Here’s my updated acting reel for you to enjoy.
Tom Clark’s Acting Reel
I just got my Rolling Stone and I thought this was a great answer from Louis regarding the hard times in show business. You gotta appreciate the bad times to really enjoy the good times:
It’s understandable for people to want all their favorite things to happen, but the crazy thing is to think that they can avoid all the hard things. To want everything that you ever dreamed of, to the exclusion of anything hard, that feels common to me now in a way that is hurting people. They’re ignoring how much good there is in being present for the hardest part of your life. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. I loved all that time; it was hard and I suffered. Times where you’re like, “I think it’s over, and I’m too deep to start anything else.” There are really scary moments in a showbiz career, but it’s so great that they got to happen. It’s a very unforgiving field; it doesn’t say goodbye nicely, and there’s no one there to keep you going—it’s all you. But if you survived that time, that’s always there.
Here’s something I did for Funny or Die. I’m the spokesman for the new Cheese Pocket. The perfect way to carry cheese on the go. Enjoy!
Over 11 years ago I was on the Craig Kilborn show…let’s reflect on that shall we…okay. The lead guest on that show was Jerry O’Connell. Well we are back again in this video from Funny or Die. It’s the Kickstarter campaign to make a movie for the TV show “Sliders”. I play the large bowtied policeman or Bowliceman. Enjoy!
Game Town Episode 01 - “Welcome to Game Town” (by NoNoComedy) Here’s a pilot my friend Vito Gesualdi wrote and Zak Stoltz directed. I play the lead programmer Mike. Enjoy!
This past Wednesday (3/13/13) I got to perform at the Hollywood Improv. I don’t get to perform there as much as I like, maybe once or twice a year, so I always look forward to it. I was scheduled to go up last and do 20 minutes. I was really looking forward to it.
When I got there I was told David Spade would be doing a guest set. No big deal I knew it would take some time from my set, but he’s pretty good about doing his time and not going over. I headed out to the bar area and in the dining room I see David Spade and…Chris Rock! And Chris is writing in a notebook!! UH OH!!!
Soon Bill Devlin, the emcee and the guy who runs the show, told me Chris would be going up before me. I was bummed because I knew this could mean I’d be cut from the show. Bill assured me I would still get to do a set, but I was doubtful.
David Spade did his set and did well, but then Chris Rock went up. The crowd was definitely excited to say the least. He proceeded to do almost 30 minutes and this was well developed stuff, not just workshopping stuff. Surprisingly while I watched his set the only thing I was worried about was not getting to go up after him. I actually was excited about the opportunity to follow him. He finished his set and he was great. I think everyone thought the show was over.
I told Bill to introduce me as another very special guest who’s been in a Hallmark movie (which is true). I got up on stage, looked out at the audience and said…nothing. Once it was really awkward the audience started to laugh because they knew what I was up against. I then said:
Well I’m glad those two guys could stop by. There’s nothing better than following a comedy legend.
Bill had mentioned in his intro of both guys that they would be in Grown Ups 2. So I made mention of that:
Thank God they’re making Grown Ups 2…because there were so many unanswered questions from the first one. Will they finally grow up.
My girlfriend told me Chris Rock even laughed at this and that he stuck around for part of my set and laughed. It felt good. I only did about 7 minutes, but I was really proud of myself that I could go up after him and do really well. Also I have to give Bill Devlin a ton of credit for fighting for me to still do my spot even though the show was running late.
Ultimately I wasn’t really worried about going up after Chris (I call him Chris because we’re pals now). For one thing I’ve been doing stand up for a long time and not to sound cocky (and this will sound cocky), but I’m good at what I do. I’ve faced every possible situation, good and bad. Nothing really phases me anymore. I’ve had drunk people come up on stage with me (one guy ended up passing out on the couch on the stage). I’ve had the sound go out in the middle of my set in a 300 seat showroom. I’ve been booed in a 300 seat showroom. You name it, it’s happened to me.
Also I knew the audience’s expectations were zero. I knew that if I took my time, briefly addressed the situation in a humorous way I’d be fine…and I was.
This last month has been good. I just shot something for Funny or Die that will hopefully be on the site sometime in the next week or two. I’ll definitely be posting that once it’s up…so stay tuned.
A while back I had mentioned I sold a greeting card idea to a company called Compendium. I hadn’t heard anything about it in over 6 months, but it’s finally been published and you can buy it at the link above. The card says:
Super hilarious! So what are you waiting for? Click the link…and thank you!
Currently I find myself in Chicago at Zanies Downtown. I love performing here. I’ll never forget my first showcase way back in 1997. I remember I had to call Bert, the manager, every week for almost two months and finally got the showcase. I went down with Frank Caliendo who was featuring that week and still living in Milwaukee.This was my first major showcase and I was pretty nervous, but I did my 7 minutes and Bert really liked me. He started booking me almost right away. At that time there were four Zanies clubs so there was a lot of work to be had.
In January 1998 Bert told me there would be a showcase for the Chicago Comedy Festival. I didn’t really know what it was, but he wanted me to audition for Dan Carlson, who put the festival together. I drove down to Mount Prospect, Illinois on a snowy February day. I remember I was running late and this was before the days of cell phones so I just had to hustle. I remember a car literally spinning out in front of me as I made my way to the show. I arrived to the venue just as the show was starting. In fact, the emcee was already on stage and someone had to hand him a note while he was on stage to let him know I was here. I went on stage almost immediately and it went well, not great but well.
Dan really liked my unique style…I used to sing about a potato and screw up a joke on purpose—Andy Kaufman was an early influence. I did the festival in May of that year and it was my first real taste of just amazing comedy. I remember a young man by the name of, Daniel Tosh, being part of my group. I remember going to a show, called the Heavy Hitters and seeing Louis CK, Mitch Hedberg, Tom Rhodes, Doug Stanhope, and Billy Gardell. They performed in a rundown movie theater for about 30 people, but I knew I was witnessing something pretty great.
In 1999 I did a cattle call for the HBO/Aspen Comedy Festival at Zanies. A cattle call means hundreds of comics line up and do their best two minutes for a few people who run the festival. Over 500 comics showed up and I made the top 20 for that night and eventually won that night and got to go to LA to showcase for the executives. I remember showcasing in LA at the Improv and watching George Lopez do his 7 minute set and run the light for about 20 minutes.
It’s cool to look back on that journey and to be headlining Zanies downtown for only my second time. A lot of people wonder how you get better at stand up. For me I think it was the idea that this was something I loved doing. When I started doing this, it was just fun. I never imagined doing this for a living. I just enjoyed being on stage and being able to use my creativity. That took me a long way. I always try to remember that when I get frustrated with the business side of things. That I’m very lucky to get to make people happy for a living.
It’s been almost two months since my last blog. I was hoping I’d have some news on the callback I had for the ABC show “Neighbors”. It went well, but alas I heard nothing. But it’s like I say:
‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, instead put them in those egg holder thingies in your fridge.’
I’m headed to Meridian, Idaho this weekend and then headed to New York City two weeks after that for the New York TV Festival. Not sure what will happen with that. Just a recap my pilot Brew City made it into the Top 25 of the FOX/NYTVF contest and the winner gets 25 grand. I’ll go out there hopefully to meet with some people regarding the script and I’m also doing some sets while I’m there.
I have two sets at Gotham Comedy Club and one at Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Special thanks to Jim Gaffigan, Mark Serritella, and Ron Babcock for arranging those. Still awaiting word on a few more possibilities.
I’m excited about the festival and obviously hoping my script takes first place, but I know it’ s a longshot or at least a 25 to 1 chance. I’ve had some good things happen as of late. I’m a regular now at The Comedy Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, which I think is one of the nicest clubs in the country. I’ve been trying to get in there on and off for almost 10 years, so persistence does pay off. I’m also doing some writing work with my friend Robbie Pickard which has been fun. In addition, I’m still doing a lot of stand up teaching, which I enjoy
November, December and January will be really busy with stand up. Headed to New York as I mentioned, Montreal, Salt Lake City, Chicago, St. Paul, and San Antonio. So if you’re in those areas stop by and I’ll buy you a beer or make you a delicious chicken pot pie. Of course for the latest Tom Clark appearances check out my schedule.
It’s been a good month. Last month I submitted some ideas for a greeting card company that is utilizing jokes from comedians in their greeting cards. They liked one of my ideas which was a birthday card. It’s basically something that I’ve had for a while from my “Words of Wisdom” on my website. The card is going to be:
Happy birthday and remember life is short…
And it is very sensitive about it so just don’t bring it up okay?
I’ll definitely post a link once they start producing it and it may also be in some stores around the country. It pays pretty good and if it sells well I’ll make a percentage of the profits. I submitted about 50 ideas so it just goes to show you with comedy it’s always: volume, volume, volume.
I had an audition yesterday where I had to sing the Louie Armstrong song, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen”. Also just found out yesterday that I’m pretty good at singing like Louie Armstrong. Anyways I have a callback Monday for that we’ll see how it goes. Here’s the song if you don’t know it:
Right now I’m in the midst of teaching two stand up classes and just finished teaching at ComedySportz High School League camp, which is always fun. I’m hoping to have my stand up teaching website up and running by the end of the summer. It looks good just needs a few touch ups. I have a lot of shows coming up. Check out my website for all the details: www.tomclark.com