The Mack Performing Arts Collective hosted their 7th annual “MPAC Funny Business” comedy workshop at the University of Houston’s Alumni Center. The workshop was designed to help new and aspiring artists make their break into the comedy business. Emmy award-winning producer Rushion McDonald, Joke Joint club owner, Ken Reed, and moderator and comedian, Kristin Lindner shared their industry insights to an audience of comics, writers, business owners, and producers.
McDonald covered a range of topics and emphasized the importance of being consistent and putting in the work in order to achieve success in the industry.
“If you’re going to be successful, you have to have a schedule.” Rushion said. “You can’t have excuses. You have to treat this profession that you chose as an opportunity to be successful. A lot of people don’t do that. A lot of people just want that lottery effect. They want to walk down the street and want someone to touch them. You must prepare for long-term success. If you put in the work, then you can win long term. If you’re just doing the work, then you will just have short term success.”
McDonald stressed the significance of believing in yourself, having multiple streams of income and utilizing social media.
He also emphasized the impact of having a supportive team who believe in you and your potential.
“There’s like three people I can mention that I thought about firing and telling them that I just didn’t hear them, because they were so adamant about my greatness,” Rushion said. “Fortunate for me, a lot of them stayed in my life and kept pushing me and telling me and reminding me of my greatness. They reminded me that I was special. So I would think that as your team, you have to start with one. You sit down and say, “Are you willing to help me be great?””
Rushion finished with a Q&A session with the audience followed by Reed who shared insights on the struggles he encounters as a business owner and booking agent.
The workshop concluded with a stand up comedy section featuring four aspiring comedians who received personal critiques on their routines.