The Silent Majority

Tags: , ,

Do you know what the three big differences are between myself and Irish Steve?

  1. I have never been a joke thief.
  2. Whenever I meet adversity in my comedy career, I actually meet it head-on instead of running away and hiding.
  3. He can write a status update about getting the sniffles and have that post flooded with comments. He does a Facebook live video and it gets dozens of views.  I went to Los Angeles, then drove 5.5 hours to Oakland for a comedy competition.  It reached 220 people, and had 127 views.  Only 2 comments, and only a couple people watched it live.

The issue I’m having is about my last post.  It was dated on May 30th, a day after I got back from Los Angeles.  Usually after I post there is a spike in the readership levels for a couple of days.  On that post, I asked for people to watch the video after reading my post and give me feedback.  Do you want to know the feedback I’ve received so far?

(friend from church) laughing as he said “you need some new material.  do you want me to write it for you?”

another person said they wanted to come watch me on the Sunday night open mic at The Comedy Lab.  I told them to watch the video first to get an idea of what I do. My set was only four minutes long, that’s it!  This person said “it was uncomfortable to watch.  I had to stop watching after 1:30”

If you read the last post before this one, you’ll already know how the competition went.  I didn’t mention who won but you know how it turned out.  I got voted out in the first round, and the comic after me trashed me on stage, just like here in Saskatoon.  Nice to see that I can travel a few thousand km from home and have the same bullshit happen, in another country no less!

Usually at open mics they will give you a one minute warning.  If you start your last joke before that one minute is up, providing it isn’t too long, they’ll let you finish it.  But the Thursday night at Flappers, the host was waving her arms right in front of my face so I had to wrap the joke up right in the middle of the setup.  Not only that, it was the first time my coach had the chance to see me live on stage.  It was a bit nerve wracking to say the least.  If you wanna know why, read the last blog piece.  I’m not explaining myself again on this one.  Needless to say that video has been deleted from my camcorder and will never be seen by anyone ever.

So, I will make the same request again.  This time I’ll be a bit more blunt and direct.

I doni’t know if a lot of you understand what it’s like to be in my shoes.  Like really, think about it for a minute.

I’ve been unemployed for 14 months, with the exception of having a job for three weeks and getting thrown under the bus.  In the last several jobs I’ve had in the last six years, four of them didn’t last past three months.  Make your own conclusions as to whether I’m lazy, stupid, retarded or all the above.  I really don’t give a shit.  I know that I got fucked over at each one of them, but some people want to tear me down, so go ahead.  I could give a fuck.

I have no support from my family.  Zero.  I don’t have a relationship to fall back on.  My ex and the friends who left me used to be my support system.  Now I’ve got nobody, or at least that’s the way it seems.

I started comedy because I knew that I’d have the support of my friends doing it, and for the first year and a bit I had just that.  Most nights when I started my friends were the ones that comprised the audiences.  But they wouldn’t tell me what they really thought of my act.  They would tell the other comics how good they were but never give me that same compliment.  Instead I got laughed at by them when the host used to trash me on a nightly basis.

Then I created Carnac The Mediocre character.  It’s legal and I am not breaking any Canadian or American copyright laws.  But holy shit, did I ever get some serious heat from a few pussies (a.k.a. keyboard warriors) that sent anonymous comments to myself and to the comedy club I performed at.  It’s gotten to the point where the club has stated they don’t want my character on their shows anymore because they can’t afford the negative press, even though I am in a position to take legal action to make them reconsider.  I’ve got everybody now crawling up my fucking asshole wanting their bills to get paid even though my EI runs out in four weeks time.

I am not asking you to tear me down, throw me under the bus and be dinks.  I have my parents to fill that role for me well, and they do it without fail.  What I am asking is for feedback from my set at the competition.

This blog has gone on for over 5.5 years now and has developed a following.  At the beginning, everybody would comment on my posts like other comedians or friends of mine.  Now, there is only one friend of mine who comments on my posts with any regularity on about 25% of the posts I write.  Some people tell me I have a following, but I don’t hear about it.  So what are you exactly saying?

Are you the keyboard warrior who likes to send me hateful and slanderous comments from fake email addresses trashing me? Maybe you have ideas, insights or opinions and you think because I have a comedy coach or that I’ve done this long enough that I don’t need your feedback.

But you’d be wrong.

As comedians we all get on stage because we have a need to be liked, a need for approval.  I’m no different.  But for some reason, in today’s world it’s easier than ever to give somebody feedback, to engage in a healthy discussion exchanging points of view, yet you stay silent.

I just turned 44 years old.  That’s right.  44 years old, single, never married, no kids and broke.  To top it all off, I now see the Bible as a book filled of broken promises.  How does that grab ya?

I ask for feedback from my set because I want to know what you think.  After all, you are a comedy audience.  I took the self-deprecating route and I thought it would play better than it did.  If you watch the video of the first four performers from the competition, most of them stayed with that formula.  It obviously worked better for them than it did for me.  Why do you think that is? What should the focus of my material be?

A lot of you who have followed my comedy journey know me pretty well.  You have opinions on my comedy.  I know this because I’ve asked you in person.  I’m not asking you to reinvent the fucking wheel and give me a masters thesis on my act.  I went to Los Angeles, then to Oakland and did my act.  It didn’t work out like I had hoped (though at least I tried, unlike some of you pussies that vacation in L.A. and don’t bother trying at all).  Why didn’t it work? What do you suggest?

As a sidenote, the set at Flappers didn’t go great either.  Again, you wanna know why?  Go do yourself a favour and read the last piece.

I plan on going back to Los Angeles before the end of the year, probably sometime in November for a weekend jaunt to tackle L.A. open mics and to do the competition again (providing there is a spot for me at that time).  Then next summer I will head back to L.A. for another 5 to 6 day trip for hopefully another crack at the competition and another crack at the Flappers bar open mic on Thursday nights (as a note, the Thursday night open mic is a lottery but I got on because it was my birthday).

I came back from Los Angeles with nobody waiting for me at the airport, or nobody to see me off.  I know you are smart enough to read and understand English.  You also have fingers that aren’t broken and are able to type, so no bullshit about being too busy.  If you have the time to read this 1,400+ word piece, then you have the time to offer up your opinion.

I am asking for feedback because ultimately I want to get better and make you proud of me.  I have overcome threats on my life, anonymous and hateful comments and trashing by other comedians on social media and behind my back.  Yet I’m still here.  I don’t steal jokes.  I don’t run and hide when the comedy road gets tough, unlike some people who fuck off to Edmonton with their tail tucked firmly between their legs.

Oh, before I forget, you can’t make the excuse that you can’t find the video from the competition.  It’s on my Facebook comedy page which you can find under “Trevor Dean comedian”.  It’s in the collection of videos, or you can scroll down to the May 27th posting and find it there.

Everyone has an opinion about comedy because really, who doesn’t like to laugh?  We all know what makes us laugh.  Should I be more like I am when I talk to my friends, more sarcastic mixed in with self-deprecation?  Or should I change the focus of my material entirely?  Based on the first four comedians you see on that video, what would I have to do to better compete with them?  I am aware that those types of comics won’t be at future competitions I do, but you get what I am after here.

We don’t live in North Korea.  We live in Canada.  You are free to give your opinion.  You can leave a comment at the end of this posting.  When you enter your email address, you don’t have to worry because I approve all comments before they get posted.  Heck, I could even edit the comments if I wanted, although I never have.

If you don’t want your comment to be posted, you can let me know and I can send you a reply to the email address you give me.  As long as you aren’t a douchebag with your comments, I would like to post them all to have a discussion about this, exchange ideas and see what we come up with.  How am I different onstage rather than when we chat in person and I make you laugh?  What do you see?

My comedy page has 189 likes.  My Facebook friends almost equal 70.  Surely more than one or two of you have opinions.  Let’s act like adults and have a discussion about this.  I value your feedback.  I always have.

I started comedy for you, the people who knew me.  Now I’m doing it more so for myself, because with the shit cards that I’ve been dealt over the last several years with relationships, family, employment and personal issues, comedy is the only thing that has kept me going from doing something stupid.

If you spent a day in my shoes, you’d understand.  Most of you don’t deal with the shit I have to deal with on a daily basis.  All I’m asking for is your opinion on what you see thus far.  If you want to get a more detailed perspective, go to the home page of this blog.  On the left hand side you will see the YouTube tab.  Click on it and you’ll find about ten videos or so that cover my five plus years on stage. Well, I could use your help too in finding a job, but since hardly any of you comment on my posts to begin with, I’m not hopeful that any of you would want to help before EI runs out and I get evicted if I can’t get social assistance.

There.  Are you fucking happy?  I sure as hell aren’t.  My life is in the toilet and nobody believes that I have the ability to do anything for work.  I’ve stuck with comedy longer than I’ve had a job for any length of time.  Despite the failures and embarrassment I’m still at it when lots of you have told me you would have quit by now.  That’s how much this means to me.  I desperately want to get this right. But, since none of you come to my shows anymore (and haven’t for a few years), this is the only way I can reach you and ask for your help.

The ball is in your court, again.  What will you do?

 

29 Comments

  1. sethroberts
    Jun 8, 2017

    your a hard worker at comedy but try working towards writing material that’s not already done and copied back decades ago. it shows no initiative and no ambition even though u brag about legalities . and u can’t threaten legal actions on those who don’t want material already done at their shows by another comic

    • Trevor Dean
      Jun 8, 2017

      I appreciate your comments. There are a couple things I need to clarify, for the sake a discussion.
      If you look on YouTube, you’ll see videos of people imitating Carnac as well. My performance does not break copyright laws, though there are some things the audience has to be aware of before I start, such as it’s a parody of a previous character. All material for my character was written by myself and my comedy coach. Over 70 jokes in total. Plus, on the subject of legal action, I should clarify. After Carnac the Medicore performed at the comedy club, somebody emailed them and said I stole material and it’s unprofessional to have that character on their stage. The club told me I couldn’t perform as that character with them anymore because they didn’t need the negative feedback.
      I was told I am in a legal position to sue based on prohibiting my ability to earn a living. I have the legal right to perform as Carnac, provided I don’t break copyright laws, which I am not.
      I believe it takes initiative and creativity to come up with brand new material for this character, and a bit of guts to step out and try something different, even if this is only Saskatoon. I can perform at the comedy club in question, just not as Carnac.
      I appreciate the comment though!

      • Joel Yeomans
        Jun 8, 2017

        Hi Trevor, I don’t read your blog regularly, and I haven’t seen you perform in a while, but I want to give you my honest opinion on the Carnac thing.
        You are right, you are not breaking any copyright laws, but just having to say that should be an indication the character is a bad idea. You would be better served to put that time and effort into writing jokes as Trevor Dean, because that character will just always remind people of the very famous Carson bit. Carson is one of the funniest guys who ever lived, so to even pull a bit like that off, you have to be better than Carson. That’s a tough hill to climb.
        If I can be blunt, if I was an audience member and saw that bit, my first thought would be that it was stolen. It doesn’t matter to audiences if it’s not breaking copyright laws, if they think it’s stolen.
        Let’s use the Dane Cook/Louis CK controversy as a reference point. Dane Cook swears that he did not steal those jokes, and he also did not break any copyright laws, but the fact is, audiences believe he did. And, as a result, he stopped telling those jokes.
        And, man, I get it. Comedy is hard and a lot of times, it’s not fun. We all have struggles, I took my own hiatus last year, so I really get it.

        • Trevor Dean
          Jun 8, 2017

          Thanks for the comments. However, this is not about Carnac at all. I simply referenced it to show the struggles that I have encountered. It’s more about Trevor Dean and getting some insight from people as to what I should focus on for my material. Why didn’t my set at the competition work? That’s the reason I wrote this post in the first place.
          Comedians will give their opinions I find, but only if they are asked. I am trying to solicit opinions of the regular folk who make up a comedy audience.

  2. Tom
    Jun 8, 2017

    If you look at top mainstream comics their level of self depreciation is super shallow and for many it’s non existent. It’s about height or weight at most. No one is getting up there and expressing how their parents don’t love them and how lonely they are and how little support they have. Maybe you get ripped up by other comics because you open the door when you do it to yourself. Stay away from the awkward details. Stay Surface.

    Just off the top of my head
    “My life is alot like a tree. My issues are deep rooted and the only time im really noticed are when im covered in worms or hit by a drunk driver.”

    Where as your spin on it may be.
    “My life is alot like a tree. My issues are deep rooted. I have no job and no one supports me in comedy. Im single and am 4 weeks away from my EI running out. Im not even sure id be noticed if I was killed by a drunk driver.”

    It’s awkward. Too dark. You go too deep with it.
    If your going to do self depreciation. Stay away from the darkness. Stay surface.

    But obviously the deep self depreciation isn’t working for you. Change it up. No one wants to see an awkward quirky guy talk about how awkward and quirky they are and how hard life is being awkward and quirky. People MAY want to see an awkward and quirky guy share his awkward quirky perspective on topics not pertaining to him.

    “You know what’s funny about streets. I live on them” (too dark)

    “You know what’s funny about streets…they are paved and have lines on them…so that’s not really funny as much as it is just a description of a street (not funny but guarantee it would get a small response)

    You bragged over and over on here about having 30 pages of new material. I thought to myself that it was pretty impressive. It will be good to see this. Then at the competition you resort to a few tweaked self deprecating concepts and finish the last two minutes nearly begging to win the competition.
    Uncomfortable!
    If you wrote 30 pages making fun of yourself no wonder you feel like shit.

    In a situation like that competition your a salesman of yourself. The best way to get a sale (voted through) is to offer value (a good set) so people want to buy more. The absolute worst way to get a sale is to offer little value then state the reasons why your desperate for the sale which is what you did. It’s like Gill from the simpsons.

    Imagine if on your first call with your comedy coach he spent half the time telling you how badly he needed you to sign up. Chances are your left thinking he’s a hack and not using him.

    Lastly if your looking to get gigs stop talking about suing establishments…if a place doesn’t want to hire you you can’t sue them. That’s ridiculous.

    If your looking to go “clean” and get into the church tour. Stop flooding your blog with “fucks” and “shits.”

    Writing jokes for a character who already exists is going to create issues.

    It’s like going to NBC and pitching a cartoon called The Simpsons (second simpsons reference. I know) starring a yellow family named Homer Marge Bart Maggie and Lisa. They look at you puzzled as you tell them it’s a creative and fresh idea because you have new episodes. You’d be laughed out of the building for claiming originality.

    If you have to research copyright laws it’s a problem.

    For every success story about the guy who didn’t give up there are thousands of stories of people who didn’t give up and never found success. Be careful.

    I admire your passion and drive but worry about the sacrifices made to chase the goal.

    • Trevor Dean
      Jun 8, 2017

      Thank you for the insight. I don’t know if you are a comedian or just really perceptive, but your ideas are refreshing. I appreciate your insight!
      The 30 pages I wrote were supposed to be for my return to the pro comedy club this summer. Those 30 pages are a mix of self deprecation, about my family, relationships and gets in to my thoughts on certain everyday subjects. So it’s a departure from just straight self deprecating material. But when the comedy club for the summer didn’t pan out, I had enough material gathered over the last five plus years to make four minutes of material from. The problem I think was the same one I had when I did the open mic at Flappers a couple days before, with my comedy coach in attendance. I figured that I needed to let the audience know I was Canadian right off the bat, so I went into some bits I put together. Well, for a three minute set that isn’t a good idea, at least not right off the top. Instead I should have focused on my tried and true stuff.
      Only two things I wouldn’t necessarily say I take issue with you on, but that I would like to clarify. About the suing, I was stating the only reason the club would not hire me as Carnac is because they don’t want people sending them emails telling them I steal material and it’s unprofessional to have me on. That’s the simplest way to explain it without getting too detailed. Trevor Dean is welcome on their stage still, and who knows? Maybe at some point down the road the Carnac character can be revisited there once again.
      The other point I wanted to make is what you made reference to in your first paragraph. I’ve been around comedians, studied comedians, studied comedy and worked with my coach for almost five years. I can tell you that people do want to see somebody awkward and quirky get up on stage and talk about their struggles. Why? It boils down to audience psychology. The audience is rooting for the comedian to succeed. They want to see the comedian overcome the struggles. If somebody attacks you, they want to see you get the last laugh. Maybe the idea of my struggles is good to stay with, I just need to reword it and focus on different laugh triggers and comedy styles to get my point across. Just look at Richard Lewis, or Richard Jeni. Both were self deprecating and talked about their struggles. I also don’t believe that top mainstream comics have super shallow and non existent self deprecation. Lots of them, at least in the 70s and 80s for example, got into comedy because of a need for approval or to be loved, because they lacked something that they felt an audience could provide. Today’s comics are so many in number that it maybe seems like the majority of them are probably normal and don’t have as shitty of a life as they claim on stage.
      Great insight though!

  3. Lisa
    Jun 8, 2017

    Hi Trevor,
    We haven’t met and I’m not a comedian. I don’t know if I can give much advice to help with specific elements of your act but I have some thoughts about the other aspects of this post.
    Having the support of family and friends is of course something everyone wants and it sucks when that’s not there. However, in life we’re ultimately responsible for our own happiness. If doing comedy makes you happy then great- keep doing you. On the other hand if you aren’t happy with the current situation then it’s time to sit down and evaluate why things are the way they are. A key step in that evaluation is an honest look at what things in your life YOU are responsible for and can change. Are people not in your life because they all are fair weathered friends or have you in some way not kept up your end of the relationship (I don’t know your situation so this isn’t a comment directed towards anything specific but it’s something we all should be aware of)?

    I totally get that you aren’t where you thought you’d be at this time of your life and you can’t change the past but what positive steps can you take to make the future the most it can be? If money is a concern maybe more trips to LA right now isn’t the answer.

    You’re asking for feedback and I’m seeing people give it to you, it’s just maybe not the feedback you want to hear. People have told you they were uncomfortable watching your video, they’ve told you the Carnac act isn’t working. It’s frustrating to hear but feedback won’t always be positive and it’s the feedback you’re getting. Instead of saying it’s people not supporting you you have a choice:
    1. Say I don’t want feedback, I’m going to do me and I don’t care what people think or
    2. Gather that feedback, be honest with yourself, ask for clarification if necessary from the people giving it and make adjustments based on it.

    If everyone is saying the same thing then maybe there’s some truth to it – it just may not always be packaged nicely.

    In the end it’s up to you to take responsibility for the things that happen in your life. Only you can make yourself the person you want to be.

    • Trevor Dean
      Jun 8, 2017

      Lisa, thanks for the reply.
      However, a rha-rah-sis-boom-bah comment isn’t what I am after. You aren’t a comedian, but that doesn’t matter. You still are a regular person who knows what makes them laugh and what doesn’t. All I am asking for is feedback from what you saw.
      I have people in my life who will give me the rah rah type of talk, this isn’t what I posted for. And I don’t get feedback from people except my coach and the audience during the set from their laughter or silence. I am simply asking for the why. Why was it funny, or why didn’t it work? Carnac has nothing to do with what I was asking for. I simply included Carnac as a reference to underscore the struggles I have faced along the way. I appreciate your comment, but it’s not quite what I am after. Please feel free to read my post again, watch the video and give me your honest opinion. Here is a good barometer to figure stuff out.
      If what you believe a comedian is saying to be true, you’ll laugh. If you do not believe a comedian is telling you something that could be true, you won’t laugh.
      That is all I am after. Thank you.

      • Joel Yeomans
        Jun 8, 2017

        Why would anyone want to provide feedback if you attack them? Perhaps this is why nobody wants to provide you feedback. I think you owe Lisa an apology.

        • Trevor Dean
          Jun 8, 2017

          It was feedback, just not what I was after. I edited my reply to Lisa. Good call. I believe my amended reply is a bit more appropriate.

  4. Dylan
    Jun 8, 2017

    Hi Trevor,
    Here’s a step by step of why I think your set didn’t work in Oakland.
    Your first joke-” my standup is like my sex life ” -set up is Hacky and dated…
    The punchline -“alone in felt alive position”- isn’t a punchline.. it’s self deprecating but it isn’t a joke.
    – when you then called out how awkward your start was- I thought that was a good call.. it released a lot of tension and the crowd was nice so you probably could have saved the set there had you hit them with good jokes.
    -your comment on your pink shirt- Didn’t work because the idea that men can’t wear pink is dated.. and bordering on homophobic possibly. Plus you’re an adult so the assumption is that you dress yourself so you can’t make fun of yourself for a decision that you just made .. it doesn’t make sense.
    – the girl who can spell Saskatchewan- Doesn’t work 1- because they didn’t know that you were from Saskatchewan (or that Saskatchewan is even a place).. 2- Saskatchewan is spelled how it sounds. And 3- (most importantly) It’s not believable that spelling is important to you in finding a woman.. It makes no sense therefore it’s a flawed premise which is thre main reason hat the joke doesn’t work.
    The inuendo Nintendo joke- it didn’t work because it wasn’t a joke.. Nintendo rhymes and is familiar which is why you got a bit of a laugh.. but it wasn’t a laugh because they got a joke.. it was a laugh of confusion because you phrased it like a joke but the “punchline” was just a work that’s familiar.. it’s like he penguin “what am I a typewriter?” Joke.
    The gas money to LA line- probably just meant to Segway but it was un-needed and was just another line where the audience had to guess if they missed the punchline or not.(dont waste the time in a 4 min set)
    Bike messenger bit- you imply that you’re a gay prostitute then do a switch at the end.. this one is a joke.. but it’s homophobic at its core (I think).. which is why it didn’t work because you had lost the audience already (had you done that joke in the middle of a set that you were killing in, the crowd might have went along with it.. who knows
    You’re Mannequin joke worked.. you could probably add a couple laughs in the setup (so it doesn’t seem so long and some tags to make it pay off better (I know this is basically saying add jokes to your joke to make it a better joke… but … ya .. do that)
    Hope this Helps.. if you disagree with any of the points you (or anyone else) can reply and we can discuss it.. This is just how I see it…What do you all think? -Dylan

    • Courtney
      Jun 8, 2017

      I agree with everything Dylan said. He practically read my mind. The last joke about the mannequin was actually legitimately funny, and I think your opening joke, although it’s been done before, could be funny, with a different punchline, and an overall change in delivery. Definitely stay away from anything remotely homophobic. And racist. The one and only time I saw you live, you told a racist joke, and it completely eliminated any desire for me to ever see you perform again. I feel like your overall delivery on stage is neither here nor there. It’s dry, but not dry enough for that to be your “thing”. I think you should be more enthusiastic. Sometimes driving to the end of a shitty punchline (we’ve all been there) with exuberance softens the blow of the shiftiness for the audience. If you are enjoying being up there, the audience is more likely to enjoy watching you, but it just doesn’t look like you even want to be up there. Good luck!

      • Trevor Dean
        Jun 8, 2017

        Thanks for the insight. Last time I checked, my material wasn’t racist. Do you remember which joke in particular it was?

        • Courtney
          Jun 8, 2017

          It was several years ago. You were MCing the Laugh Shop. You probably don’t do the joke anymore. I do remember it, but I don’t wish to repeat it on here. Feel free to email me.

          • Trevor Dean
            Jun 8, 2017

            I sent you an email. I remember the joke in question, and I have done that joke a few times since, but I’ve changed the punchline to make it less uncomfortable.

    • Junior
      Jun 9, 2017

      Dylan is bang on, point by point. Calling out the awkwardness released a huge amount of tension.

      You tried to say earlier that you felt vulnerable (which seemed like an ad lib? That line may have also relieved the tension but your volume trailed off. Be confident in everything you say and make it loud and clear. That way the audience will back you and think it was intentional.)

      Short set, don’t do crowd work, “round of applause if there are any single women” you need a response ready for every possible outcome. In this vid, nobody clapped so you should have had a punch line ready for that response. Ie. “I wouldn’t admit it to me either” or “wow, I get the same response from Tinder!” Or something along those lines. And if someone does clap, “wow, you are a brave woman letting me know you’re single”

      You cannot waste your 4 minutes addressing what someone said and if you do you have to let everyone else in the audience know whats going on too. You are in control of your set, not the audience. (I usually ignored talking and told jokes over them, sometimes still do)

      Spelling Saskatchewan: you need to establish that you’re from there, that your mom is negative, etc etc that way your set comes together and has a purpose.

      Hi, I’m Trevor Dean, I’m from Saskatoon , Saskatchewan Canada and if you can spell that I’d like to take you for a coffee. Thats as high as my standards are set. I’m 44, unemployed, and my mother doesn’t support my comedy so if that interests you but you can’t spell, well I’m sure I can let it slide.

      “I was a bike courier” zero confidence in your delivery, I barely heard it. Homophobic or not or if the reference to the sex trade is hacky, whatever. you lacked confidence and stumbled over your setup and barely spit out the punchline. When you lack confidence you adlib words or lines that aren’t necessary. That’s nerves, and nerves are not allowed to be seen.

      For me The Mannequin joke is the only real joke In the whole set. But once again you added words that aren’t necessary. The first 30 seconds are pointless. “My mom thought I needed a sense of style so we went to the mall” “thinking it was going to be an empowering trip” these words are useless.

      I was walking through the mall with my mom and she stopped. I said mom what are you doing? (That’s all you need)
      Everything you said from this point on was bang on! 100% don’t change a thing! You displayed confidence, timing, body language. You now have a closing bit.

      20:54-21:25 you looked like a comic. (Just stop leaning on the mic stand ha) recognize the difference from the start of
      your set to that last 31 seconds. And learn from that.

  5. r.e.
    Jun 8, 2017

    Trevor,

    As a general comment, audiences respond to how you engage with them. If you turn off the sound and watch your body language it doesn’t look like you are at all comfortable which makes it tough for any audience to be comfortable with you.

    The mannequin bit was your strongest body language moment of the whole set.

  6. all of us
    Jun 8, 2017

    Please quit comedy. This is not an attack or a criticism. I found my way to this via Dylan commenting in our Facebook group, so I’m not a random hater.

    What is very disheartening is you are not in the proper mental state to accept this information. It is clear by the first 2 sentences of every reply to a comment that you have deep emotional trauma that is near the surface. It’s inappropriate for me to speculate but you do cite a number of difficult incidents that could have caused this.

    However, I care about you as a fellow human being. So I am still taking a chance and trying to break through. Please stop coming to comedy nights, you make us uncomfortable and you are not funny. One of the cruel aspects of this job is there is no CEO or coach to tell you you’re fired. But you’re done. We respect and admire your attempt, but hit the showers.

    Get to a therapist. Talk about your feelings with them. Focus inward and heal. Work, love, respect, those will all come as a byproduct of focusing on yourself first.

    • Trevor Dean
      Jun 8, 2017

      Thank you for being critical.
      It’s because of YOU that I keep going. I KNOW WHO YOU ARE. One day I will figure this out and make you EAT YOUR WORDS.

    • Trevor Dean
      Jun 8, 2017

      You care about me as a fellow human being, hey? That must mean you consider yourself one as well. If that’s the case, most humans tend to communicate face-to-face or at least put their name to an email.

      So here’s an idea for you. If you have the guts to type this garbage without leaving your name, then maybe you’ll have the guts to tell me to my face Sunday night.

      That is, unless you are just a jealous, cowardly bully.

  7. Braydon
    Jun 8, 2017

    Trevor i have watched you perform a handful of times. Every time the response is similar to the video of you in oakland, in fact you may have gotten more laughs in oakland.
    I am not attacking you by any means here but this is how i see it, everyone has their own style in comedy. It either works or it doesnt, if it doesnt you have to adapt and work on that presentation. I think its safe to say we know what your style of comedy is, awkward self-depracating to the point your audience feels bad for you. This isnt comedy, people come to a comedy show to laugh and feel joy and happiness. It is very hard to do this when you are on stage as you overpower your crowd with negative emotions that come off as begging for sympathy. I can’t imagine that your coach or fellow comedians that watch you, would have not given you this advice. I dont agree with what one poster said you need to quit comedy. If it makes you happy and is your passion, no one has the right to tell you to stop. But change up your style man! No offense but its not working.. I cant imagine flying to los angeles and then driving to a contest in oakland, to do the same style material you do in saskatoon that doesn’t work. That doesnt make sense to me, take a chance and do something different. It MAY work. What you are doing isn’t.

    • Trevor Dean
      Jun 8, 2017

      Thanks dude. Appreciate the honesty. I’ve got nothing but time to figure this out. It’s a process, but it’s good to get feedback!

  8. Jenny
    Jun 8, 2017

    Hey Trevor,

    I have to say it takes a brave person to ask for feedback like this, so kudos to you. I hope what I have to say is helpful. I’m going to try to keep my comments on the specific set in Oakland, like you asked, much like Dylan did.

    Okay, so I feel like some of your set that night offended the audience. I suppose there are audiences out there would would find it funny but I think that group wasn’t laughing because they found the jokes old-fashioned in their prejudice. They aren’t the jokes for a young, “woke” crowd, but they don’t push the envelope enough to be edgy in a modern way. I’m not sure if that makes sense. I’ll try to break it down:

    1. The joke about paying for sex: Dylan said it’s “hacky and dated” — here is a bit more about why I feel it’s not a very strong joke, as an audience member: In 2017, sex work is either something that people celebrate or are upset by, so you’ll have alienated both the people who take no issue with paying for sex as well as those who frown upon it. Paying for sex isn’t funny anymore to modern audiences. — it’s either no longer an issue or it’s not something to laugh about.

    To some, a man paying for sex is a criminal or a predator, even in the eyes of people who support the sex trade.

    Ultimately it’s not very creative to say you pay for sex, and it’s become such a problematic, many-layered concept in present-day North America that if you’re going to joke about it you have to be really, really smart.

    2. When you asked if there were any single ladies in the house and no one clapped….that wasn’t because every woman there was in a relationship I suspect it’s because the women in the audience don’t identify themselves by their relationship status. (Some audiences would definitely have women clapping and cheering to being single, so I don’t think ALL audiences would take offense to that statement. I guess this is what people mean when they talk about “reading the room.”) To them it’s immaterial if they’re with someone or not. So the rest of the jokes that followed, about wanting to look for a woman….that could seem predatory and oppressive.

    If they’re women who see themselves as individuals, you making statements like you’re “desperate” and so now you’ll settle for someone who “isn’t that bright”….that’s offensive. Women don’t want to feel like you’re seeking them out, they want to know what makes YOU worth their time, not what makes THEM acceptable to YOU. So you’d need to flip the joke so that it’s about the women being cool and independent and smart, and you being dumb.

    As much as you talk about being self-deprecating, making fun of blondes and the stereotype of not being smart is just making fun of all those blonde women in the audience and the other women and men who don’t subscribe to that stereotype. Blonde women being dumb isn’t funny or edgy anymore. The only person who could make that joke would be a blonde comic, and even then it would have to be really, really smart.

    (You are certainly not the only male comedian who has said similar things on stage, and I’ve given feedback to local comics about jokes that cross the line, so don’t feel like you’re the only one I’ve talked with about this. On more than one occasion comics in Saskatoon have asked for me to review a joke to make sure it’s feminist, and I appreciate that I’m being asked, but I do hope we get to a time when men know how to write feminist jokes without my input.)

    3. Your reference to wearing a pink shirt — Dylan has already touched on this. If the set up is that a weirdo wears pink, well, I believe audiences would see a guy in pink and think he is very confident — pink of a guy means he is no longer subscribing to arcane ideas about masculinity. But you set it up that you’re awkward for wearing pink. That seems like you’re trying to say a guy in pink is “gay” and it smacks of homophobia. I don’t think that is your intent, but for years the idea of wearing pink was an indicator of “gayness” and people are trying to change the meaning of pink. In fact there is now the International Day of Pink where people wear pink shirts to stand up to bullies. So wearing pink is actually a sign of protest and strength and independent thought, so maybe your joke no longer works in light of an evolving culture.

    Again, there is a probably an audience that WOULD laugh at a man wearing pink, but I don’t think they’re in that Oakland club.

    A better way to do it, I think, would be to comment on wearing pink and talk about how you washed a white shirt with a red sock and your shirt was pink, and now you wear it because you want everyone to know you’re actually a modern, confident man, and not just a guy who is really bad at laundry.

    4. Your joke about being a bike courier — that one seems like it should work: it has misdirection, it has a punch line, and you deliver it well. You got a lot of audience reaction as well, but it was mostly just shock, and, again, I put this down to a crowd that doesn’t want to hear jokes that are seemingly homophobic. I KNOW you don’t mean to be homophobic but that is certainly how it’s perceived. There are definitely crowds who would like it, but I just don’t think that room wanted to hear that type of joke.

    5. When you told the crowd you wanted to win the competition, and they didn’t laugh, you told them that their silence hurt, and then you told them that they were “real assholes…you know that, right?” No one wants to be made to feel bad as audience member. I’ve been in the audience when you’ve sworn at people, I think because you don’t like their reactions. Sitting in the audience when that happens is very uncomfortable.

    I think some comedians can get away with abusing their audiences but only once they’ve won the audiences over; if the audience already feels a kinship with the comedian they won’t mind being told they’re assholes, because it feels like teasing, they know the comic doesn’t mean it. but I don’t think you’d built up enough of a rapport to talk to them that way.

    6. Finally, you talk a lot about your act, and how it’s designed to be self-deprecating so the audience can root for you. I guess all I can say is that I think the audience needs to see someone worth rooting for. So, you might have a loser persona, like the comedian in Oakland who just bought his first house…after he realized he couldn’t buy drugs at the CVS drive through. So he bought a gingerbread house instead. (I think that’s how it went). So he was a loser, as well, but his solution was creative, funny, and unexpected. Your solution to being bad at dating is to date dumb blondes, or to exploit sex workers, and your solution to poverty is prostitution/bike courier. None of those punch lines are scenarios that audiences want to celebrate.

    I think the reason your mannequin joke works is because it makes your MOTHER the loser instead of you — we think you’re the punchline but really, it’s your clueless mother that we laugh at, while at the same time laughing with you at your mother. That joke works because you are the hero, even while you’re telling us you have no job, no girlfriend, no respect…maybe so, mother, but at least I can tell real people from fake people.

    You also had a couple of asides that worked — one when you referenced things being awkward and there was another nice little aside, I can’t recall what — that felt spontaneous and natural.

    I don’t know if you’ll find any of this helpful. I hope you do, and I hope you know it’s coming from a good place.

    After I found out about your LA trip I have been reading your blog because I find your journey very interesting. I, too, am trying to figure out how to be an “older” comedian on a scene dominated by very young comics and very young audiences and I know that much of my material fails to hit, so who knows, maybe someday soon I’ll be putting out a similar plea for feedback!

    I wish you well on this journey!

    • Trevor Dean
      Jun 8, 2017

      Jenny,
      I appreciate your feedback. I know it’s coming from a good place. Your comments are very insightful and I will give them the attention they deserve when I craft new stuff or revisit old stuff.
      I think I sorta screwed myself with the question about any single ladies, because it looked like there weren’t any. Looked like everyone was there in a date night. In hindsight, I could have used that to my advantage but I had the dilemma, at least in my mind it was, of whether or not to sound Canadian (talking about what I saw as a visitor to California from another country), or to just sound like me. I tried to go for somewhere in between and it didn’t quite go as planned, as the video evidence would suggest.

      It’s nice to see that I have the support of you guys. I feel that if you didn’t want me to succeed, you wouldn’t have taken the time to give me constructive feedback. It means a lot.

      See you Sunday. Any questions you have or wanna talk, I’m always available.

  9. Seth
    Jun 9, 2017

    Trevor. I’ve seen you perform twice. You are taking yourself too seriously. You need to have thick skin to be an open mic’r. You going to LA and Oakland are premature by a long shot. Good for you for getting on a few shows there but it is pretty common for open mic’r comics to do things like that on vacation.

    I’d work on getting a good 5 minutes together. Stop bringing a camcorder everywhere you go and just enjoy yourself on stage until you have a solid 5 minutes. It could take years. It does for most comics. You will know when you have solid material when you can kill it onstage for 5 minutes on a weekend at the Park Hotel or Ramada, weekend crowd, bullet, laughs top to bottom. You will know by the crowd response when you leave stage and when other touring professional comedians acknowledge your abilities. You should rely on the opinion of the working, touring comic because you are the most subjective witness of your own material.

    I read about your set in Oakland and looked at your FB page. My biggest piece of feedback is to let what happens on stage speak for itself. Don’t get distracted by gossip and comments and feuds. Right now it seems you are in trenched in multiple feuds with other open mic’r comics. Just stop. Enjoy comedy. Write for fun. Comedy should be fun for open mic comics and work/fun for professionals.

  10. Douglas Ferntree
    Jun 18, 2017

    You straight up stole the premise for Carnac. You may have different jokes but the premise is still 100% stolen. You can claim it’s satire simply because you call your act Carnac the Mediocre instead of Magnificint but that doesn’t make it satire. Satire is critisizing something. You simply stole the premise and added different jokes. Stop doing it if you want to be taken seriously as a comedian. It’s extremely bold to talk smack about Steve when you not only steal, but do it proudly and openly. Not only is it stealing, but it’s lazy and unoriginal.

    Also, just because a comic makes fun of you, it’s not “talking shit.” That’s just what comedians do with each other. You act like it’s absolute blasphemy when anyone does that to you. Grow a back bone or find a new industry. Same goes for disabling all the comments and ratings on your videos. Suck it up dude. You need to grow a set of balls and let people criticize you. I’ve read your blog in its entirety and half the time you complain about not getting a shot that you haven’t earned yet or that people talk shit about you, and the other half you spend talking about how you “write circles around anyone in Saskatoon” and about your massive amount of material. So why do you repeat jokes so much? If you have so much and material and are such an amazing writer, your material should speak for itself and you shouldn’t be concerned with what other people say. You have one foot in both camps at all time. On one side you talk about how hard done by you are and in the next breath you talk about how you’re better than everyone. People don’t like that hypocritical attitude and it’s obviously not getting you anywhere. I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, if a man calls you a horse once you tell him he’s a jerk, if someone calls you a horse the second time, you punch him in the nose. But if someone calls you a horse a third time, well, maybe it’s time to go shopping for a saddle. Perhaps it’s not EVERYONE else, maybe it’s just you. Maybe you are the reason you can’t hold down a job. Maybe YOU are your own worst enemy. Blaming everyone else just stops your from seeing the real problem.

    So before calling me a “keyboard warrior” maybe it’s time to take a long introspective look at your own behavior, attitude, and material before blaming everyone else.

    • Trevor Dean
      Jun 18, 2017

      I only read the first few lines of your comment then laughed at the rest.

      You saying I stole material is grounds for a lawsuit you moron. I am not breaking any copyright laws. Go online and research, you’ll see for yourself.

      As for the 30 pages I wrote, they are real. I don’t feel the need to justify anything to you. I think it’s hilarious that you beak at me when you’ve never been on stage. I know who I am. I’ll succeed in spite of jerks like you.

      Guaranteed.

      • Douglas Ferntree
        Jun 18, 2017

        Fine, not stealing. Just lazy and unoriginal. And unfunny.

        • Trevor Dean
          Jun 18, 2017

          You’re right. What a lazy comedian I am writing over 70 brand new, original jokes for my Carnac character. Plus, if you watch the videos, I get laughs.

          I would ask you to write over 70 new jokes that would work for Carnac, but I doubt you have the ability.

          Thanks for playing though. It’s been a good laugh!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: