It is often asked...and mysteriously wondered...how does a comedian become a Paid Regular at The Comedy Store? For the first 35 years the answer was simple: showcase and hopefully get passed by the owner, the legendary and prolific artist Mitzi Shore. She is, and always was, notoriously picky. One of her big sayings is, "It's a sin to encourage mediocre talent." In the last ten years she formed a friendship and mentoring relationship as a fellow artist with me, Tommy.
I came to Hollywood a little older than most and started working at The Comedy Store in late August 2001. I had already run a club and thought I could help for a while. What I didn't predict was how affected I would become by Mitzi. She is a master artist and the work she has done and the talent she has discovered will never be duplicated. As fascinating as I found her, she in turn, expressed interest in my unused talent. After spending time with her she told me I was very funny and should be a comic. She said, "You'd give it a nice twist.” I told her that I knew I could do it but it wasn't my passion. I had caught on that the people who are serious about being comedians are practically obsessed. She said I was right. I told her that I was, however, becoming interested in her work - the incredible feat of discovering talent and the craft of comedic development. We then spent many years together..laughing..talking..learning and sharing the meaning behind Mitzi Shore's incredible accomplishments and her legendary club...The Comedy Store.
“The Store” is about the craft of stand up comedy - it is described by Mitzi as an "Artists’ Colony." Many comics perform here in our three show rooms for all kinds of different shows. Comedic development thrives in all our rooms.What I do...what I am...is the guardian of the Paid Regular system. Being passed at The Store is an artistic validation that includes being scheduled in the Original Room with top comics...some famous, some breaking...all elevated.
Mitzi taught me to use my feelings and use my instincts. Another quote from the queen..."The question is...do you bring heat on the stage..well..do you?" There is and energy and a flow when a comic hits the beats...and rises from mediocrity to the qualities that make us interested in making a comic a Paid Regular. I am the director of these desicions...but the vibe of The Store and artistic input from Mitzi's son Pauly Shore help me feel things out.
So The Comedy Store is open to all comics who work at their craft...and if they want to try and be a Paid Regular...I guess I'll be seeing you.
You are listening to “Feel Your Way” written by Tom Morris, with lyrics based on the wisdom and quotations passed on to him by Mitzi Shore, who he considers a cowriter.
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