MBP #29: Chip Chinery, Life as a Stand-up Comic, Television and Commercial Actor
Does that guy look familiar?
Unless you haven’t watched anything on television ever in your life, you’ve seen him. He’s been in a commercial or television show you’ve watched. He’s the dumb guy. The clumsy cop. The dumb white guy who can take a punch, physically or metaphorically (all his words).
Don’t believe me? Check out this highlight reel from 2009 (more nonsense here). It includes nearly every hit show from Friends to Seinfeld to Becker to 3rd Rock from the Sun:
Here’s something a little more current, a Ciroc commercial from 2010:
This was a fun episode, I hope you enjoy it!
What will you learn in this episode:
- How Chip got into stand-up after a few years working as a cameraman and in banking
- His first entrepreneurship venture – baseball cards (he put on his own baseball card show at 16)
- The parallels between stand-up comedy/entertainment and entrepreneurship
- Chip sees stand-up as being paid a pittance while you learn
- Chip worked 52 weeks a year and took two and a half years to find his voice
- The importance of a support structure for his career
- His lessons learned from 3,000+ stand-up shows (8 shows/week was common)
- His transition from stand-up to a television actor
- How he persevered through 160+ auditions (3.5 years) without booking a commercial (and then once he did he booked 42 commercials, 25 tv shows, and a few voiceovers over the next four years)
- How he deals with the uncertainty of being an actor
- The value of doing the work, taking bad gigs, and of learning and perfecting your craft
- Why he started Chip’s Money Tips, his personal finance blog
Resources and links mentioned in this chat:
- Chip’s Money Tips
- Chip’s Wikipedia Page
- Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up
- Not mentioned in the show but I found this article by Neil Strauss on his brief time as a stand-up comic absolutely fascinating.
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