FWN: Welcome Gail. I’m so glad to have a chance to speak with you. How are you?
FWN: That’s always good to hear. You are Founder and President of a Los Angeles based corporate comedy consulting company. To name a few, you’ve worked with Roseanne Barr, Jay Leno, Wayne Brady, Drew Carey, Jim Carrey, Dave Chapelle, and Jerry Seinfield. Tell me more about your company.
GS: I am a matchmaker. I provide the perfect pairing of comedian and situation given the demographic and budget. I have been an agent, manager, producer, and probation officer. I bring with me experience, knowledge and enduring relationships I work with press, the media, the comedy community, fundraisers, politicians, the business community and I am looking to expand. I have worked with so many comics that it would be silly to start naming names. There is, however, a partial list on my website. I also search for the new, and the wonderful.
FWN: Interesting. What were you doing before you began your own company? GS: I was a Probation Officer in Los Angeles’ inner city. FWN: Wow! So, what made you decide to start a business and why corporate comedy?
GS: There was an administrative job change and I was unhappily reassigned. I promised myself that I would not spend my life doing something I hated. Then, I remembered that when I was five years old, my favorite song was “No business like Show Business” and I was inspired.
FWN: After gaining that inspiration, how did you overcome challenges to make your dream a reality?
GS: In each phase of my career there have been challenges and blocks. You have to rise to the challenge and go around, over, or through the blocks. I have made many mistakes. Learned, went on, and made more mistakes. I’m still doing it. I’ve just gotten new office equipment and I’m excited about the ways I am going to be able to improve my services.
FWN: I really admire your perseverance. In one of our previous conversations before, you mentioned certain people basically suggested you give up. Why do you believe that was their recommendation?
GS: A very nice gentleman from the Better Business Bureau came to advise me. He suggested that I not go into business because most businesses fail. Also, it was harder for a woman way back then and I think he meant most kindly to save me from ruin.
FWN: Yet, you set your goals and reached them. Why?
GS: I wanted to do the work. Many times I have felt that I had no choice but to continue. Mistakes are not failures. If you want success you have to keep heading in that direction. Now, when a comic asks if they should give up, I always say yes. Only be a comic if you must.
FWN: You are truthful with them. OK then, take me back to when you gained your first client and booked your first comedian.
GS: My first job in comedy was with a previously successful manager. I worked for free because I had no show business experience and was that eager to learn. At the end of six months, the manager relocated to New York leaving everything behind. I told one of the comics that I would be her new manager and she didn’t say no. I was scared and didn’t feel that I knew enough about the business but I knew it was my chance.
FWN: That stems from being driven and having a passion for what you wanted to do. So tell me what are the pro’s and cons of owning and operating your own business?
GS: My boss and I usually get along. I get to go to dance class daily. I can do business in my pajamas and never need to call in sick. I am delighted when I can create and then implement win-win-win scenarios. My work is part of my identity. The hard part is, of course, when things aren’t happening. There is no one else to blame and you have to fix it.
FWN: Being your own boss definitely helps you out lol. Would you recommend to most, or all, that starting a company is a ‘good’ thing?
GS: The good thing is: find what you enjoy and want to do, figure it out and do it.
FWN: Lol, you shared a comment your mother told you – what was it again?
GS: My mother said: “The only easy thing is peeing in the shower.”
FWN: Lol, that always makes me laugh. Share an inspirational thought with me?
GS: Everybody deserves to be treated with respect.
FWN: I like that thought. What’s to come for Gail Stocker?
GS: I don’t have an astrologer this year. However, I am expecting a glorious, exciting and busy year.
FWN: With your pleasant demeanor, drive and motivation, I know you will have a great year. How can someone find out more about your company and book talent for their events?
GS: They can go to my website and/or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FWN: I really appreciate your time Gail. I genuinely admire your determination, perseverance, and the fact that you make things happen. You are a true inspiration for women everywhere. I wish you all the best. FabWoman.Net supports you and will keep in touch on what’s going on with you and invite you to do the same.
GS: Thank you. Please know that I work with many female comics and I have been a feminist since the 4th grade when the little girl next to me said, “It’s a man’s world”.