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Sanderson Jones - Comedy Sale
Comedy » Comedian Blogs

Comedy Sale (Cash Only)

Stand-up comic Sanderson Jones is a man on a mission. He wants to sell every ticket to his 500-seater Union Chapel gig in person. And he only accepts cash. Here’s his rather bizarre story…

Hello I’m Sanderson Jones, and I am obsessed with cash. This is a recent phenomenon and coincides with a stupid quest I have started. You see, I’m on a mission to personally sell all 500 tickets to my own comedy show at the Union Chapel in London in October. Yes, that’s a lot of tickets. “Why on earth am I embarking on this endeavour?” is a question I ask myself frequently (normally as I stand around in the rain waiting for someone I spoke to on Twitter to come and get their ticket). The idea for ComedySale.Com, which I’ve started calling, CS.C., started at the Edinburgh Fringe festival last year, when I sold tickets to my own stand up show on the street. Having once been a door-to-door salesman in the South of France (considerably less like a porn film than you’d think), chatting to festival goers enjoying themselves in the sun was a cinch and, even better, was playing to a crowd of folk I’d met before.

Doing gigs where I’d personally begged/persuaded the vast majority of the audience to come, crossed some weird boundary of intimacy (not weird like that). Clearly mystical juju takes place when the balance of power is altered, like a million souls crying out in unison. As the festival continued a few thoughts coalesced into this idea (creativity in action!): if I could sell that many tickets to 25 shows, wouldn’t it be even more ridiculous to sell all the tickets to one big show?


Yes. Yes it would.
Before I started there had to be a few rules. Rules that made sure that I met everyone, as well as giving me a faint chance of making it, and these are they:
1. No internet sales.

2. No venue sales.

3. No phone sales.

4. Delivery free in Central London.
5. Cash only.


Cash only is a key part of it. No, people can’t give me a cheque. Who on earth gives cheques anyway? Has someone run out of groats, goats or shiny beads? The only reason you should use a cheque is if you want to give someone money, and a chore. Cheques are like love letter in a fiendish code: the hassle it entails massively undercuts any sentiment attached. Think of all the things you have to do. You’ve got to go to a bank. A physical bank, which is positively Neanderthal. Then stand in line. Awful - because you iPhone has run out of batteries (note to Steve Jobs: a reliable energy source is needed to make a mobile phone mobile). Further indignity is heaped up when they ask you to FILL OUT A FORM! (This makes me sad as I briefly think of my unreturned tax returns). “Oh, how much do you hate me?” I scream at my granny’s generous gift. A cheque! You might as well give someone a Christmas present in a locked safe. “Here’s your new Gameboy Jonny. Oh, it’s in tiger pit”. “Thanks for the new Heelies, Granpa but, in particular, thanks for the putting them on top of Everest!” Obviously, the worse thing about cheques is having to sheepishly send them back to the issuer after they’ve sat in a drawer for over six months.
In short, no cheques.

So, now I’ve started to sell the tickets and in 3 weeks I’ve sold 68 of them. There have been some fun adventures on the way. Last week I sold a ticket to the manager of my locals Sainsbury’s, hopefully making him a friend for life. And on Tuesday June 7th, some chap called Jon Silk asked me into the office of the PR company where he works and, for some unknown reason, wanted me to chair his weekly staff meeting. This meant I went into his office, sat down on his chair and decided that we should discuss the world’s worst possible brand tie ups for Comedy Sale. The topic was slightly sensitive, and it was swiftly shut down after I wondered whether we could arrange a Tsunami related link with Toyota (best idea in the meeting: a wave related chewing gum called Chewnami).

But Wednesday June 8th was the real test. That was the day I went out on the street to sell tickets for the first time. Having had a blast at the comedy festivals in Edinburgh and Melbourne selling the heck out of myself, London turned out to be a very different prospect. Londoner’s wariness was not helped by shyness on my part, which is never good. This meant that precisely zero tickets sold to strangers. As I planned on selling most tickets that way, it does fundamentally call into question the entire enterprise. Which is a worry. Though one person did want to buy a ticket but he didn’t have any cash.


To find out how you can buy a ticket to Sanderson Jones’ show go to http://comedysale.com
Or watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLUizPJDFt4

Friday, 8th July 2011

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