Welcome to my new Website!

Welcome to the new ajfostercomedy.com!
One of my priorities this year was making sure my online presence grew accordingly as my career does. This website refresh was long overdue and I hope the new site is much more visually appealing as well as functional for all visitors. Take a look and tell me what you all like. Also, stay tuned for more additions to come, as well as my weekly OFIM Blog post every Monday afternoon.

Speaking of new editions… I’ve got my first line of merchandise on hand! I have some t-shirts, stickers, and coozies that I will be selling after shows primarily, but other arrangements can be made if you ask nicely! 🙂 Really excited to see how well these move and to add some more/different items in the future.

Major shoutout to Nick Rauscher of 3zero Creative Design & Marketing for helping me out with this whole process. He put in the major design work to bring all of my visions to reality. This site is still a work in progress, as we plan on adding many additional features, and this is just the beginning of our work to improve on the AJ Foster brand.

Oh yea! I’m looking for some testimonials to add to the site. I’ve got a few comments pulled from Facebook that are in that section now, but if anyone would like to offer their testimonial for me to display on my site, please email me and I’ll post it up. Thanks!

-AJ

I’m Opening for Damon Wayans!!!

The past month has been incredible to me! I met and became friends with Jay Pharoah from SNL, who is one of the most down to Earth dudes you’ll ever encounter. He and his manager both liked me so much after I featured for him at Helium Comedy club in Buffalo that they gave me another opportunity to open for him in Charlotte, NC which was my first big road gig outside of NY. I had so much fun that weekend and found myself continuously thinking “Why can’t my life be like this ALL the time?”. I got to join Jay on some radio interviews and visit TV stations where he was doing promo for the shows that weekend and his new Showtime Special. We got VIP treatment at Carowinds theme park where we skipped to the front of the line for all of the roller coasters that day and got a behind the scenes tour that afternoon before returning to the club and getting paid to make people laugh that night! Heaven right? I know! In addition, I got to do some networking and make some good connections that should lead to me securing some more road gigs in the future. I’ll also be opening for Jay on another gig coming up next month.

If this wasn’t enough to say I had the best damn month ever, I just got offered another amazing opportunity this week. I will be opening for Damon Wayans next weekend! DAMON MUTHAF***ING WAYANS!!! This is huge to me if you can’t already tell by my use of caps and excessive exclamation marks!!!!!! I love the Wayans family so much and I always joke about how I want to be a part of their family. There’s so many of them that they probably wouldn’t even notice if I just snuck into one of their family functions and tried to blend in. So it’s pretty safe to say this is a dream come true to me. One of my roommates from college texted me earlier today when he heard the news to remind me about how we all used to watch Damon Wayans’ HBO Special in the dorm. I had no clue back then that I would ever get a chance to share a stage with one of my favorite stand-up comedians.

I remember I auditioned for a spot to open for Damon at Syracuse University when I first started doing stand-up about 5 years ago. They were picking 5 or 6 local comedians to do some short sets (5 mins) at his show and I didn’t get picked. I was bitter at the time, but now I’m perfectly fine with the way things turned out. I’m a firm believer in the “everything happens for a reason” theory and I just wasn’t supposed to meet him back then. I was fresh on the scene, only about 2 months in and honestly, I sucked. I thought I was good back then because I was “killing it” at the weekly open mic (rookie delusions of grandeur), but looking back… I was terrible. I’ll probably say the same thing about my present day self when I look back at the past again in another 5 years, but the takeaway here is that with hard work and dedication, my career has come full circle. I’ve grown so much since then and put in countless hours sharpening my skills to be in the position I’m in now. I’m getting a second shot at that chance that eluded me in the beginning, but this time on a much better platform.

Helium Comedy Club

Thursday 8/27 – Sunday 8/30

Tickets available HERE!

damon_wayans

The Choke Felt ‘Round The Country

Alright, in case you missed it, I was featured in the Indian Country Today in an article about THIS viral image that I posted on Instagram last week. The amount of attention that I received over the past few days has been overwhelming at times. I had to turn off my notifications on my iPhone to stop the constant Facebook likes, comments, Instagram and Twitter alerts from interrupting my normal daily activities. However, I am extremely happy to see that so many Native American people around the country appreciate my post and continue sharing it on social media.

I’ve read through just about all of the comments on Facebook and the majority of them were very positive. I’d say only 1% were negative comments from people who either A) Don’t have a sense of humor, B) Are ignorant to race and social issues faced by various ethnic groups in this country, or C) Just flat out don’t care about offending any group of people if the problem doesn’t directly affect them. I was well aware when I initially posted the photo that some people wouldn’t understand it and there could potentially be some backlash, so I’d say a 99% approval rating is a major win in my book and the love definitely outweighs the hate.

I’ve received dozens of messages from Natives all over just thanking me for bringing awareness to this cause with my humor. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to make fun of this ridiculous sign which any town should be embarrassed to have as its official seal in present day America. I fully understand the discomfort it may cause having constant reminders thrown in your face all the time of how your ancestors were mistreated and slaughtered. I’d imagine the equivalent for my people would be a town seal depicting a black slave being whipped in a cotton field… so yea, I get it.

Many people told me that this post made a fan out of them once they realized I was a comedian and they would be looking forward to seeing me perform live one day. I chuckled to myself a few times when asked when “my tour” would be coming to a particular city. Ha! I wish I had my own tour, but right now I’m just a struggling comic (writing this blog on my lunch break from my day job) trying to reach my dreams. I would love nothing more than to be setting up gigs in Montana, Washington, New Mexico, Arizona, Montreal, and all of the other places where new fans have inquired about me doing a live show.

Maybe with all of your help I could get booked in your city. If you are really serious about seeing AJ Foster live then just call up your local comedy club and request them to book me. Refer them to my website or have them email me at AJFosterComedy@Gmail.com. I will gladly pack up my car and drive around the country to make you all laugh. Maybe this could be the spark I need to help propel my career to the next level.

ICTquoteP.S. No white people were harmed in the making of this photo! Lol I’m not a violent person and I don’t condone or promote violence against ANY person or group of persons! I’m not “Anti-White” and I actually love my friends and neighbors here in Whitesboro. I’ve read some real militant – “Yeah! Kill Whitey” – type posts in relation to my pic and I’m just like…. “Nahhhh it’s not that serious bro!” Also, thank you to fellow comic Larry O’Grady for being a part of this.

How Do I Get Booked?

Some of you may have noticed that I’m becoming quite busy the more my career progresses. I’m still not a full time comic and I have many other responsibilities to take care of on a day-to-day basis, yet I still manage to book a number of paid gigs every week. People (especially other comics at my level) always ask me how I do it. There surely isn’t an abundance of quality stage time and opportunities in the area I currently live in and I don’t have a booking manager dedicated to filling my schedule for me. So here it is: a quick guide to young comics like myself looking to grow and get more work.

1. Be proactive. Actively seek out new performance opportunities. This stuff isn’t just gonna fall in your lap. Do some research. I spend hours just looking up new clubs and showcases. I email a dozen bookers each month with my contact info and a link to one of my performance videos. Most of the time I don’t hear back at all. These bookers get hundreds of emails from eager comics every week and honestly they probably don’t even look at my stuff, but that’s ok. It’s worth the work for that one that does see me and offers a spot on a show. And the rest… I’ll email them again next month. Stay aggressive and don’t give up!

2. Be humble. You’re just starting out for Christ’s sake! You did a couple of open mics and maybe you even got booked for a paid gig on one local showcase. So now you get cocky and you have this idea of how much money you should be making every time you get on stage. Reel it in superstar! You’ve still got a lot more work to put in before you start making high demands. Big payouts are gonna come few and far between in your first couple of years. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve taken a lot of gigs where I barely broke even after you factor in traveling expenses. I never turn my nose up at these opportunities because I always assess the situation and look at the bigger picture. I’ll do a poorly paying gig if I believe there is a chance it could lead to a much better opportunity. Some of my best paying gigs were booked as the immediate result of a gig where I made little to nothing and that bigger payday wouldn’t have happened if I turned down the first gig because I thought it was beneath me.

3. Be prompt. Always be on time for your shows. And by on time, I mean be early. I usually aim to arrive at least an hour before show time. Not only will the producer appreciate this and not have to worry about hunting you down 5 mins before the show starts, but it also benefits you. Arriving early gives you a chance to relax before the show starts. You’ll perform much better that night after you’ve had some time to shake off the anxiety. I could go on and on about the benefits of arriving on time, but I’ll save that for another blog. For now, just do it because it’s the professional thing to do and you don’t want to build a reputation for being the late guy. Word of mouth goes a really long way. Which brings me to my next point…

4. BE POLITE! Treat everyone at the venue with respect. That goes for the owners/managers, wait staff, crowd, and other performers. People want to work with nice people. And not that phony kind of nice where you’re just pretending to be nice because you expect people to do favors for you in return. Just genuinely be polite because it’s the right way to live your life in general even if you weren’t trying to secure future bookings. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you’re a pleasure to work with, comics and producers will recommend you for other gigs. On the flip side, no matter how funny you are, no one is gonna book you if you’re known for being a jerk and people can’t stand to be around you for more than 5 mins. So just don’t be a dick and it could really help out your career in the long run.

Bonus: Be funny! It almost goes without saying, but I didn’t really want to list this because I really don’t think your talent level is the most important aspect when it comes to getting booked. But at the end of the day, the name of the game is comedy so you’ve gotta bring the funny! After all, people are paying money to come and laugh so the people who have the best ability to make them laugh will usually get booked more often. Being funny will only get you so far though. It’s only a single piece of a much larger pie. Comedy is very subjective and what’s funny to some may not be funny to others. There’s always a crowd that will relate to a certain type of humor as long as you have a polished delivery of your material and a stage presence that makes them believe you actually belong on stage.

So to wrap it up. Here’s what a young comic has to do to get booked. Be proactive. Be humble. Be prompt. Don’t be a dick! Be polite! And be funny! Sounds simple, right? Yes, I know there’s much more to it than that, but follow these key ground rules for a good start. By no means do I have all of the answers so please don’t yell at me Kanye! I’m still figuring it all out myself, but I’m no hater and I wanna pass my tips on to anyone else who needs help. Subscribe to my blog and I will be writing more informative pieces like this going forward. Any topic suggestions are gladly welcomed!

https://i0.wp.com/memecrunch.com/meme/1S992/you-ain-t-got-the-answers-kanye/image.png

I Suck At This

I suck at this. I should really stop promising to deliver some sort of content on any periodic basis because deep down I know I’ll never keep up with that schedule, but if I don’t verbally commit to it then I’ll probably never post anything. Part of it is just the struggle between posting something just for the sake of posting OR actually waiting until I have some news that I feel is worthy of sharing to actually write about it. I know there aren’t too many readers here anyway, but I don’t wanna let you guys down so I’m doing my best. Should have a few exciting things coming up in the next several weeks/months so there will be some noteworthy posts.

I didn’t have any shows this past weekend. I went home and spent some time with my family (not enough) and I had to take care of some personal matters while I was in town. Back to the grind this week though with a couple shows on the Not Too Far From Home Comedy Tour in 2 more small towns that most people who don’t live in these areas have never heard of! YAY! Friday night I’ll be at the Mohegan Manor in Baldwinsville, NY and Saturday night it’ll be the Russell Theater in Russell, NY.

Honestly, this entry isn’t the “good one” that I posted about on Facebook. I just figured that mentioning it publically would motivate me to actually complete it, but it didn’t lol I won’t say much about it, but I have a very good idea that I think will be successful so I think it deserves a lil more time to develop. I was gonna rush it and just throw it up this morning, but I’m gonna take my time on that post and make sure it’s good. It could potentially shape the direction of all my future blogs so I wanna do it right! So the next post on here will definitely be a “good one”.

And going forward, what would you like to see more of from me? Memes? Short 15 second Instagram videos? Longer video blogs? Let me know. I’ll be putting a lot of work into increasing my online presence in the next few months as I gear up for these next steps in my career!

I’m Blessed

This morning I woke up feeling brand new! The title of my blog is the “OFIM Blog” (Oh F**k, It’s Monday), a feeling that so many of us have when we’re sad that the weekend is over and we have to go back to work. Today, I don’t feel like that. I woke up feeling blessed and highly favored! I usually dread waking up for work, but I’m up extra early today before my alarm even went off. I decided to write this blog before I did anything else to let you all know how fortunate you are just to have woken up this morning.

Treat every day as a blessing because you never know when it can be your last. Usually you hear people say things like this after they’ve lost someone close to them, but that isn’t the case this time. I just feel like saying it. I’m thankful. Thankful to be alive. Thankful to be healthy. Thankful to have good family and friends all around me. Thankful that I have a job to go to this morning. Too often we complain so much about the things we don’t have that we lose sight of all the great things we DO have. So this morning I just wanted to acknowledge how happy I am at this current moment in time.
I enjoyed my APCA conference over the weekend. Met some incredible, talented people. Networked with some of the programming board members of a buncha schools as well as some of the other showcasing acts in the conference. I feel really good about what I was able to accomplish in the short amount of time that I was there and even though I didn’t book any big gigs on site, I feel confident that I’ll get some work from it on the back end. Progress was definitely made when I look back at my experience from the first regional conference I did last fall to how my interactions were at this national conference that just took place.
I learned a lot about myself this weekend. This comedy business is a long, grueling process to become a stand out performer or a household name. I’m no where near that level yet, but getting closer every day. To anyone out there struggling to achieve your dreams: DON’T GIVE UP! Not to sound all cliche, but yes you’ll fall down 20 times; just keep getting back up. Don’t be afraid to fail along the journey. Always learn from your downfalls and apply them to your future to keep growing. I’m focused more that ever now and ready to apply all of these ideas I just came up with to make my act so much stronger. Most important, no matter where I go, I always know that my God has my back!

I Know I’m Late

Yea I usually post these blogs in the afternoon. The current time is 9:08pm as I sit here and begin to write this on my old Windows Vista laptop that I’ve had since 2007 when I was still in college after my big silver Dell Inspiron Laptop died on me. But I said I’m gonna write a blog every Monday so dammit I’m gonna post this blog tonight! In my defense, it really feels like 8:08 because of the time change this weekend, but whatever…

I’m tired. I haven’t actually rested on a weekend in months. I don’t have any shows this coming weekend so that’s what I will do. I will rest. This weekend I drove home to the city and I had a show at Broadway Comedy Club on Saturday. It was my first time at this club and I had about 25 friends and family members come out to support me. Its always nerve-wracking performing in front of people that know me well because I know they view me in a totally different light than strangers that are seeing me for the first time. They know what’s true and what’s fabricated in my set and I know I’m being judged different. Plus I feel pressured to do different bits that they haven’t heard and not make them sit through me telling the same exact jokes for the 20th time! But I did well and I know they’ll enjoy seeing me perform regardless anyway.

Here’s a random ass pic of me and a painting of Chris Rock on a wall

Gonna try to take it easy this week. Just an open mic or two during the week because I really don’t know how to sit still and just not do anything, but I won’t be traveling far or staying out late at all. Once the weekend hits, I’m shutting myself down for a bit and not doing anything until I head to Jacksonville next week for my APCA Showcase. Really looking forward to that and hoping this goes well because it could end up being a career changing event for me. I learned a lot from my first time showcasing a couple of months ago and I’m so ready to put that knowledge to use and just have fun. I heard the Ying Yang Twins will be there. I just wanna see them perform Get Low one time so we can go from the windowwwwww to the wall. Til the sweat drops from my balls! Awwwwww skeet skeet skeet skeet! Ok I’m clearly sleepy. I’m going to bed now. Goodnight.