33: Putting in the Work with Comedian Sean Jordan

33: Putting in the Work with Comedian Sean Jordan

Posted by Nicholas Ribera on

Comedian Sean Jordan discusses his journey in stand-up comedy, from starting in Sioux Falls to moving to Portland and LA. He shares his experiences in finding his unique voice on stage and the importance of networking and connecting with fans. Sean also talks about the process of recording and releasing his first stand-up album and the impact it had on his career. He emphasizes the importance of generating revenue through merchandise sales and building a fanbase to sustain a career in comedy. In this conversation, Sean Jordan discusses various aspects of being a comedian, including merchandise sales and corporate gigs, finding your niche, the desire to be an announcer for skate contests, self-management and representation, taxes and bookkeeping, the need for unionization in the comedy industry, and the process of recording a special.


You can listen to the episode here (or wherever you listen to podcasts) or read the transcript below:

A Conversation with Sean Jordan:

Chain Assembly (00:04.235)

Alright, so everyone thank you so much for tuning in again. I'm lucky enough to have comedian Sean Jordan with me. I've been following Sean Jordan's podcast, All Fantasy Everything, since about episode 5. I think you came in around episode 7 or so, but you just did your 300th.


Sean (00:22.59)

Yeah, we, I mean, dude, we're on, it's like 360 or something now. Uh, no, 340 maybe anyway. Yeah. Uh, it was, it's Ian's, I gotta say it's like Ian Karmel definitely started it. And, um, I'm lucky enough to be a part of it now. It was, it's thrilling.


Chain Assembly (00:27.763)

Yeah, yeah.


Chain Assembly (00:39.798)

But so one thing that's exciting about having followed the podcast for so long and now having you on my show is that I have seen your career change a lot over that time. And that's kind of what we want to dive into in this. So for the listeners, Sean Jordan is a comic currently living in Portland. Yeah, Portland. I almost said Seattle. I know that would piss off a lot of people.


Sean (00:48.258)

Mm-hmm.


Sean (01:03.594)

You got it, Portland, Oregon.


Chain Assembly (01:08.606)

I've just been watching a lot of Frasier the last few days, that's why.


Sean (01:08.747)

Nah, I-


Sean (01:12.522)

I had no time to get mad about that. Seattle rules, it's fun up there. But yeah, I live in Portland.


Chain Assembly (01:17.155)

Yeah. All right. So, um, and you've been doing the standup gig for about 15 years now. And, uh, I mean, I want to cover the whole breadth of it. But let's dive right into like, when you, I guess, went, what was, what was the start? Like making your friends laugh to open mic to winning best comic in Sioux Falls? What was that timeline like?


Sean (01:39.542)

Yeah, so I never really had any aspirations to do this. I never wanted to be a comedian or anything like that. I always thought being funny was fun, but I was just kinda, I worked at call centers on and off. I just didn't finish college or anything, so I was just finding jobs. And one of the call centers I worked at, somebody heard on the radio that they were having a comedy contest, and they told me that I should go enter the comedy contest. They said, you know, you're funny. All that smoke that people blow.


Chain Assembly (02:02.455)

Go find.


Sean (02:09.162)

when you're before you do it. And I was like, yeah, all right, I'll be great at this. And I was horrible. But I brought like 130 people to the club, everybody I knew. And it was an audience based voting system. So they voted me through, even though I was terrible. Yeah.


Chain Assembly (02:23.51)

Oh, I hate those. I mean, I'm glad that worked for you, but that's some bullshit.


Sean (02:28.402)

It is, it, trust me, it is, but it did. If I hadn't brought him, I probably would have never kept going. So they voted me through then my next set. I did. Okay. And then I ended up winning that, that contest. So the first thing I ever did was like a comedy contest. I never did an open mic or anything. And then after that, I just started hosting at the club. They, that was kind of the prize of winning was that you got to host shows at the club and then very quickly. I got it like, uh, addicted, whatever the word would be, but it's very


Chain Assembly (02:46.143)

Oh wow.


Sean (02:57.97)

I knew pretty quick that I did want to do it. I just didn't know how to do it. And that's kind of, I guess, what we're going to talk about. But that's how I got the start, man. And I just started working the club every week and, you know, dah, dah.


Chain Assembly (03:05.014)

Well then.


Chain Assembly (03:09.582)

That kind of blows my mind that open mics was not part of your history. I just assumed all comics kind of started that way.


Sean (03:14.007)

They didn't even have them.


Yeah, they didn't even have them in my town. They had the Comedy Club, but they didn't have any open mics. So they would have an open mic like twice a year and it would be a really big deal. But there was no weekly open mic. There were no shows other than the shows at the Comedy Club. I mean, this was like. 2005, probably. So it wasn't, I think comedy was in a pretty big. Lull, I think at that point, I don't think it was very popular. And then.


As time went, Sioux Falls still doesn't really have any open, well I shouldn't say that. In the last few years they've gotten a lot better, but my whole career they've never had open mics until recently.


Chain Assembly (03:53.57)

Interesting. Well, so 2005, that was like the, I guess, Dave Chappelle era. He was like, like the Chappelle show was the big thing at the time, I want to say. And then, well, there was a, was it premium blend that was getting... Yeah.


Sean (04:00.91)

Chappelle show. Mm-hmm.


Sean (04:08.546)

They have premium blend back in the day. That was, yeah, it was popular. I mean, I remember before that, it was like best week ever. That was my first thing where I watched thinking that would be fun to do. Cause I remember it was like Doug Benson and Paul Scheer and the Sklar brothers and people that I still to this day think are hilarious. And Paul F. Tompkins, and that was a big one where I was like, they're funny, it'd be fun to do that. But I, you know, how do you do that? So that was like, that was a big.


motivator with seeing that thing.


Chain Assembly (04:43.932)

It's funny that you brought up Paul F. Tompkins because every now and then you'll see him as like an extra in a movie and you're like, holy shit, that's Paul F. Tompkins and Jack Frost. So.


Sean (04:49.867)

I'm gonna go.


Mm-hmm. It's LA, man. It's the wild part about being in LA for people like that, like a Paul F. Tompkins is like, you know, he auditions for movies, I'm sure. I mean, just goes out for auditions sometimes and sometimes gets them. And then you're in Los Angeles. So you just drive over to the studio and you get to be in a movie for a day. Pretty crazy.


Chain Assembly (05:02.704)

Yeah.


Chain Assembly (05:10.698)

But it's funny too, because I always imagine that's the remnant of a more important scene that had gotten cut out, where maybe you got Paul F. Tompkins because there was dialogue, and now you just see him cheering in the back of an audience. So when you were starting in Sioux Falls and you immediately get thrust into this hosting gig, was there anyone you were trying to, I don't want to say copy, model yourself after? What was the research you did to get ready for this?


Sean (05:18.158)

Sure.


Sean (05:23.71)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Chain Assembly (05:40.01)

this type of role.


Sean (05:41.794)

I didn't, I was pretty ignorant to the process at that point. Also because there weren't any other, there was one other person in town who did stand up, his name's Josh, and then after a year or something of me doing it, my friend John also started doing it. So there were three of us that hosted regularly, and that was about it. That was, there really weren't any other comedians that lived in town. It wasn't a scene, but we had a comedy club, so.


It was really good for me to develop my, I really quickly learned how to not be nervous in front of people, but I just didn't learn how to write and I didn't realize you had to keep doing new stuff and I did the same 15 minutes for years. So that, when I moved to Portland, that was a big shock. I was like, oh my gosh, these people are writing jokes every week. And so that, you know, obviously I just didn't have anyone to see that from, but in the beginning, I would just see


people come through town that I liked and unknowingly, you would just kind of try to be like them a little bit. So it was almost everybody. I mean, like Brendon Walsh was a big one. Tommy Johnigan was a big one. People that I would see come through and just be like, oh my gosh, they're so good. And then two weeks later, I feel my cadence sort of like being like theirs. Not trying to, not trying to steal or anything, but then I feel like with comics, you just kind of, you do that until ultimately,


Chain Assembly (07:00.802)

Mm-hmm.


Sean (07:09.622)

you figure out what you wanna sound like. So it's like everybody kinda sounds like 30 or 40 different people to me. And then that ends up being your own original voice. And then you start saying the stuff you wanna say, but like Tommy Johnigan sticks out. He was the one where one of the first people I saw and I was like, man, you guys are really awesome.


Chain Assembly (07:28.578)

Well, it's a thing I can equate that to in the art world is often when I talk to illustrators, a lot of like the younger people who want to get into art, they always want to start with an OC, an original character. They want to be known for this character they've developed so they can continually selling merch related to that character, that character in silly situations, killing creatures, whatever. They want to build a whole world around that because it's all about, you know, having that IP that you want to own and maybe sell off at some point down the line.


Sean (07:46.751)

Makes sense.


Sean (07:50.487)

Mm-hmm.


Chain Assembly (07:58.806)

And because that's a question that often comes up, the suggestions that we usually have for artists is that you always just wanna try emulating other people's styles, and eventually you'll take a little bit of A, a little bit of B, and you'll find some comfort somewhere in between the two. And that's kind of how those original characters develop. So with...


Sean (08:17.866)

Yeah, I mean, that's just a more articulate way of saying what I was just trying to say. You just kind of draw from everything until you find you, and then you're like, oh, here I go.


Chain Assembly (08:23.198)

Thank you.


Chain Assembly (08:28.191)

So, did you ever find yourself inadvertently creating a character that is not Sean Jordan on stage?


Sean (08:31.245)

Ahem.


Sean (08:35.626)

Yeah, I tried. I would, uh, yeah, yeah. I was like zany for a while and... You know... Ah... Like...


Chain Assembly (08:42.559)

What is zany? I picked you with like holding up a rubber chicken and a headshot.


Sean (08:46.462)

Nah, just a little more animated than I normally am. Just kinda snappy and, you know, hey, how you doing? That kind of stuff that isn't really, it takes a long time to figure out how to be, I always wanted to be as much of myself as I possibly could doing standup. Like I wanted when somebody after the show, if they came up to talk to me, I wanted it to feel like it was the same person. And that's hard to do, cause you're not.


You're always like a heightened version of yourself or a little bit of a character. So I constantly just try to make it. I just want to sound like this, you know, but I want to say funny stuff, but I want this to be how I sound and talk and thought it up. So yeah, I used to, I tried out some different hats and none of them look good. And you trial and error, you got to go figure that out until you find your voice. And it takes a while, man. Now that I'm saying it out loud, it was like, that was 18 years ago. So it ain't a quick process.


Chain Assembly (09:42.962)

I guess another issue with that too is like at what point are you no longer on? Because I mean you hang out at the club after you're done, right? And you want a network.


Sean (09:50.368)

Yeah, I-


Yeah, but I hit that off switch immediately. I can't, it's a bit of a pet peeve for me when somebody can't, it's fine to be funny all the time. If you're funny, that's great, but some people, sometimes people will just do standup after the show, like when you're just chilling and you're like, no, just turn it off, be normal. So I try to turn it off immediately, but hanging out and networking, just talking, shaking hands, I love doing that. That's fun. I mean, it blows my mind that anybody


comes to a show, ever. I'm always shocked. I'm like, what are you doing here? So it's amazing when I get to talk to him and, you know, why wouldn't I wanna do that? That's the best part.


Chain Assembly (10:35.634)

Another art related thing I could relate that to, which is another recurring issue that comes up a lot on this podcast is like doing the art is one piece one part of it But then having it an art show where you have to network with everyone and act like you're interested in the art that they brought To the gallery. It's exhausting But you know, it's like I'd like to be able to just present what I've made and then Walk away, but that whole second


Sean (10:50.19)

Sure.


Sean (10:55.832)

It is.


Sean (10:59.854)

CLEARS THROAT


Chain Assembly (11:03.912)

is always a hard thing to be a part of.


Sean (11:06.354)

It's tough, but I mean, you know, a job is a job. Like it should be, it can be, you're gonna get what you put in, I guess I should say. So you can just go do the work and then leave, I guess as a comedian, I could say, like you don't have to stick around. No one's requiring you to hang out. But I think a couple things, I think you should, because it's fun and I'm so grateful that I don't see why I wouldn't wanna say what's up to everybody. It can be...


Chain Assembly (11:08.158)

Yeah.


Sean (11:34.546)

exhausting if it takes a couple hours, but so be it. They chose to come spend their night. They spent money. They got a sitter. They took an Uber. I mean, there's like a drink minimum, all these things that they do. Yeah. I'd love to sit and hang out and take a photo. I think it's great. And yeah, I don't know. I just, I just like, yeah, my workday is short anyways. Might as well. Can't hurt to extend it for a couple hours. No big deal. Also, I remember when I first.


I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but atmosphere, I'm a big atmosphere fan there, road rap group out of Minneapolis and I was at a show one time in Sioux Falls and my buddy, he goes, I'm going to try to introduce you to atmosphere. So he brought me backstage and they were still performing. And as soon as they got done, Slug, who's the, the front man, he walks off stage and my buddy, Dan, he goes, Hey, this is Sean. And, and Slug walked by and he's like, Hey man, what's up? And he just kind of kept going. He just walked by.


And my buddy said, ah, sorry, he's tired or busy or whatever I tried. And then maybe 20 seconds later, Slug came back and he looked, he was wiping his face off, he was all sweaty, but he was like, hey, I'm sorry, what's your name? I introduced myself and he goes, hey, my name's also Sean. He talked to me for a few seconds and then he goes, do you wanna come back and take a photo? So we went back, had a sound guy take a photo, and then he shook my hand and then he left. And that stuck with me and it'll stick with me for the rest of my life, because he didn't have to do that, but he did.


you know, I think he just was happy that somebody cared and wanted to meet him. I don't know. Or he knew that it would completely change the way that I look at performance, which it did. I was like, oh, if he took the time to do that for me, I can take the time to do it for everybody until I can't talk anymore. I don't know. There's nothing that'll stop me from sticking around and shaking every hand for the foreseeable future. It rules.


Chain Assembly (13:23.455)

I love that story. I love atmosphere. I got a good friend named Lucy and every time I see her I want to say fuck you Lucy for leaving me


Sean (13:28.874)

Hey, fuck you Lucy. Yeah, I mean that it's it hit and I think about that all the time because sometimes people will come up after shows not to I don't I hope this doesn't sound weird but sometimes somebody will come up after show and they might be they might feel the same way about him or me that I feel about him where for whatever reason we are the media that gets them through a rough time or something like that so they


we have this gravity with them and it's a big responsibility. If somebody listens to a podcast because a relative died and they just wanna forget about that for a while, they're kinda gonna always associate you with what got them through that rough time. And so if somebody, if I'm in Boston and somebody comes up and tells me a story, I don't wanna blow them off, because that's a big deal. So I just wanna be there and be present and listen and shake their hand and make eye contact and...


and genuinely care, which I do. I don't know, just to me, because I know how much that affected me to this day. I mean, that was probably 10 years ago that he did that. I still talk about it all the time. So if I can do that for somebody, that's all I wanna do.


Chain Assembly (14:42.162)

I've had a few similar experiences like that where it's, it's always, you're always totally taken unaware when like, I'm remembering this one moment where this, this girl I met, I say girl, she was probably in her early twenties. She recognized me before I knew her and she was shaking and she wanted to take a picture cause she had bought a whole bunch of art for me. And like, I didn't even know I had a super fan. So it was a really weird experience, but, but like, you know, I talked to her about what art she does and like gave her advice on where to like,


Sean (15:05.386)

Yeah, it's a big deal. Totally.


Chain Assembly (15:12.054)

go with her art and like how to make money off of it. And so it's a wild feeling. Like it made me happy for a week after that. I was glowing to think that someone was that excited to see me, someone I'd never met. But like it's a fine line. Like just seeing somebody on a stage emotionally elevates them above you. So when you take the extra step to talk to someone at the same level, it trips people's heads up. And you know, like you said, it gives you this wild.


Sean (15:22.248)

Absolutely.


Sean (15:37.518)

Mm-hmm.


Chain Assembly (15:41.418)

this wild energy they can take with them.


Sean (15:43.978)

Of course, man. And why ain't shit, you know? That's the thing. I'm like, who am I? I'm nothing. So if anybody cares, then I'm like, sure, whatever. I'll stick around and let you know that I'm absolutely no different than anybody else. On the other end, though, it is. Yeah, straight up. Sometimes, though, some people will come up, they'll come up and they'll be like condescending. That's the other end where people come up like, hey, bro, you're all right, man. And you're like, shut up. Don't, you know, just.


Chain Assembly (15:47.844)

I ain't shit, yeah. Yeah.


Chain Assembly (15:57.126)

Yeah. We're all just the process of trial and error. The product. Product of trial and error.


Chain Assembly (16:12.546)

I'm gonna go.


Sean (16:13.998)

keep it pushing, I don't need the condescending dudes that are in their mind, they're like, I could do that, I just don't want to. Well, whatever, so that happens too.


Chain Assembly (16:23.61)

I get in the, I mean, I'm specifically reminded of an art show, an art fair. Yeah.


Sean (16:32.514)

Dude, I'm sure it happens in art all the time. I was one of the, I'm sure 20 years ago, I was like, I could paint a bowl of fruit or something stupid. You know, everybody says that stuff.


Chain Assembly (16:40.274)

I'm remembering specifically this guy who was going to every booth telling them that he could do it faster with AI It's like what why would you waste your day going to an art festival? anyways but no and fucking old people are the worst old people always like to shit on my art, but Anyways, so what was the catalyst that made you move from? Sioux Falls to


Sean (16:54.706)

Yeah, there's always gonna be that. Mm-hmm.


Chain Assembly (17:09.054)

not Seattle, Portland. What took you there?


Sean (17:10.702)

for them. It was my buddy, there's comedian Doug Benson, who he, the comedy club in Sioux Falls had gone out of business. So I'd been doing standup for like two years, maybe something like that. And then they went out of business. And I didn't really have any aspirations to keep doing it. I wanted to, but there was just no open mics. There were no independent shows and the closest place to do it would be Omaha or Minneapolis. They were like both, you know, three hours away, roughly.


And I just didn't, I kind of lost all my steam and I was bartending. And then Doug Benson came through town. He was doing a college gig and he called me or something. And he came down to have a drink at the bar that I worked at. And he kind of assessed what he just kind of was like, what are you doing? And I was like, I'm just, I live here. This, I do this and whatever. It's fine. And he told me to move. He goes, you should move town. You should go do standup in a city. Keep going. And wherever you end up, I will do whatever I can to help.


So just so happened that a few months after that, some friends of mine, one of my friends got, I think he got fired from his job, but he got a severance and he was gonna move. He's like, I'm leaving, I'm gonna go somewhere. I'm gonna go to a city. And I was like, whatever city you go to, if you get a house with an extra room, I will move there. You just gotta have a room for me, I'll move there. So they ended up in Portland, they had a room, I moved here and then Doug helped me out tremendously. He let me open for him at the theater shows. He put me on his podcast a bunch. He...


Chain Assembly (18:09.602)

That's awesome.


Sean (18:37.79)

Let me open for him every time he was at the comedy club. He took me on the road. So yeah, the big, almost all of it is credit to him. And then my two friends who left town, who were like, almost pulled me out of Sioux falls, I was terrified. I didn't want to go. I was, you know, it's easy to live in a smaller town. Everything's easy. So I was like, this is great. I can do this forever.


Chain Assembly (18:59.582)

Yeah, I get that. I mean, it was a tough move for me from moving from Miami to Nashville. But I get that. I get that feeling.


Sean (19:07.182)

It's just tough moving. Moving's always tough. You know, you don't want to uproot. I knew I was 28, so I was older. I knew everything in and out. I like, I had my dentist. You know, you know where the doctor is. It's all this stuff where it's like, I got to Portland. I was like, wow, I don't, cause Portland felt like fucking Gotham city to me when I got here, it felt like, or like Shanghai, something huge. And I'm like, no, now that I lived in LA for a while and I'm back here, I'm like, Portland's pretty reasonable for a city. It's like a huge town.


Chain Assembly (19:17.797)

Hehehehe


Sean (19:36.746)

You know, but anyway, it just everything seems so overwhelming. So it was scary. So yeah, I credit them. And then LA same thing. It was basically Ian, Ian Karmel. He was the only reason I could live there that I did move there. He just had a room. He was like, come live here. You can stay at my house. It's not a big deal. And then, yeah, that was it. That was it. That's why I know this is a tangent, but people, I think they're like nervous to get help or to ask for help or.


to lean on their friends or any, everybody needs help. Especially if you wanna do something creative or like where there's not a job application type thing, you have to have help. Everybody gets help. Don't be scared of help. It's fine. Just be willing to help when you're in a position to do so. That's my whole thing, like pay it forward, yada yada.


Chain Assembly (20:26.25)

Do you ever see success in comics who maybe put in the work, but don't put in the risk? Like they do it for 10, 15 years, but they're still just kind of doing the same gigs because they won't leave the city.


Sean (20:39.71)

Yeah, I mean, it's, it all, there's so many factors. I mean, sometimes people have a kid and when they're a little young and so that you just gotta make money. You can't like roll the dice as much, you know, there's, you gotta take those, those gigs that you know we're gonna pay this instead of sticking around the city, doing like, you know, three, four shows a night. So yeah, there's, there's definitely people that just kind of get in to the first level of this and, and just keep doing that forever.


Which is fine, I mean, that's whatever your version of success is, then don't worry about anybody else's. Like if you're happy, the whole point to all of this is to be happy. If you're happy, then be happy, you know? Like if you want more, go for more, but don't make yourself miserable, you know? It's not worth it. Like I think about that all the time. I'm extremely happy with my station currently. I still work.


For more things I want to get to the next level all the time. And yeah, I try, but yeah, I'm thrilled. And if you're happy where you're at, be happy and enjoy it.


Chain Assembly (21:51.426)

So let's move on, skip ahead a bit, to your first album recording. When did that was recorded in LA, I assume, right? Or... Okay. Yeah.


Sean (21:56.319)

Mm-hmm.


Sean (22:01.31)

was in Portland. So I lived in LA and I just, I saw a lot of my friends doing better than me because they're all wildly talented. So that was.


Chain Assembly (22:11.778)

I mean, the company you keep is kind of insane. So.


Sean (22:16.002)

Pretty, I mean, I'm a lucky little boy, but they were doing great. So I was just like, I was at my call center job one day and I just tweeted, hey, would somebody want to record an album, a standup album for me? And a special thing records, they responded and they were like, yeah, absolutely. So then they met me for lunch, maybe a week later, and they were like, yeah, let's do it. So we booked a place in Portland because I figured it'd be easier for me to sell tickets here.


And then I just pretty easy stuff, man. I just went and did it. It was, it was like the hour that I had been working on almost the whole time I did standup. I feel like that's kind of how it goes with standup. You'd you start doing it and then X amount of years in you have built. This act like 45 minutes to an hour. And then, you know, you record it and then the next one comes a lot quicker. The next one's like two or three years later or whatever. But yeah, that first one I was working on for.


Not really working on it, like I had a goal in mind, but it was just like the stuff I'd been doing for like eight years or something. It was old. So it's fun. It was like super fun to get it recorded and get it out there.


Chain Assembly (23:20.979)

So...


Chain Assembly (23:24.15)

So was the process of like, from that tweet to getting it released, was that easier than you expected?


Sean (23:32.17)

Yeah, yeah, they do everything. Because it's a record label. So that was the whole, it seems so daunting. And it is if I had to do it, but there's people who do it. And that's kind of the, what I do is I do standup. That was, because a lot of people might look at that and be like, how do you get up there and do that for now? And you're like, I don't know, it's just something that I can do. So when I met with the label, they just lay everything out. They tell you how it's gonna work. They tell you how they're gonna get it on iTunes and.


Spotify and all the streaming platforms and you work on distribution. So really you just come up, I just had to come up with concepts with them, like cover art, album title, track listings, you know, all that basic stuff. And then they just do all the rest. Okay. I couldn't even tell you how it works, but it works and it, yeah. I mean, they, they made it really easy.


Chain Assembly (24:20.534)

Can you describe what the contract was like?


Sean (24:25.69)

We never had one. So, and then my wife gets, as she should, a little concerned about things like that when it's just like, you know, salt of the earth handshake type deal. But there was a contract, I never looked at it, which absolutely look at your contracts. Always look at your contracts, always have a contract, always sign something. If anybody gets upset that you asked them about it,


Chain Assembly (24:27.262)

Okay.


Sean (24:53.89)

That's insane. Everything should have a contract. So I'm not saying do this. I'm just saying this is what I did. I met with him at lunch. I know one of them. He's fantastic. And so yeah, we just shook hands. And then I think somewhere after it got released, I was like, is there a contract? Just that I can see that I can, just cause we should. And he's like, totally. So then he just sent me one. So yes, always get a contract. But I didn't have one in the beginning.


Chain Assembly (25:21.238)

So did you get paid per album sale? Is there like a few cents per stream? Like, who benefited from that and like how?


Sean (25:27.698)

Yeah, it's not a lot.


Sean (25:33.47)

I think as a record label, they might benefit from putting out a bunch of albums. Because I think our deal was roughly, I think, 50-50 after they recoup expenses. So Ryan, I think he probably flew up, and so that was probably part of it. Had to pay for mixing, and I don't even know what all you pay for, but they just, they recoup all the expenses when the album's released. And then I think we just split everything right down Main Street.


And the first check, you convince yourself that it's going to be, I did anyways. In my mind, I came up with this arbitrary number, but I was like, oh, that'd be crazy if it was this amount that I got paid. And then I'm like, maybe you'll even get more. What if it's this amount? And so in my mind, the amount was $10,000. That's what I landed on where I was like, that'd be crazy, but that's probably reasonable. And then I got the check and it was not $10,000. And only because I had built it up in my mind,


Chain Assembly (26:07.83)

Hehehe


Chain Assembly (26:24.738)

I'm going to go ahead and close the video.


Sean (26:30.658)

did I feel a little bit deflated after I saw the payment because I had just, I made up this narrative that did not exist. I didn't ask any questions. I just completely fabricated it. And so I dwelled on it for a while and then I asked if I could see the breakdown of the numbers and of course they sent them to me. And you see the numbers and you're like, oh yeah, it just, it doesn't, it didn't hit the way you thought it would because nothing does, you know, you're not, it's not like I'm you too or something. So you do it.


And then you just learn and then you do more. And that cycle in so many ways repeats itself over and over until at a certain point, you're like, you're like, I'm actually doing okay. I'm actually make a couple bucks now, you know, but it just takes a long time. And it's like a big part of it is don't take the, take that knowledge and that defeat and like embrace those feelings, but don't let it stop you from keeping going.


You know, like understand that it is going to be hard and you're going to have those reality checks, but that doesn't mean that you failed. It just means that you are getting a little gut punch where everybody, that happens to everybody who does something like this. You're always gonna have an expectation. It's always gonna happen where you didn't quite meet that expectation, but you still did something. Like the way I looked at it, I was like, I still did get paid X amount of dollars for just doing standup. I mean, that's pretty cool. You know, you just have to.


temper your expectations quite a bit, over and over and over.


Chain Assembly (28:02.79)

Now, as a comic, though, I feel like, again, this is just me based on having the narrative of listening to different comics podcasts. You're always working towards a one hour special. Once you have that one hour, then you need to somehow immortalize it. So getting that album, did you feel like that was a milestone of like, this is now what I've been working towards? Now I can move on to the next thing.


Sean (28:09.699)

Sure.


Sean (28:26.958)

Totally, totally. I mean, there's a lot of things in every industry. There's a lot of different goals. With standup, they always, for me, I guess I can only speak for myself, they keep changing, they keep evolving. But at that time, that was my big goal. Because yeah, you have this thing and you're like, I wanna do it, I wanna put it out there. Because once you do it, nobody can take it away. You did it. It's there, something that you did proves that you have a career.


It proves that you did something with the last decade and not just like get hammered and you know what I mean? So yeah, it was great. And then once you do that, I'm sure like anything else, then it opens up this motivational door where you realize, oh, all I did was ask for it. I did it. Like I just tweeted something randomly and now I have an album out. So that was that process. So let's do some other stuff. You start thinking about.


how to get like a late night set on television or how to get.


Chain Assembly (29:25.238)

I was about to say that's kind of like the next thing that just it happened because you asked for it or right?


Sean (29:30.538)

Yeah, I mean, I asked, I was, well, it's so hard to ask for things. And that goes back to what I was saying earlier, like everybody needs help. Ian's like my best friend in the world. And I was still scared to ask him because I didn't want him to think that I was. Using, you know, you don't want your friend to think that you're friends with them for anything other than the fact that you love them. And so we had that talk. I was like, Hey man, I really don't want you to think that I'm trying to use anything, you know, and he's like, I.


all I'm gonna do is connect you with this guy and that's it. He's like, I'm not doing anything, I'm just gonna put my friend in touch with a booker of the show and then I'm out. And that's what he did and I'll forever be grateful. And then, yeah, and then you just work with a booker and it's the same kind of process where you're like, talking to the people at the album company, you just talk to this person, you email back and forth, they give you tips on your jokes, you send them in your tape, you do that back and forth until they say, okay, this is ready to be on TV.


and then they book you and then you go do it on TV. I mean, all these things sound, they are so hard, but then they're also pretty simple once you step back and look at it objectively. It's just, you know, how do you get your foot in the door? That's all it is with all this stuff is just getting your foot in the door.


Chain Assembly (30:49.142)

So if we are looking at it stepped back and objectively, we're trying to think of like, what is the cyclical process that, like what's the message you're always trying to get out? Is it buy my shit, follow me, fuck with me? I don't know. Like what is, if you give your listener one message, where do you want them to go to buy into the Sean Jordan experience? And does that change?


Sean (31:08.492)

Yeah.


Sean (31:15.574)

I know it is, I think so. I mean, in standup, it's changing rapidly and drastically right now. And it's a little scary because it's very, very numbers driven right now as far as followers. And, well, it's such an ugly term, but the people who support what you do. So a lot of it is TikTok numbers, Instagram numbers, the reels you wanna see, you wanna see like people sharing your standup clips.


Chain Assembly (31:32.868)

Yeah.


Sean (31:45.714)

And ultimately that boils down like, because none of that makes any money. Like none of that generates revenue. So if you want to do this for a living, you have to look at how you're going to generate revenue. And you could have 10 million people see an Instagram reel, but you don't get paid for any of that. The way that you get paid is if a fraction of those 10 million people come to see you do a show where you have a door deal or something. Or if you can sell enough tickets to where the club will book you.


based on your followers. So I like it's, it boils down to like, how do you translate that to revenue? And that ultimately is what you want somebody who is a fan to do. So right now we have a Patreon page for our podcast and that is where I point people if I'm like, if you do wanna support, go sign up for a Patreon, you get bonus content, but there's a ton of ways to support you come to a live show. If like, if I'm putting on a show that I'm producing myself, an independent show in your town.


Come to that, buy a ticket for that, enjoy yourself, listen to the album, watch the special, share the clips. There's a million ways you can do it and all of them help differently. And if you get enough people doing a little bit of all of those things, then that's kinda how this turns into a job. And then you just keep taking your opportunities and try to put more into the world, put more content out, put more standup out.


Do another podcast, go on tour, go open for your friends. You know, anything you can do.


Chain Assembly (33:22.486)

So it's a never-ending cycle, but at least it's always something fun.


Sean (33:24.578)

Pretty much. Well, I mean, the way it, yeah, in the way I look at it, it's like, to go back to what we were saying, you should, it is a job. Like I know it's quote Cypress Hill here, but there's in that, in that rock superstar song, there's a part where it's like just talking, you know how they do that in songs and they'll like take a break and just cut a little bit of an interview. But Sendog, he's just like, it's a fun job, but it's still a job. You have to treat it like a job if you want.


it to be a job. Because, and I'm guilty of this to this day. I mean, I'm not saying that I work nearly as hard as I should. I know people that do, and you can see the direct correlation between their success. But I work pretty hard. And the older I get, the more motivated I am. But you just have to keep working. You have to keep emailing. You have to keep asking for stuff. You have to keep going and keep doing the next thing. Otherwise, it's just, you know, it's just not going to work.


Chain Assembly (34:23.838)

I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a professional disc golfer who told me that every shot they miss is a pay cut.


Sean (34:30.07)

That's awesome.


Chain Assembly (34:33.378)

Yeah. So it's like, yeah, you're, you've got one of the most fun. No, go for it. It's like, it might be.


Sean (34:34.462)

Yeah, I knew a dude, I came up with a dude. Go ahead, go ahead. I came up with a dude who ended up being a professional disc golfer and it always blew my mind. But then I think about it, when I tell people I'm a comedian, they're like, they don't get it, the same way that I don't get somebody being a pro disc golfer. So it's always fun to hear that exists. You're like, hell yeah, you just go play disc. But you know there's so much more to it. You don't just go play disc. Anyway, I'm sure that's what you're gonna get at.


Chain Assembly (35:03.354)

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So let's I want to ask if recording that album was a milestone, what direct effect on your career did you see as a result of the release of that album? Did it make it easier to market yourself to tour managers or whatever?


Sean (35:26.006)

It all helps. It, it's more for, it was more motivating for me than anything else. Like I saw it and I was like, I did that. That's the thing. It turns into a credit, you know, it's something that you can put in a bio. That's not, um, cause that's another thing you want is you want to be able to say a nice paragraph about yourself. So you could put that in there as a credit, something I did. You have merch, you have proof that you did something. Now it's something that people Google you. Something actually comes up.


You know, that album comes up, it's on Spotify, so you can show someone, like, hey, look at this. You know, it's a lot of that stuff. No real direct, huge impact on a career, per se. That's like a lot of things. Like, I feel like it's not one thing ever that does it anymore, for me anyways. It's all the stuff kind of builds up over time, and then you look back and you see these things.


now you have 10, 12 things or whatever that makes a career. But again, none of that was monetary. That album, it did not make a lot of money off it. It was just a motivating thing to ultimately just try to do more stuff. And then again, to go back to what I was saying, to figure out how to generate revenue is the key. And that's the hardest part, but that's how you make this a job.


You know what I mean?


Chain Assembly (36:55.254)

Well, let's talk a bit about merch. So like looking at a snapshot of 2023, what percentage, not counting income from the podcast, but like you as a touring comic, what percentage of that comes from merch sales versus what percentage comes from booking fees, I don't know what you'd call it, or like, you know, I don't even know what that pie chart would involve as a touring comic.


Sean (37:00.226)

Mm-hmm.


Sean (37:19.042)

Sure, the big, so like with standup, again, it's not like a huge, for me, not a huge moneymaker. Merch is definitely helpful. Now whenever I go out, I sell socks. I made socks that say Dank and buck on them, because I say Dank and buck all the time. And it's easy to pack socks. I pack like 20, 30 pairs wherever I go. Dude, I, man, if I could fit them all on a sock the way I want.


Chain Assembly (37:39.518)

You don't have socks that say, wash your ass? From when you used to be a wash your ass comic?


Sean (37:47.874)

So you bring like 20, 30 pairs of those and you, most of the time, I never wanted to feel like I was selling something I didn't like, I don't just wanna sell people something stupid, so socks, I'm like, everybody likes socks. If they're nice, these ones are cushy, they're whatever. Like I don't feel like I'm swindling somebody. So if I sell like 30 pairs of those on the road, that makes whatever I spent on the plane ticket. So that kind of washes that. And then that means all the money from the show is like direct profit. So merch helps tremendously with.


If you, the way that I compartmentalize it, then it's like I come home and now I have made money. I didn't just like break even. I didn't just make a little bit. I actually made money like somebody would at a job. And then another thing that helps is corporate gigs, which the more, the more of a presence you have, if somebody just searches whatever, if somebody they're like, Oh, I want to have a Christmas party for UPS and they just start.


out of like ground zero looking for a comedian to hire, the more content you have out there, the higher the chances are that somebody will notice you and then be like, do you wanna come do my corporate? I mean, I'm sort of lucky in that I'm one of the only people from the Midwest, like Sioux Falls specifically that does this. So like in November, I did a corporate gig where it paid a pretty big chunk and then I'm doing another one in a couple of weeks. So, you know, those two things.


kind of cover, they can cover what I would have made in a whole year of doing standup, like five, six years ago, you know? So it's all a crap shoot. I mean, there's a guy just hit me up the other day for doing like some local stuff in Portland, like Instagram videos for a car company. So the more, again, the more of a presence you have from albums, from late night sets, from Instagram clips, from touring, just all that stuff.


Chain Assembly (39:22.539)

Wow.


Sean (39:47.138)

the more you're going to get those ancillary gigs that ultimately can pay a pretty big chunk for what seems like nothing. But you look at what you did to get there, it's like 18 years of work, so it's not nothing, but that's on the past and I'm no worse for wear, so it seems like nothing. You know what I mean?


Chain Assembly (40:05.73)

Yeah, do you find that with that being a direct reflection of the work you've done to get in there, do you find yourself leaning into, I don't know of a better way to put it, but like a tagline, like Sean Jordan, the Midwest comic or something like that? Like, do you try to categorize yourself to reach those SEO goals?


Sean (40:25.512)

I w- no.


Sean (40:29.63)

I haven't, no, but I mean, that's definitely something that your management and a team of people wants to do. I mean, one thing that I hear right now is the more specific that you can be, the better it's going to be. All in my standup right now, all of it, is about my wife giving birth to my daughter. I just recorded a whole special about the birthing process, megane vasectomy, and the fact that we went through IVF. So it's...


52 minutes I think and those are the only three things I talk about. So when it comes out, like I am just a dad, I'm just a new dad. That's all I care about right now. That is my whole life. So that will end up being... If it worked the way that I wanted it to, every new dad and new parent would be like, oh, I watch this special, this person gets it, I'm gonna go see him whenever he's in town. And that would be my lane.


that because you kind of just I'm just kind of like you find your lane regardless of if you're trying to or not I think like I that just ended up being how I am I'm a new dad who skateboards and I don't really take much too serious and that definitely comes off when I do stand up so that is just turning into my fan and my people who enjoy what I do base you know what I mean so it just


Again, for me, it's just kind of happening. I haven't had to like market myself as such. I just live my life as such. And that comes off in my performing. And then people are like, oh, you're the dad bod guy that skates. You're like, sure, I am. So you can call me that.


Chain Assembly (42:07.21)

Well, I know you did mention that you recently MC'd a skating competition, so have you not wanted to lean into, like, the skateboarding comic?


Sean (42:17.694)

I don't want to lean into the skateboard. I want to, but I don't know, I don't want to do standup about skateboarding because I just, you know, I just don't. There's a few people that do and they're, well, they're, and do not to no shade, but doing standup in front of a hundred skateboarders isn't ideal. They're being one myself, we can get a little rowdy. But one thing I would love to do is be an announcer for skate contests. And so it's funny that all this stuff I'm saying,


Chain Assembly (42:24.211)

Right.


It's only going to work for a select crowd.


Chain Assembly (42:36.226)

Hehehehe


Sean (42:46.31)

I still don't know how to get into that racket. But that would be the goal because I know everything about skating. I love talking about it. So to just be able to commentate on skate contests, that's like, ultimately what I'm working towards is that. That's like in the back of my mind, that's the dream, is to get a job in skateboarding and somehow have it be where comedy helps with that. Like whether it's a social media job,


with a skate company, like doing all their social videos or something, or if it's like commentating for skate contests or a skateboard podcast, you know, that's the goal. I just don't quite know how to get that done yet, but working on it.


Chain Assembly (43:30.102)

Well, speaking of that then, throughout any of this process, have you had any representation or has it always just been you representing yourself?


Sean (43:38.166)

Kind of just been me, but now I have a manager. He's fantastic. He's helping tremendously. But I've never had an agent. I've never had a tour manager or anything. I do have tons of extremely helpful friends. And the way that standup is going now, and just the industry is going, with the internet, you can kind of do this stuff kind of on your own. It's getting to the point where you can circumvent a lot of that stuff.


just by getting your own numbers, you just build your own numbers up. And then people look at that and they're like, oh yeah, you don't need a team necessarily. It definitely helps for negotiating, for booking, for just the details of a tour, but you can do it on your own. It's just, it's a lot harder. So I would love it if somebody would hop on and do my tours for me. That'd be dope. But, you know, for the most part, I've been doing it myself. It's...


Chain Assembly (44:33.671)

That sounds exhausting.


Sean (44:36.798)

Again, it's just like no more exhausting than hanging drywall for eight hours a day, you know, so that's kind of the. The mentality you have to have is like, everybody has a job. You have to have a job. So if my job is doing standup at night and doing podcasts a few times a week, I should have a little more time to do those other things. Which I do. I mean, I have a kid, which makes it very hard, but.


Chain Assembly (44:44.77)

That's true.


Sean (45:05.054)

not as hard as having a kid and having a nine to five, you know? So it's, it's just, it's perspective. Like I understand that everybody needs to work. So there's people that are always working harder than me. And that motivates me like just, you know, just work, do, do what you can, when you can don't exhaust yourself too much, but yeah, just try, try to get it all done.


Chain Assembly (45:25.878)

Well, a little bit related to the Tour, do you have to pay taxes in every city or every state you perform in? Do you have to file each one separately?


Sean (45:35.422)

No, no, you, it's, we, I have somebody do my tax. So what you do at that point is you just give you, I do QuickBooks and then I give it to someone else. So if you make your money in Multnomah County, you need to say you made it in Multnomah County, all the other stuff, you just give to someone and you're like, this is where it happened, da da. They do all that and then I pay them. Cause that's another thing too, where like, you gotta do.


Chain Assembly (46:02.326)

But you'd track me.


Sean (46:06.466)

You have to do your taxes. And it's so easy not to sometimes, but you're like, no, because it does catch up to you. So that's, if you're starting out, do your taxes. Make sure that you're, you know, in the long run, it will benefit you.


Chain Assembly (46:19.446)

So you do track everything on tour as a business expense, I assume.


Sean (46:23.326)

Yeah, I mean, you just, you get a separate card, get a business card, and then every time you're out, use that. Don't be, don't be ridiculous. Don't like, you hear these stories about somebody being like, yeah, I bought a guitar and I brought it up on stage and played one note and now it's a business expense. It's like, yeah, maybe, but don't roll the dice like that. But yeah, like every time I go to eat, every time if we go out after the shows, if I buy a jacket or a pair of shoes, whatever, anytime I'm on the road, it's.


For comedy, it's all goes in one account. And that way you just have a running receipt of where you were. You have proof that you were there, all the airline tickets, all the rental cars, all the Ubers, all that stuff. And then when you're not using it for work, just have a different account. So just keep them completely separate if you can. All your work money goes into one account. All your work expenditures come out of that account. And it really makes it easy. And then if you don't know what you're doing, give all those papers to someone who knows what they're doing, so it gets done right.


It will benefit you. You might have to, it might be a rough day when you gotta pay for it, but it's worth it.


Chain Assembly (47:28.962)

So you don't do any bookkeeping on your own then? You just keep everything on one card? Oh, okay. Gotcha, right, sorry, yeah.


Sean (47:31.402)

I do, I do all my QuickBooks. I do all my QuickBooks, so I have a record of it too. My wife taught me how to do QuickBooks and it was a rough couple weeks for us because I hate, I hate it. I don't hate a lot. I hate doing QuickBooks, but I'm glad that I know how to do it now. So now I have a record of everything. There's always, it's all printed out. It's in a filing cabinet, you know. So just be as thorough as you can with that stuff. It helps.


Chain Assembly (48:00.642)

I've never used QuickBooks, but since I first incorporated my business, I've used Wave, and I've had no problems with Wave. I love Wave. It's great. I scan a receipt, and it automatically categorizes everything. It uses AI to predict spending of stuff. I can also send invoices from Wave. It's a delight. And I've got my wife started using it for her real estate business recently. So, no idea how that compares to QuickBooks, though.


Sean (48:03.726)

fucking sucks.


Sean (48:10.542)

Mm-hmm.


Sean (48:20.279)

Yeah.


Sean (48:24.638)

If you find something that works, if you find something that works, do that. If it's Wave, great. For me, now that I know how to do it, it's QuickBooks because it's easy once you know what you're doing, easy-ish. But yeah, because it helps with merch too. Like when you start selling stuff, you gotta, it helps, it would behoove you to print sales receipts for each customer. So like if somebody orders something through my website, I put it into QuickBooks, I print them off a sales receipt, I package it on my own, I mail it to them on my own, and the money just goes into a Stripe account.


That all goes into my other bank account. So it just sees all these things individually sound daunting, but once you do them one at a time, they're fine. Another thing that we did is we started a standup show in Portland, so we just have like a monthly standup show. My buddy and I do. That's like another revenue stream. So just all these things to go back to merchant stuff. It's like all these little things, if you do enough little things, that ends up being enough to, you know, have Buffalo wings a couple of times a week.


Chain Assembly (49:22.786)

So did you have to create a separate business for the stand-up show?


Sean (49:27.05)

Yeah, because it's two of us that do it. We didn't, we probably didn't have to, but it just makes sense to do that. And then we just have somebody else do taxes for that. And then they give you a 1099. And then when I give all my QuickBooks stuff to my accountant, then I just give them the 1099 from the show on top of that. And that's, you know, then again, then I close my eyes. They just do what they do. And that's, if you have proof that they told you they did it, then if you get audited, it's not your fault, it's their fault. So that.


I don't care. It's out of my, if it's out of my hands, it's out of my hands. I just do whatever I can to be the best at it that I can.


Chain Assembly (50:04.426)

So I didn't even realize this, but yeah, behind the scenes, you and that other guy running that show, this is, is it? God, I know you say the name of it all the time. Yeah, there you go. Shain Brenden. Yeah. So I didn't even realize you have to do all that work behind the scenes of like, you're not just hosting it, you're actually organizing it, booking it, paying off all the comics.


Sean (50:11.406)

Shain Brenden is his name. Yeah, Shain Brenden is his name. It's called High Note Comedy, but yeah.


Sean (50:24.93)

Mm-hmm. Yeah. And we have to send them each 1099. So each headliner, we have to send them a tax form so they can do what I do when I go to other cities. So that's like when I go to Cleveland or Fargo or whatever, like Miami, it's like all this, each show you do, you fill out taxes and then they do what I do with my Portland show individually. So it's just like a big cycle, you know? Yeah. We just send every headliner.


a tax form, they fill it out. It's nice. It's all digital. You can just use like Adobe reader and you can do it all on your phone. And then we email all that to our accountant. He does whatever he does, gives us a tiny little piece of paper at the end of the year. I put that in with my QuickBooks, give that to my accountant. And so the cycle goes.


Chain Assembly (51:12.886)

This might be a stupid question, but it's something I was wondering. Has there been... We haven't heard it yet. Has there been any effort to unionize comics?


Sean (51:15.522)

There is no such thing.


Sean (51:24.23)

I don't know, it's not a stupid question at all. I ask myself constantly because I don't think there is because there's never gonna be somebody.


I don't know how to say it. It would take a lot.


Chain Assembly (51:36.586)

I mean, at least to give you like, buying power on good health insurance, maybe, you know?


Sean (51:41.714)

it would be tremendous because what happens is a lot of these gigs, it's why you're scared to ask for what you deserve. Just like the writer's strike and the actor's strike that just happened. Sometimes you're scared to ask for what you deserve, because if you do and they say no, they can go find someone else who does it. So just for example, let's say somebody wants me to do, I did a Nike show. I did a corporate gig for Nike about seven years ago, six, seven years ago. And I only asked him for $300. And it's like, this is Nike. I should have.


probably got like 10 grand. But you don't know what the scale is. And so at the time I was flat, like flat on my ass broke. And somebody emailed me just randomly, it wasn't through a manager or anything. And they were like, hey, we're doing a party at Nike. Would you like to do standup? If so, how much? And I was like, oh my gosh. And at the time $300 really, really would have helped me. And not to say it's not a lot of money, but when you're dealing with Nike.


So anyway, I was like, yeah, how about 300 bucks? How's that sound? And he's like, great.


Chain Assembly (52:39.915)

Is that normal for you to set your own prices?


Sean (52:44.726)

Kind of, it has, I mean, it's one of those things where a union would benefit, we benefit from a union, but yeah, kind of, if you have a team of people, they will set your rate. But me, I don't have a team, so I just kind of do it. And so yeah, anyway, so at the time it's that much, because I was like, if I save a thousand or 5,000 or whatever and they say no, then I'm out whatever I could have got, because they're gonna find somebody who will do it for less. At a certain point,


I think you hit that wall where you just value yourself and you know what you're worth. And now if I ask for it and they say no, then I say fine, then it's not worth it, you know. But yeah, a union would help because it would save all that. It would save the undercutting. So anytime you got a gig like that, you could just be like, yep, 10 grand flat rate. And if they said no, they're not going to get a cheaper qualified comedian. But again, there's no real way to qualify it because we don't have like a sag for comics.


Chain Assembly (53:42.055)

Yeah, that would be wild.


Sean (53:42.77)

What are you going to do? Maybe they will at some point, but it'd be. Seems tricky because it's not, you can say.


Chain Assembly (53:47.674)

Oh man, then you'd have union clubs and non-union clubs.


Sean (53:52.102)

Yeah, I mean, they kind of unspokenly do, but then also they don't because a lot of people who own comedy clubs fancy themselves as a bit of a gatekeeper because each individual club can do whatever they want. They can book whoever they want, whenever they want, why they want. So, you know, that's another thing. Each individual comedy club, for the most part, is its own relationship that you have to nurture and maintain if you wanna keep working that club.


Which can be tough, that's a whole nother thing. Some people have 30 clubs, they work once a year and that's their job. And they've built that relationship for 10, 20, 30 years with this club and it's just like always, they always do it. Like in Tommy Boy when they're selling brake pads to certain accounts, that's like this comedian selling themselves to certain clubs every single year just knowing that it's like a symbiotic relationship where the club is like, we need you, you need us, this works, why mess with it?


Chain Assembly (54:39.394)

Mm-hmm.


Sean (54:49.302)

So sometimes that can be great. I don't really have that relationship with a lot of clubs. So, you know, it's just, it's always different.


Chain Assembly (54:59.99)

Just another thing that I didn't even think you'd have to worry about is that you're reliant on these clubs. If you're not creating your own venues, then you have to develop those relationships and maintain those relationships. Lock those into it.


Sean (55:11.018)

Yeah, and those are, you know, comedy clubs are, it seems like they're doing fine, but there's things happening where you can book your own shows. And there's a lot of comedy festivals, there's a lot of independent shows. So some of these cities, I'll never get to work the big club, but I have a relationship with the club where I get a door deal and I can sell my own tickets so I can make the same amount that I would if I worked the club that's been there for 20 years, where they just give you a set rate.


no matter how many tickets you sell, because it's not necessarily you selling all the tickets, it's people being like, I'm going to this club to see comedy. Don't really know who, but I just, I trust the club and their business for the last 20 years. Or you can go down the street to the newer club that's been around for seven, eight years, where they just book people like me, who can sell maybe 100, 200 tickets in any given city. And then, you know, it's more of a people are there specifically for...


you instead of, so you do like three shows over two nights instead of seven shows over five nights, but the people that come to the three shows over two nights know exactly what they're getting. It's not peppered in with people that are there to just see the show. And nothing wrong with that, but like that's kind of the lane that I'm in is like, I'll go where I can get booked and do one or two shows for the exact amount of people that wanna buy tickets instead of be there for a week.


Chain Assembly (56:37.418)

All right, so as we are starting to hit up the hour, so let me quickly move over now to your new special that you just recorded. What was something that surprised you in recording your first video special? Is there a different term for one that's filmed versus one that's recorded?


Sean (56:46.136)

Mm-hmm.


Sean (56:53.334)

They're just called specials. We were just talking about this the other day because it feels like, it feels, when my friends back home, they're like, what makes it a special? I'm like, nothing. It's just, that's just what they're called. It's just a video recording of an album. It's just what they're called. But it used to carry a little more gravity because now, which is, this is good, I'm not saying it's not, but anybody can just do it. And a big trend is putting it out on YouTube for free.


Chain Assembly (56:57.762)

It's a dumb name.


Chain Assembly (57:05.964)

That was a question on my notes. What is a special?


Sean (57:21.194)

which is great because that means anyone that wants to watch it can watch it, and that's awesome. That's content. But noticing when doing the video, it just feels a lot more official. It's one of those things where I self-produced it, self-funded it, my wife directed it, my wife edited the whole thing, she did. Did I just say edited weird? My wife edited, sounded like I threw an extra ED in there.


Chain Assembly (57:44.214)

Didn't Dana Carvey have that bit about how you always sound like you're an alcoholic when you talk about editing something?


Sean (57:48.422)

Yeah, edit, edit. But yeah, I just noticed that it felt more official. Man, you're out there and there's cameras and the lighting is low. And it's just a feeling that everyone in the room has too, because when people come into a room and they see cameras set up, it just feels more like, ooh, look at this. And when I looked at all the editing, it just looks cool. I'm not sick of my, it just feels like a heightened version of an album.


And it's gonna be an album too, a special thing records, they're putting it out as an album too. Cause in my mind it's like, however we can get it to people's ears, that's the whole goal. You want to see the number of views be really high, but again, one thing I'm trying to glean from that first album experience when I thought I was gonna make extra amount of dollars, is I wanna put this out and I don't wanna be upset if it doesn't get the views that I wanted to, because...


Chain Assembly (58:20.381)

awesome.


Sean (58:46.63)

anybody who watches it is that's a W, you know? So if we put out the audio, we put out the visual, get it out as much as we can, ultimately the most people that can hear it will hear it. And that's the goal, you know?


Chain Assembly (59:01.926)

interesting that the trend is to moving towards like the free specials. I mean, I just watched Blue Eyed Mexican. Yeah.


Sean (59:08.222)

Anybody would get, anybody would take the paycheck. Anybody would take the paycheck. I'm not saying, but it's, you shop it around and there's just, it's so saturated right now that you're not, Amazon, Netflix, they're not gonna buy everything. So the fact that you can put it out still if you want to is cool to me, you know? Because it used to be, if somebody didn't buy it, you couldn't put it out and that sucks. So now anybody who wants to do it can do it.


Chain Assembly (59:33.758)

And you'll still get a little scratch from YouTube, just based on the views as, yeah.


Sean (59:37.95)

Yeah, we'll see. Yeah, it'll be something. But again, it's like that isn't necessarily.


Chain Assembly (59:42.646)

But again, like you said, your ultimate goal is to get butts in seats. And everything is marketing to get butts in seats.


Sean (59:46.55)

Yeah. You.


Absolutely, you get booked and then you know at some point down the road Maybe you do get a deal like an actual paid special deal, you know, cuz that's Just anything I can do man any hustle. It's all it's I'm just I'm lucky every second that I get to do it So that's how I think about it. And if I got a hustle a little harder than a hustle a little harder, you know


Chain Assembly (01:00:13.61)

So everyone's gonna be able to see that when at Sean Jordan comedian on YouTube.


Sean (01:00:19.862)

Yeah, February, I don't know. We're working on it right now. We just got the album art done. Still working on the title, the intro and credits. But I feel like now, probably starting tomorrow, we'll start having those business talks again. Everybody kind of took a week or so from the, just because of the holiday. So I assume we'll have information coming up.


Chain Assembly (01:00:39.874)

Awesome. All right, well, thank you so much, Sean, for chatting with me. This has been a very eye-opening conversation and I appreciate you taking some time.


Sean (01:00:45.91)

Thanks for having me. I hope it wasn't boring. I don't know. I hope I wasn't like rambling, but it's fun to talk about. This isn't really what you talk about a lot on podcasts. So it's like, you know, be funny. So it's fun to have a candid conversation.


Chain Assembly (01:00:55.306)

Well, yeah, I hope it was nice that you didn't feel like you needed to entertain, so...


Sean (01:01:01.226)

No, it's one of the things, man, I'm telling you, I have an off switch, I think it's good. And it's not like you can't be funny, you just, yeah, it's fun to have a little serious chat sometimes. So thank you for having me.


Chain Assembly (01:01:11.37)

Thank you again so much and people can fuck with you on Instagram at Sean Cougar Melon Jordan


Sean (01:01:15.334)

Mm-hmm Sean cougar melon Jordan Sean Jordan comedian commons my website Sean Jordan comedians my youtube channel go subscribe to that if you want to see the special all the numbers help. So Yeah, there it is All fantasy everything podcast. I'm lucky enough to be a part of it's been around for like seven years. It's fun, man I'm excited for the new year


Chain Assembly (01:01:26.846)

Oh, and definitely check out All Fantasy Everything, incredible podcast.


Yeah. I was just listening to the new auction draft of Christmas songs just before this. Great work. Always does. All right. Well, thank you again so much. And if anyone's curious about being a comic, hopefully this was helpful to you and gave you maybe some courage to leave your small city. If that's something that's going to work out for you. I don't know what I'm saying.


Sean (01:01:38.726)

Mm-hmm got heated got heated


Sean (01:01:59.882)

Yeah, DM me with any questions. I always answer all my DMs, so.


Chain Assembly (01:02:04.083)

Alright, well thank you again.


Sean (01:02:05.678)

All right, later, man.


Outro

Chain Assembly: Art for profit sake is recorded through Riverside FM, distributed through Spotify for podcasters, and edited on Adobe Audition. The music is provided by Old Romans. If you learned anything useful or found this podcast helpful, please rate and review us five stars. If you want to learn more about me or my art, head over to ChainAssembly.com.

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Art for Profit's Sake Podcast

RSS
37: Hallmark and Hang with Leslie Haas - Sense and Sensibility

37: Hallmark and Hang with Leslie Haas - Sense and Sensibility

In this conversation, Nick and Leslie review the Hallmark movie Sense and Sensibility. They discuss various aspects of the movie, including the representation of black...

Read more
36: A Focus on Output with Horror Painter RF Pangborn

36: A Focus on Output with Horror Painter RF Pangborn

RF Pangborn discusses his transition from commission work to finding his own style, the exploration of different art mediums, and the challenges and benefits of...

Read more