rotary phones. Does that make me old since I remember both?
From my experiences and from talking with a lot of comedians and speakers AND talent bookers, almost everything today is done online. You can really see a generation gap if a talent booker requests a DVD or (hand me a cane) videotape. It’s a lot easier to sit in front of a computer, iPad, iPhone – iWhatever – and watch promotional videos on websites, youtube or through other media sites.
I do it all the time – and you probably do also.
Of course nothing beats a live showcase. But if you can’t arrange that, a video (we’re talkin’ a filmed performance) of your set is the next best thing. We’ve gone through the era of videotapes and DVD’s. Now it’s online. And if you’re not online you’re not in the business.
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I’ve been working mainly in the corporate and college markets. I can’t remember the last time I had to make a DVD of one of my programs and send it to a potential client. I put everything on youtube and then add links off my various websites. When an event planner or student activities booker calls or emails, I’ll refer them to the website for the program they’re considering or email a direct link to a video.
It’s immediate and they can also forward it to any other important decision makers. It really makes our business practices from only few years ago seem like we were working in the Stone Age.
But there will always be exceptions.
I’ve heard of a (very) few bookers who still require a hard copy promo package and DVD. I’m just mentioning that in case you run into any. If you have a professional website it should be easy to run off professional-looking copies of your bio, resume and head shot. Make a DVD copy of your video, put it all together in a professional-looking two-pocket folder and send via snail mail.
Did I also mention I’m all for eliminating hard copy (actual pieces of paper and 8×10 photos) promotional packages and mailings? Maybe it’s the green in me, but it really is a waste of trees, postage, and desk or file space. When I think back to my office at the Hollywood Improv, it’s amazing to realize that everything filed in my desk drawers, crammed on shelves, and stuffed into the back seat of my car could now be stored on a flash drive in my pocket.
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Okay, I know I’m straying away from your original question, but the only promotional items I send by snail mail anymore are postcards. I’ve talked about the value of those in several newsletters and both of my books, How To Be A Working Comic and Comedy FAQs And Answers.
Along with emails, postcards help vary the way I stay in touch with talent bookers, event planners, student activities and other potential clients – without being a pain in the you know what. The idea of course, is to get them to hire you. And the best way to do that – without a live showcase – is to get them to watch your online promotional video, which has taken the place of a DVD.
So after all that straying, let’s get back to your original question…
No – nobody sends out DVD’s and (especially) videotapes anymore and…
YES – sometimes they do if that format is specifically requested. I hope that answers it!
Dave Schwensen is the author of Comedy Workshop: Creating & Writing Comedy Material for Comedians & Humorous Speakers, How To Be A Working Comic and Comedy FAQs And Answers.
For information about these books, comedy workshops at The Cleveland Improv, and private coaching for comedians and speakers in person, by phone and via Skype visit www.TheComedyBook.com
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