Nicole Blaine & Mi’s Westside Comedy Theater Presents:
9th Annual Stand Up Showdown!
ATTN: Writers, Stand-Ups, Performers, Creators!
FREE INDUSTRY PANELS
During The Stand-Up Showdown comedy festival
First come, first let in. (Get there early!)
Tuesday, April 7 at 6pm
Jandiz Cardoso (NBCUniversal Talent Development Inclusion)
Naela Durrani (casting for America’s Got Talent)
Michael Cox (booker for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon)
Jessica Pilot (booker for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)
Jeff Singer (Just for Laughs)
Discussion will include: How to get on their radar, what makes a good submission video, how to submit to them, do’s and don’ts, and more. The panel will also have an open Q & A with the audience.
Script to Screen
Wednesday, April 8 at 6pm
Brent Forrester (Show runner of The Office, Love, Space Force)
Hilarie Holt (Sony)
Courtney Mock (Lionsgate)
Grace Moss (NBCUniversal)
Allison Wasserman (HBO)
Discussion will include: How to get a script from the page to the screen, the creative process, what a network, studio, and production company is looking for, general meetings, how to pitch a show, the development process, the network process, the rejection process, and more. The panel will also have an open Q & A with the audience.
Thursday, April 9 at 6pm
Ryan Moran & Kelly Harper (Comedy Central)
Brian Moses (Creator of Roast Battle on Comedy Central)
Discussion will include: A deep dive into working with Comedy Central, what they are looking for, how to get on their radar, how to submit to them, how to pitch a show to them, how to sell a live show to them, and more. The panel will also have an open Q & A with the audience.
Friday, April 10 at 6pm
Michael Bertolina (All Things Comedy)
Anna Roberts (Comedy Dynamics)
Casey Gates (WhoHaha)
Discussion will include: How to make it in the stand-up world, getting a stand-up special or album made by a production company, making a stand-up special or album on your own, selling it, distributing it, marketing it, getting your work on multiple platforms, the digital world, and what these companies are looking for and how to work them, and more. The panel will also have an open Q & A with the audience.
Agents and Managers
Saturday, April 11 at 6pm
Ian Arougheti (Aim Entertainment)
Chelsea Connors (Mosaic)
Joe Flaherty (Innovative Artists)
Sabina Kashi (CAA)
Stephanie Rothman (Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston)
Ethan Stern (3 Arts Entertainment)
Discussion will include: How to get representation, what reps are looking for, what to say in meetings, how to follow up, how to keep your rep, do’s and don’ts, and more. The panel will also have an open Q & A with the audience.
Brought to you by Nicole Blaine
PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION BELOW:
Stand-up competition and industry panels! Industry reps are looking for new talent, and we’d like to help. Every night we have top executives from the industry and the comedy community coming to judge a stand-up competition and speak and educate about their practices. All performances for this competition are at Mi’s Westside Comedy Theater located in Santa Monica, California.
Past Judges and Panelists have been from HBO, Comedy Central, NBCUniversal, TBS, Fox-Disney, ABC-Disney, Amazon, Funny or Die, comedy agents, managers, and literary agents (from CAA, WME, ICM, APA, Brillstein, Paradigm, LINK, 3 Arts, Mosaic, Artists First, Gersh, Innovative Artists, RBEL), JFL bookers, late night television bookers (from Conan, Fallon, Kimmel and Colbert), America’s Got Talent, bookers from SF Sketchfest & Big Sky Comedy Festival & New York Comedy Festival, TV show producers, club bookers (Comedy and Magic Club, Dynasty Typewriter), the LA Weekly, Buzzfeed, Vulture, and your mom. So take a look below and submit today.
HOW IT WORKS:
If you’re one of the comics selected you will perform a five minute set at the Westside Comedy Theater in two preliminary rounds on two separate nights. After both showcases, your scores will be combined, and the top ten comics will advance to the Final Showdown. Travel and accommodations are not provided. All five industry panels are free and open to the public.
April 7 – 10, 2020 Preliminary Rounds
Saturday, April 11, 2020 The Final Showdown
If you are accepted you’ll get FIRST PRIORITY when attending our five sold out industry panels.
There will be Industry Panels at 6pm each night of The Showdown. They are free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis.
Judging preliminary rounds will be talent agents, managers, and industry executives. Sets for the prelims round will be five minutes each.
The top 10 finalists will perform in the Finals on April 11, 2020 at 8PM at Mi’s Westside Comedy Theater.
Winners and finalists will receive:
A general meeting with Comedy Central
We will stuff the joint with industry. Each year many of the comics receive great feedback from the agents, managers and late night bookers in attendance. Even if you don’t win, you stand a good chance of making a love match with that one special agent or manager who “gets you.”
HOW TO APPLY:
1) Must be 18 or over to apply.
2) Submit your entrance fee through this page.
3) Send us a 5 minute video of your stand-up set. If it is more than 5 minutes, that’s fine, just know we’ll only watch up to the first 5 minutes.
Tips for your submission:
- A YouTube link is best (Vimeo has trouble loading and slows us down)
- We don’t want to see you be introduced by the host or do crowd work, please start at the beginning of a joke.
SUBMISSION FEES & SCHEDULE:
Early Bird Registration: Now to – Oct 31, 2019 Submission Fee: $30
Early-ish Registration: November 1 – November 30, 2019 Submission Fee: $35
Standard Registration: December 1 – 31, 2019 Submission Fee: $40
Late Registration: January 1 – January 20, 2020 Submission Fee: $50
You will be notified by the week of February 17, 2020.
The prelims will be held:
Tuesday, April 7 at 8PM + 10PM
Wednesday, April 8 at 8PM + 10PM
Thursday, April 9 at 8PM + 10PM
Friday, April 10 at 8PM + 10PM
FINALS: Saturday, April 11 at 8PM
After Party at 10pm (All are welcome)
INFO YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE APPLYING:
If you have performed in The Showdown within the last two to three years, it’s probably best to not apply again… just yet. Our goal is to find new talent that has not yet been showcased at The Showdown. We hope to circulate new comics through as often as possible. If it’s been over three years since you were in The Showdown, feel free to apply again if you have all new material you are interested in performing.
If you have applied to The Showdown before, and have not gotten in, please apply again — with a whole new tape! We’d love to see new material.
Submissions will only be accepted through the online submission page.
No in-person, mail or emailed submissions outside of this online form will be considered. Must be 18 or over to apply.
The check-out service fee refers to the fee associated with the ticketing service. We never see this fee ourselves, so if you want to complain about it, we’ll join you. Submission fees are non-refundable.
Comics selected to be a part of the competition will be informed over email the week of Monday, February 17, 2020. Failure to confirm by Thursday, February 20th may result in us not being able to guarantee your spot. And that would suck, so give us your good email and not the one you reserve for spam and stuff.
Prizes: Meetings will be set up between representatives from Comedy Central and the comic. Mi’s Westside Comedy Theater will not be scheduling the meeting for you.
Cash will be handed out the night of the show in crisp new bills.
If you still have questions email us at [email protected]
WHAT THE INDUSTRY SAYS ABOUT THE SHOWDOWN:
“I see LOTS of comedy shows – but the Westside’s Stand Up Showdown always impresses. The talent they curate is consistently great and I personally have discovered a number of amazingly talented comedians solely through The Showdown. Comedy competitions are notoriously challenging to put together (and attend), but Nicole Blaine & team have cracked the code in making it a fun, well-run, discovery-driven event that is a true asset to the LA comedy community.” – Ryan Moran, Comedy Central – Talent & Development
“The Showdown at the Westside Comedy Club is an excellent opportunity for not only comedians but for the industry to scout. The Showdown curates amazing lineups featuring the best comics and I look forward to it each year.” – Michael Cox, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
“The Showdown has truly become a prolific gathering of talented comics on the rise. It allows me to see and discover new comedians from all over the country in my own backyard. And many from my own backyard. The first time I saw Kellen Erskine, a comic from Burbank with no representation at the time, was at The Showdown. That got the ball rolling to audition and eventually book Kellen for New Faces at JFL Montreal. So kudos to Nicole Blaine and her team for uncovering and showcasing some bright stand-up gems.” – Jeff Singer, Executive Programming Consultant, Just For Laughs Comedy Festival
“The Showdown put a huge handful of talented stand-up comics on our radar. The side-splitting hilarity that transpires throughout the competition is a blast for both audience members and the industry folk, and it’s really awesome to experience these new comics at their best!” – Allison Johnson, Funny or Die
“Every year I make sure that I clear my schedule for the finals of THE SHOWDOWN. It is not only a great night, but it is an incredible place to find the next level of comedic talent and a showcase that I have been able to sign a lot of people out of.” – Ian Arougheti, formerly with ICM Partners, now with Aim Entertainment
PAST SUCCESS STORIES:
“I went into the 2019 Westside Comedy Showdown with over 10 years of standup under my belt, but this festival put my career into a whole new gear. One of my goals for the greater part of my career was to get to the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. I have never even auditioned for it and began to write it off of my vision board for 2019 but thanks to Nicole Blaine and The Westside Comedy Theater, this dream was finally realized. After a great first round set in front of a packed house Jeff Singer brought me straight to JFL call backs. That same year I booked New Faces at JFL! And the breakthroughs from my JFL set are still coming in. Luckily, I was also able to attend all of the free panels, and as a comic who got all of my education on the road and on various stages, my eyes were finally opened to the sides of the business I had been ignorant to. It changed my entire approach to this business. But the thing I enjoyed most was getting to know the other acts from all over the world. I got to see so many talented people and the stage killers in my bracket helped bring out the best in me. To have even placed is an honor. If you don’t have your 5 and 7 minute sets tight I would advise waiting another year or so because the amazing talents that submit to this festival will expose you. But if you are ready, then The Showdown will present for you some life altering opportunities.” – Sean Grant (Showdown 2019 2nd Place Winner)
“The Westside Comedy Showdown legitimately boosted my stand-up career. The exposure to industry took my career to the next level!” – Kellen Erskine (Showdown 2017 Winner. Kellen found his agent at the Showdown and booked his first late night spot on Conan a few months later!)
“The Showdown has been one of the most helpful competitions in my stand-up career. Winning the showdown directly prepared me for winning the Stand up NBC Showcase later that year by helping me tighten my set against some of the top comedians in LA & beyond. Not to mention it’s also attended by top industry managers, agents, TV personnel, etc. I’m very thankful to the Westside showdown!” – JR De Guzman (Showdown 2016 Winner)
“The Showdown was the only festival / competition that put me in front of industry. Through the Showdown, I met with Comedy Central and was put on their 2016 Comics to Watch LA Showcase.” – Hanna Dickinson (Showdown 2016 Finalist)
“An amazing experience that provides comedians an opportunity to showcase themselves to people that have the power to help them move their careers forward.” – Justin Clark (Showdown 2015 Finalist)
Executive Producer and Festival Director
Nicole Blaine has been producing The Showdown since its 3rd year in 2014. Nicole’s passion is to bridge the gap between the artist and the industry executive. Nicole loves creating a space and opportunity for comics to be seen by the industry with a strong focus on education through the free industry panels she curates and hosts. As a stand-up comic, Nicole Blaine has been seen on NBC’s Today Show, E’s That Morning Show, The Big Sky Comedy Festival, San Francisco Sketchfest, Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, The International FringeNYC Festival and Boston’s Women in Comedy Festival. Nicole and her producing and life partner, Mickey Blaine, executive produced the HBO comedy special, Burning the Light. For six years Nicole produced the monthly hit show Virgin Sacrifice at the Westside Comedy Theater. Nicole is the head comedy writer for the online magazine RealMomDaily.com. You can see her perform every Monday at a show she produces in Los Angeles at Canter’s Deli in the Kibitz Room Comedy Show.
MI’s Westside Comedy Theater started The Showdown in 2012 in an effort to have “undiscovered” stand-ups perform in front of top industry executives. The Showdown prides itself on creating an opportunity for comics to get to the next level in their career. Competing comics have been discovered by JFL, late night bookers, AGT, agents, and managers. In 2017 Nicole Blaine added the Industry Panels to the festival program, providing the comedy community with the information they need to know to really help propel their own careers. We are always looking for new, diverse talent and industry executives that want to help the entire comedy community grow and elevate.