When I first started Comic Boom my monthly comedy club at Brighton's Komedia I had a dream about what I wanted it to "be." I wanted to combine my years of experience as a stand-up comedy teacher, and as a comedy club promoter, and create a new style of comedy club. Nobody else was going to run a professional comedy club in a big (290 capacity) venue that featured at least six new comedians in short spots on every bill back in 2006. But Comic Boom wasn't going to be a new act night. It was going to be a new comedy night.
I wanted a comedy club that bridged a gap. There were hundreds of little new act nights with small audiences where stand-up comedians starting out could perform and develop their skills. There was no regular big comedy club with a big audience where they could hone the skills they'd need to do well at a proper big professional comedy club.
The leap to open spots on bills with professional comics at big comedy clubs is a massive one and few succeed. The ability to make that leap sucessfully is largely what will determine if a new act ever becomes a professional working stand-up comedian or not.
I wanted Comic Boom to give genuinely original newer comedians the opportunity to develop those crucial big club skills. These newer comedians have played all the new act nights. They've usually done well in the competitions. They've marked themselves out as exciting new voices in stand-up comedy who have something interesting or a bit different to offer. They just haven't broken into the big professional comedy clubs yet.
I put six of these fresh and exciting newer comedians on in short spots, with a headline professional stand-up comedian, and one of my fantastic professional MC's every month. Thanks to our wonderful acts Comic Boom can be a breath of fresh comedy air and/or a night of civilised comedy insanity.
Twelve years on and I think Comic Boom is what I wanted it to "be." It's a great opportunity for myself and for the Komedia to support, nurture and develop genuinely exciting new comedy talent to emerge, not only through my stand-up comedy courses and comedy classes at Komedia but also in a comedy club in their award winning venue.
The photo at the top of this blog post was only taken four years ago backstage at Comic Boom. The now award winning and television regular stand-up comedians in the photo were all on the same bill at Comic Boom that night.
The photo below is the one that actually inspired this blog. It was taken last month during a sound check with a new comedian (Daniel Vallender) who was making his Comic Boom debut. The picture was just taken as a light test for the photographer but it captures a real - Comic Boom being what I wanted it to "be" moment. We are nothing without our exciting new comedians.
We are also nothing without our audience who are, as my former Comic Boom MC Seann Walsh once said, "the best audience in the best comedy club in the country."