Swanky Gig Blog

  • August 7, 2013

Last Friday night, I had my first corporate gig. 1 It was super swanky!

Here is the quick and dirty:

A private car picked me up to take me from Los Angeles to San Diego. (Fancy!)

private car

 They put me up at The Grand Del Mar. (Very fancy!)

grand del mar

 For the entire afternoon, I paced back and forth between these two beds going over my set.

hotel room

Then, since I don’t know any real warm up or vocal exercises, I paced back and forth in this hallway chanting “versace, versace, versace, versace, versace.”


Then, I went downstairs to check out the room, run through the program with the event coordinators, and work out any glitches.

SN: I’ve heard horror stories about corporate gigs where the hosts didn’t provide a microphone or a stage so the comic had to stand on top of a table and yell his or her set at the audience.

Or the host announcing the comic said, “Next up, coming to the stage, we have a verrrrrry funny lady…AND THE BUFFET IS NOW OPEN!”

Oh, the horror!

So we tested out the lighting while I went over my list of demands:  “I’ll need staff to wait to serve dinner until after I get off of the stage. I’ll need a cordless mic. And we have to get rid of this massive podium that is set up in the center of the stage so as not to block my flow…Please and thank you.” (I’m very polite, I swear!)

set up

The coordinators were incredibly hospitable and accommodating.

After we were all good to go, I took a walk while the guests filed in and enjoyed a lovely cocktail reception.

Then I came back, and I did my thing for the next 30 minutes.

stand up

Among other things, I made fun of the crowd for golfing all day and being in the kind of room where people make off-color remarks about “the 47 percent.”

I even dusted off some oldies but goodies…

They had a good time!

(Although no one told me that my puff was flat in the back.)

And they reserved a seat for me at the speakers’ table.

Having to be “on” for 2 hours after your set can be awful. So, before the set, I had already selected the seat that would allow me to have my back to the audience just in case I sucked and needed to avoid eye contact with people for the remainder of the evening. You have to think about these things!

reserved table

 They fed me yummy food.

May my hamachi never not be cherry wood-smoked ever again!


 I received two more rounds of applause.

Lots of people came up and said nice things to me.

wow! bravo!



Then, I went back to my room and took advantage of the swanky accommodations…

…namely this amazing tub.

swanky tub

It was a good day.

  1. A “corporate gig” refers to being hired by a corporation, company, trade association, or similar organization to perform, typically, a stand up comedy routine or a musical act, at a retreat, conference, or similar event. These gigs are often characterized by higher compensation and cushier accommodations than those associated with gigs performing at comedy clubs. Those who hire comics for corporate gigs often require the performer to perform “clean” material. 

21 Comments on "Swanky Gig Blog"

  • Brandon says

    Now that you are getting paid…can I borrow $5? Naw…Congrats. Hopefully, you will get quite a few more corporate gigs.. It will help you maintain your DC lifestyle in LA.

    • akilah says

      I couldn’t afford my DC lifestyle in DC.

  • Fatimah G says

    “May my hamachi never not be cherry wood-smoked ever again!”

    heheee. Awesomeness. This looks like a good old time. Nice.

  • Ebony says

    Oh, I’ll give that a try. LOL!!!

    Good job Akilah!

  • Tracy says

    Congrats, and thanks for sharing this experience. Life is once… “L.I.O.”

  • Gisel says

    I’m so happy for ya!

    Also, your set cracked me up

  • Shan says

    Werk! 😉 Maybe the flat puff can be your “thing” like Sheryl Underwood and her purse lol.

  • Inger Daniels says

    Hi Akilah,

    I’m your new biggest fan.


    • akilah says

      Aw, shucks. Thanks, Inger!

  • Mj says

    That tub looks amazing…

  • Lemu says



    • akilah says

      I’ve got a stan! No effin’ way!

  • Angela says

    Are those your TEETH up there? You need to be in somebody’s Colgate commercial. What kind of whitener are you using??? Man!

    • akilah says

      Lol. Yes, those are mine. Re a Colgate commercial, CLAIM IT!

  • Molly says

    Bwa ha ha ha. I want to see the full set. Super funny!

  • Eunice says

    Seriously — you can get a side gig as an “after” photo on those Crest whitestrip ads.

    I wanna see the full set, too!! Esp. any housing finance jokes.

    • akilah says

      Speak that side gig into existence!

      I’m certain you can live without my housing finance jokes. I literally used acronyms like “QM” and “QRM.”

  • Oliver says

    Hamachi, hamachi, hamachi, hamachi, hamachi, hamachi!

  • Lara says

    Congrats on the corporate gig!! Here’s to hoping we can bring you in to tell some Cable jokes at some point!! 🙂

    • akilah says

      I’m all over it!

  • Amy says

    I had seen the videos before but never this.
    I seriously need to ask Kellee for a day off in order to sit and read in entirety. I am swearing off FB until I catch up on your blog. This is too gooood to be sleepin on it.

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