Q: I am new to Flappers. Is there a place to go where we can be seen by the club bookers and owners?
A: What a great question! Our Burbank location holds Auditions for both locations every Wednesday and Thursday. The auditions are hosted by our club bookers and/or owners. Sign-ups start at 5:30pm, Auditions go from 6pm-7:30pm. We can generally get up about 20-25 comedians.
The order you would perform in would go:
- Pizza Spot — Comedian who had a great set at the last audition wins a pizza of his/her choice and gets to open up the very next audition show. If you win 3 Pizza Spots in a row, we’ll book you in a Main Room or Claremont weekend Guest Spot. (1 spot)
- Club Spots — Comedians who have been doing regular spots for a while and are looking move up from spots to emcees, features, and headliners. (3 spots)
- First Timers — Comedians who have never auditioned at the club or who have never tried stand-up before. We will also put people who haven’t auditioned in over a year on this list.
- Bump List — Comedians who tried to audition previously, but we ran out of time. We allow you the next 3 auditions to claim your Bump List spot.
- Previously Auditioned — Any comedian who has previously auditioned within the last year and is looking for spots, or to re-acquaint us with his/her comedy, or who wants to win a free pizza (see Pizza Spot).
Q: I would like to be booked at Flappers, should I audition or send in my avails?
A: What a great question!
You’ll want to come to AUDITIONS if:
- You have never performed stand-up before — if it’s your first time ever trying stand-up, you get a fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookie AND we have shows/spots here for newbies!
- You have never performed at Flappers before.
- You have performed at Flappers before but it was on First Timer Funnies and you were booked from filling out the raffle and check off the First Timer Funnies box.
- You have performed here before but it was on an independently produced show.
- You haven’t been booked in a while and you want to re-introduce yourself.
- You are from out of town but just moved to L.A. If you’re visiting, we’ll try to squeeze you into a spot, but if you’re moving here, that expands what we can do with you, so we’ll want to see you live.
- You have been performing at Flappers for a while and would like to be considered as an emcee, feature, or headliner. (In this case, e-mail email@example.com and ask for a Club Spot. Let us know which Weds or Thurs you can make it to.)
You’ll want to send AVAILS in if:
- You have gone through auditions and have been booked on a show but aren’t currently booked in another show.
- You have never performed at Flappers and are from out of town and will be in town for a short window of time. (Also send an EPK.) If we think you’re funny, we will try to find a spot for you within your window of avails. If we can’t find a spot for you within that window, don’t be discouraged, let us know when you’re in town again.
- You have performed at Flappers before and are from out of town and will be in town for a short window of time. (Also send an EPK.) We may be familiar with you already but as a professional comedian, you know that your EPK is constantly being updated, so we’d love to see a new video. Also, our booking department goes through changes, and we see a lot of comedians, so re-sending your EPK is a good way to refresh a memory or introduce yourself to a member of the booking team you haven’t met yet.
Q: What are “avails”?
A: What a great question! “Avails” are dates/times/days of the week that you would work best with your schedule so that you can perform without conflicting with work or other shows. We take avails via phone and e-mail, depending on your relationship with the club.
If you’re a House Emcee, Regular, or Headliner, you can call in on Mondays for fallout spots during the week. You still want to e-mail longer out avails.
If you’re not a House comedian, it’s better to e-mail your avails. (There are some tips under “Getting Re-Booked” on how to send your avails.)
Q: What is an EPK?
A: What great question! An EPK, or Electronic Press Kit is a tool you use to market your act to clubs/bookers who aren’t already familiar with you. An EPK usually includes your bio along with your contact info, website, and social media information, a video or two of you performing, and a headshot.
Q: How do I build an EPK?
A: What a great question! Google it.
Q: If I have already performed at Flappers and/or am an established comedian, why should I come to auditions?
A: What a great question! If you’re a newer comedian, we want to see you every once in a while, check in, see how you’re doing, how you’re growing as a comedian. When you’re new, three months makes a huge difference in your growth if you’re hitting open mics every night. The funnier you get, the more we can do with you.
If you’re an established comedian, a good video can get you pretty far, but we don’t have robots running the club (Yet. Give Josh and Will a few years to figure out how to get that done). For right now, though, nothing beats real human connection and seeing you perform live. Video can’t quite capture the live experience so unless you’re sending a link to a Comedy Central Presents, it’s definitely going to be better to come in and introduce yourself in person.
Also, even if we see you at shows, we’re often distracted, thinking about a dozen other things. The auditions is the best opportunity we can offer for our undivided attention, as this is time we set aside specifically to watch comedy and to talk to you personally.
Q: I have auditioned several times and have never been booked on a show. What am I doing wrong?
A: What a great question! We have shows and spots for comedians from beginners through headliners, and we do our best to find spots for comedians with all levels of experience. If you auditioned once and never heard from us, it’s possible that we had a computer glitch and lost your information. If you have auditioned several times and never been booked, it’s likely that your material isn’t appropriate for our club or that you have been rude to one or more of our staff members.
Q: What is material that is “appropriate” for Flappers? Do I have to be clean?
A: What a great question! You don’t have to be clean but if your entire set is shock humor (rape, abortion, poop), without any punchlines, it’s hard to find an appropriate show for you. It’s actually easier to find a show for you if you have no punchlines, but you do have personal, relatable material. And by “personal”, we do not mean relating to your bowls or your genitalia. Personal is family, friends, work environment experiences, from a point-of-view that is unique to you.
We have plenty of opportunities for comedians with dark and “blue” humor and have shows set up for that, but although newer comedians gravitate toward blue humor, it takes a lot more skill to pull off dirty jokes than clean jokes. As our Dean of Flappers University, Ken Pringle likes to say, with blue material, your punchline has to be funnier than it is shocking. And that is tough to pull off. If you’d like an example of someone who does it perfectly, look up Laurie Kilmartin and/or Ryan Stout.
Q: What is the proper way to send in avails?
A: What a great question! I’m posting some tips below, but the most important one is that if you send no avails, you’re much less likely to get re-booked regularly. You’ll get a better response if you follow our tips, but you’ll get no response if you do nothing.
Tips for sending in avails:
- You want to e-mail Bookings@FlappersComedy.com on Mondays. Type “Avails” into the Subject and then in the body, you can state your real name, your stage name, any credits you may have, and what dates for the next 1-3 months that work best for you to both perform in and to promote. You can look on the website (FlappersComedy.com) at some of upcoming shows, and request to be a part of any that you feel you’d be a good fit for.
- Send avails from this week through the next 3 months. If you’re going to be out of town for 3 months, e-mail us avails for when you’ll be back in town. We’re booking 6 months to a year in advance for emcees and headliners, 1-3 months out for spots. You want to send avails starting from today because even though we’re booked out a month-plus in advance, we do have dropouts and have to fill spaces almost every week.
- Keep in mind when sending avails that you may not get the shows that you request, only that doing so helps us with an idea of what types of shows you’d like to participate in, and what headliners/other comedians you’d like to work with.
- Don’t get discouraged if you send in your avails a few times and don’t get a response. Keep sending them. We get behind on e-mails, we’re booking hundreds of comedians a week, and maybe the dates you send in are already booked, but the people who send avails frequently get booked more often, so keep doing it.
- Don’t send a list of dates you can’t do. We have a list of shows we need to book, so when you send dates you can do, we match up with your avails. When you send dates you can’t do, you’re making us do math. We’re mostly creative types. Don’t do that to us.
Q: I have performed at Flappers before, but no one will book me anymore. What did I do wrong?
A: What a great question! There a few things you might be doing that would prevent us from booking you. If you don’t send in your avails and/or never drop in to auditions, we don’t know that you want to perform here. You could have moved away, be taking a break from stand-up, or just not think that Flappers is a good fit for you. We have too many people actively trying to get booked here to be chasing after comedians who might/might not want to perform here. Unless you’re Sarah Silverman, Janeane Garofalo, Chris Rock, John Mulaney, Dave Chapelle…we might run a few marathons trying to get you here if you’re Roseanne Barr. But 90% of the time, if we’re not booking you, it’s about you not letting us know when/that you are available.
Another reason we might not be booking you is if you are/have been habitually rude to the staff. We love our staff. Be nice to them. Follow all of the etiquette we expect from our comedians. Be funny, professional, and supportive.
The only other reason we wouldn’t book you is if we don’t think you’re funny. We consider ourselves a developmental club, so we do our best to find spots and sometimes even create shows around allowing new/newer comedians practice your craft in front of an audience. However, if you’re super blue with no punchlines, or we’ve seen you perform the same okay jokes exactly the same way for three years and haven’t grown at all, we may not want to continue giving you opportunities to get better on our stages. It may be time for you to branch out, try shows around town, in bars, on the road, and come back when you have something to say.
Q: I never send in my avails or go to auditions, but I’m friends with one of the bookers. Why don’t I get booked at Flappers?
Building a Relationship with Flappers
Q: How do I become an approved House Emcee, House Regular, and/or Headliner?
A: What a great question! Audition and then be consistently funny, professional, and supportive. You can take a look at our Comedian Path and get a general idea of where to start and/or where you fit with us right now. Keep in mind that every comedian’s path is different.
Q: What do we do with you when you are a House Emcee, House Regular, or Headliner?
A: What a great question! If you call/e-mail your avails on Mondays, we will pull from that list first when we are booking and scheduling fill-ins for paid and unpaid spots.
Q: I’ve hosted some open mics/shows at Flappers. Am I an approved House Emcee?
A: What a great question! Maybe. Generally, House Emcees are used on the weekends (Fri/Sat) in the Main Room and Claremont. If you bounce between rooms and getting paid and unpaid gigs, you are probably a House Emcee. You can ask the booking department if you’re not sure.
If you’ve guest-hosted an open mic or a show, you’re probably not an approved House Emcee, but you can ask the booking department if you’re not sure. Here’s a tip: if you have to ask, you’re probably not. However, hosting is a super important job, so if we’ve ever asked you to host anything, ever, that’s a big deal to us. Becoming a House Emcee is a matter of time and building a relationship with us as a club.
Q: I’ve featured/headlined at Flappers. Am I a House Regular or Headliner?
A: What a great question! Maybe. If you headline the Main Room or Claremont weekend once a year, probably. If you headlined an independently-produced show once on a weeknight, probably not. You can ask the booking department if you’re not sure.
Q: I found out the personal e-mail addresses of one or more of the bookers. Does it show initiative if I e-mail them personally?
A: What a great question! No. Always, always, always e-mail Bookings@FlappersComedy.com about booking things. This is the e-mail the entire Booking Department checks. Don’t message us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, call us on our personal phones, or show up at our homes, talking about comedy things. We are bookers AND humans, and have lives outside of work. Bookings@FlappersComedy.com is the proper e-mail, 818-845-9721 is the correct phone number to call, 102 E Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502 is where we hold auditions every Wednesday and Thursday at 6pm.
Q: Oh no! I messaged a booker on Facebook! Does she hate me/am I banned forever?
A: What a great question! Yes and yes. Haha, just kidding. We know how easy social media makes it to cross personal boundaries and it’s totally cool if you e-mailed the wrong address or bothered us when we were in the middle of watching videos of kittens making friends with baby rhinoceroses. Just don’t do it again — or else!
Honestly, we try to be cool, but it is hard to decompress from work when you’re messaging us about work. It’s sweet what you think is an emergency (running late, can’t do a show, can’t be bothered to read your booking agreement to see what the date of your show is or how much time you’re doing), but if you e-mail Bookings@FlappersComedy.com and/or call 818-845-9721 for any “emergencies”, you aren’t going to get “in trouble”. For real emergencies, call 9-1-1, and then get back to us once the bleeding stops.
Q: A booker replied to my message with a personal e-mail. Is it okay to reply back to a personal e-mail if one was sent to me first?
A: What a great question! Yes, it’s totally cool to answer an e-mail from a personal e-mail by replying to that e-mail. We do have trouble sometimes, when comedians send time-sensitive information to a personal e-mail because if that booker is out of town or out of the office, you may not get an answer right away. For new enquiries, avails, guest lists, technical problems, etc., it’s always best to e-mail Bookings@FlappersComedy.com . Everyone in the booking department checks that e-mail address, including the booker you are accustomed to talking to, but you have a better chance of getting a timely answer by sending an inquiry to the entire booking department rather than one person.
Q: The booker who used to book me all the time doesn’t work at Flappers anymore. Does that mean that I won’t keep getting booked?
A: What a great question! As long as you have been funny, professional, and supportive every time you’ve been at Flappers, we’ll continue to book you. You may have gotten out of the habit of sending avails because you were getting regular bookings, but go ahead and start sending your avails again. You may have lost a little bit of steam if you were a previous booker’s favorite, but if he/she loved you, we probably will too. Have faith that you can establish just as as strong a relationship with us as a club as you had with that particular booker.
Q: Can you expand on what you expect from comedians in terms of etiquette?
A: What a great question! Yes.
- Pre-Show Etiquette:
- Promote your shows to the best of your ability.
- Be here 30 minutes before the show.
- Check in with the Box Office, your emcee, and your sound tech.
- Be polite and friendly to the staff.
- Don’t bring in outside food or drink.
- Be ready and find-able for the pre-show meeting with your emcee.
- During the Show:
- Be find-able by the emcee when it’s your turn.
- Sit inside and support the other comedians.
- Don’t stand in doorways.
- If you’re outside the room, be quiet. We can hear you inside.
- Don’t heckle the other comedians.
- On Stage:
- Do your best material.
- Be nice to the audience.
- Be respectful of the venue.
- Be sober.
- No notes on stage.
- Don’t damage any property.
- After the Show:
- Thank the audience.
- Hand out business cards and/or promotional material.
- Thank the emcee, headliner, staff.
- Tip the server.
- Send your avails in to get re-booked.
Q: What if you sent me a date but it doesn’t work for me or there’s a different show I’d rather do?
A: What a great question! If you ever can’t do a date we send you, always click Can’t Do Date on the booking agreement AND FOLLOW UP with an e-mail with better dates. If you reply to the booking agreement e-mail, that gives us all the info we need for re-booking you without having to look you up, and it’s much quicker to re-book you.
We’ll never be offended if we sent you a request and there’s a different date you’d prefer to do. If you send your avails and you get a date you didn’t request, we probably just booked you randomly and haven’t seen your avails yet. Always be as specific as possible about what works best for you. We might not be able to accommodate you for a specific date or show, but we will always try.
Q: My Headshot won’t load or is photo of someone else.
A: What a great question! Your headshot needs to be a smaller resolution, preferably about 300 pixels on the longest side, has to be saved as .jpg (.jpeg will NOT upload). Your headshot should be named after you, IE “firstnamelastname_headshot.jpg”, because all of our uploaded headshots go in the same directory, so if you title it “image.jpg” or “headshot.jpg”, it will be immediately overriden by the next person who uploads an image with the same image title.
Q: Can I get a recording of my show?
A: What a great question! All the performer’s sets are recorded, with the exception of auditions and open mics. Comedians can purchase a copy of their own video for 30-40 dollars, depending on the type of video they would like. (See DVD/Video Order form) PLEASE ALLOW 7-10 Business Days for all video orders.