Hooray! It’s been another busy month of exciting happenings!
Zine Dream 6 – Sunday, August 4th, 2013, at the Tranzac Club (Brunswick Ave, just S of Bloor St.)
First let me mention [and I will let me mention, since it's my site :)] that I’m going to be selling copies of my book How to Start in Stand-Up Comedy at the Zine Dream Art Fair on Sunday, August 4th at the Tranzac Club in downtown Toronto.
This will be a great time to get your autographed copy of the book or to meet me in person. I’ve had a quite a few people ask me to autograph books for them, including people from out of town, and I’ve figured out that the reason autographed copies of books are so pricey is the shipping to and from the author. Ideally, you want to avoid shipping charges. So if you are in Toronto that weekend look for the “Chris MacLean & Robin Crossman” booth to purchase your signed copy.
I’m also thinking of doing some book promotions at the fair. Maybe a special deal for comedians? Maybe a two for one? Maybe adding a little extra something that’s not in the book? I haven’t decided yet. Let me know if you have ideas.
Zine Dream is also very cool for anyone interested in the indie art/publishing world to check out. Each year Zine Dream features over 50 vendors of books, comics, music, zines, hand made crafts, prints and more.
They also do weird stuff like this:
Comedy Uncovered Magazine (Forum Piece and Film Role)
I’ve realized I have not one, but two profile pieces in Comedy Uncovered, Toronto’s online comedy magazine.
I wrote a forum piece for Comedy Uncovered in which I took a bit of a psychological risk and really tried to convey the emotions I felt the moment I published the book, and afterwards. I realized this morning that the last story I put out there with so much emotion was in my grade 9 English class when I wrote about a live bat attacking me while I was alone in the house at 13 — imagine a bat dive bombing a tween girl totally terrified of it getting caught in her shock of curly hair. Ack!
My Comedy Uncovered forum piece is wee bit less dramatic, but no less truthful. Hopefully it’s of interest to people who wonder what it’s like to publish a book for the first time, and how it feels to be a part of Toronto’s comedy community.
I was also re-profiled in Comedy Uncovered and described as being among “Toronto’s rising artists” thanks to my role in Downsize Games, which I’ve written about before and which people are “liking” on Funny or Die.
Fluster Magazine (Interview)
If you are interested in some of the thinking that goes into book cover and layout design, check out my interview in Fluster Magazine.
If you are a comedian, and interested in yourself, you might also want to check out whether you were listed in the interview as among some of my favourite Toronto comedians
Fluster Magazine is an international, very arty, predominantly visual magazine, with errr, lots of “European” pictures.
In June, I was asked to audition and perform some new material for an indie film being produced out of New York. This meant that I had about 2 days to write 8 minutes of new rant material (and I don’t do rants); have it memorized and camera ready — super tough challenge. I left the audition feeling that I did as well as I possibly could given the short timelines and that I had other time commitments. The producers seemed very happy, so we’ll see if I make the cut!
I really liked the producers, and chatting with them after the shoot I learned they had only invited those they considered to be Toronto’s top comedians to audition.
I’ve been working some new material at shows lately, and that’s been going really well. I’m basically trying to create a whole new set that’s at what I consider to be at the next level for where I want to go. It’s been proceeding more quickly than anticipated, and I’ve been taking the new stuff to better shows. The last couple of months I’ve had people specifically come up to me after every show to tell me how much they enjoyed my set. Book buyers have also been asking me for where I’m performing so they can come check it out. The last few months I’ve mostly been doing last minute bookings but at some point soon I’ll do a flurry of booking emails and try to get more of an advance schedule posted.
Next post is probably going to be around this time next month! Or check out my book site in the interim.
There’s been so much exciting stuff happening lately I’m not sure where to begin.
Firstly, my book How to Start in Stand-Up Comedy: A Guide to Becoming a Comedian in Toronto has received two awards!
The book won the gold medal for humour and the silver medal for best design non-fiction from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
The Next Generation Indie Book Awards are sometimes referred to as ”the Sundance of the book publishing world.”
I attended the awards ceremony, which was held at the Harvard Club in New York. It was a fantastic evening where I met fellow award-winning authors, literary agents, publicists, editors and others in the book publishing world. Everyone was excited to be there and it was truly a wonderful and memorable experience.
As I spoke with some of the members of the awards committee, I was flattered at how much they remembered my book, enjoyed the cover, and thought the content was funny, all of which made me feel even more special after winning the awards.
Honestly, after round 30 of editing your book you start to lose sight of any humour!
I’ve only been a published author for a few months, but these two awards from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards have been a wonderful encouragement and validation.
While I was in New York, The Scene Magazine published a great review of my book and profile of me under the section “Toronto must see comedy.”
It was a blockbuster week in New York, during which I got to perform on a great show (and do well — I overheard one of the audience members say I was one of her favourites from the show), make new friends, collect some pretty impressive medals, and feel lots of support from home.
And thanks to the awards, my book has gotten exposure on NBC news .
While I was in New York I also attended Book Expo America. This was another great opportunity to learn about the book world, meet some of the players and fans. In particular I attended a party held for female authors, and it was great to make those connections in New York and share experiences and get to know more women writers.
I also met a couple of famous comedians who have books coming out. Both Jim Carrey and Chelsea Handler were there to promote their upcoming books, and I managed to have a quick chat with both of them about my book. Both Jim and Chelsea were very gracious, nice, and entertaining people and I enjoyed my fan moment with both of them.
As soon as I got back to Toronto, it was time for NXNE, which featured How to Start in Stand-Up Comedy as part of the festival. I have really appreciated their support of the book. I was also able to attend a supercool bbq held for the comedians who were part of the festival — at 40 I’m finally getting invited to hang out with the cool kids.
Downsize Games, the short film I had a role in was released to the public this week, and is currently on the site Funny or Die! Go here to check it out, and give it a “like” too. People who attended the launch event for the film last year thought the film was hilarious, and I’m especially pleased with my role in it and the huge laugh I got from the audience.
I am also proud to say that Theatre Books sold out of its first order of my book! I immediately restocked, so if you have been thinking about picking up a copy of How to Start in Stand-Up Comedy: A Guide to Becoming a Comedian in Toronto, the book is once again available at Theatre Books. Theatre Books is located at King Street just north of Spadina. You can also buy a copy through any Amazon, or through Barnes and Noble.