We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Sleighter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
There really wasn’t one! I started out wanting to try stand-up comedy, then wanting to get good at it, then wanting it to be a career. It wasn’t until a few years ago I really thought about it as being a business. Which is really what it is. As a stand-up comedian you’re a company that essentially sells yourself. Once I finally accepted that idea, the business part of my industry has become easier.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a stand-up comedian. When the pandemic began, there was a week where we found out my wife was pregnant, she got laid off from her job, and all my gigs got cancelled. That was one week. After that my goal was to still be a professional comedian when the world opened up again. The fact that I’m still a professional comedian now is what I’m most proud of. That and being on Conan. But it was not easy! A lot of comedians snarked about “virtual shows” and how awful they were. But out of desperation I jumped head first into them and I think got pretty adept at doing them. Once the corporate and college world caught up with virtual shows, that opened up a way to work as a comedian from your house. And I think being one of the few comics who was happy to do virtual shows, got pretty good at it, and had a decent set-up in my house made me an easy choice when it came to booking some of these. And now even though everything is basically open, I still have good-paying virtual work on the calendar and I’m curious to see how long that keeps coming in.
Also the pandemic forced me to address parts of my career that I had been ignoring for a long time, because before things were going “well enough”. So I started a podcast, focused on pushing my stand-up on social media and started creating unique content for Youtube. All things I should have or meant to be doing pre-covid, but when faced with extinction it helped focus me to be doing the things I should have been doing all along.
I’ve heard this from different people a few times, but it’s very applicable to a career in the arts and probably the best lesson, and that is to just keep going. It’s easier to outlast people than it is to outshine them. And I think that’s what I’ve done for the most part. The only reason I’m still a comedian is because of how much I love stand-up comedy. And I think that comes through when I perform.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Griffith Park, the burger at Father’s Office and for the complete LA experience got to the taco stand on the corner of Fountain and Normandy that opens a little late to cater to the Scientologists getting off the bus. Also the Alcove for breakfast.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife Heidi Hayward. We met in Los Angeles both pursuing comedy. But when we met I had no real direction or aim as far as making stand-up a career. She absolutely deserves the credit in helping me focus on what I wanted for my career and how I was going to get there. She is also hilarious and the first place I run jokes by (at least the ones I’m semi-proud of).
Quinn Russell Brown Gabriel Michael