Performing comedy is more than a hobby thank you

As part of their small talk/conversation starters, people will sometimes ask if I am still pursuing the hobby of performing.

How to crush my spirits with one word

By no means do I think I deserve the ingenue roles in Hollywood, nor go viral on social media, or even see my face in everyone’s dream. But the last time performing was just a hobby for me, my kids were not yet a twinkle in my eye.

With each passing year as a member of The Dandies, I’ve been more an entrepreneur and less amateur. Through my drive and passion, and generous assistance from many many others along the way, the troupe has traveled to perform, filled convention halls, and been featured on television. Sure, we haven’t been picked up by Netflix or optioned for movies, but I don’t think that relegates the efforts to hobby. Does it?

Aside from ego, where does one draw the line between hobbyist, amateur, and professional?

This year, I’m venturing out into the greater world with my solo production, Personal Demon Hunter. I’d like to think the effort is “more than something I am doing in my leisure time.” I will be pleased with the creation and execution of the show, certainly, but I also want to test my metal, break through personal barriers, and increase my expertise in performing and producing. Because the shows are through the Fringe circuit, it might be easy to call this an amateur production since making money isn’t guaranteed.

However, in Canada, the idea of making a sustainable living from performance is still just an ideal for many people. Given the number of professional theatres and artists that rely on grants (over $200M annually), donations, and other forms of subsidy to survive, the success of making money cannot be the defining factor of professionalism.

Maybe I’m not there yet but please stop thinking of comedy as a hobby. That label is better aligned to my video game playing.

So what are my preferred questions about my comedy?

Here are some great examples:

How did the last show go? It was lot of fun!  Come check out the next one.

When is your next show? Here are some shows I am on. I do a variety of sets so put the one in your calendar that matches your interest.

How can I book you for my show? Send me a message and we’ll talk.


Published by thedukers

Velvet Duke is a Black autistic queer entertainer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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