Throughout his extensive performing experience, 19-year comedy veteran Marc Yaffee has learned to expect the unexpected and to be prepared for anything. If experiences like performing a 10-minute promotional show on an Alaska Airlines flight to Juneau will tell you anything, it’s that all the world’s a stage and Marc is prepared to perform on it.
Casinos are a unique genre for Marc in that they offer him an ever-changing platform to perform top-notch comedy and no two performances are ever exactly alike. For a professional like Marc, interaction with the event booker prior to the show is just as important as the performance itself. There is no “one size fits all” approach to successfully performing for a casino audience and scouting out the vital aspects and expectations of a show beforehand is something Marc has mastered.
Marc Yaffee has been nominated for ‘Comedian of the Year’ in the 2018 NAMMY awards. To vote for Marc Yaffee, visit:https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VOTENATIVENAMA18
Location, Location, Location
An experienced comedian knows that the venue for a performance can be just as important as the audience for which he or she is playing. Shows at a casino require particular attention to detail due to some “less than ideal” circumstances of an event space that can influence the quality, energy and outcome of a show.
“Casino shows can take on a number of forms,” Marc explains. “A headliner show in the main room is way different from entertaining for a conference in a ballroom or a VIP event in say, the casino lounge.”
Marc has experienced hundreds of different situations in performing at casinos over the years, each giving him valuable insights that have strengthened his act. Although most casinos have top-notch production staff, a performer can still face some unusual hurdles in pulling off a successful show.
“I’ve performed at casino shows ranging from the main showroom, to the lounge with a stage above the bar, to a casino parking lot in a windstorm,” Marc explains. “One casino even hired me to perform on a small 4-foot by 4-foot stage in the middle of the casino floor surrounded by slot machines.”
Performing on a small stage amid active gamblers was one of the more memorable challenges of Marc’s career but as his longevity and success in comedy has proven, he’s not one to back down from a challenge. While in Iraq on one of his six overseas Armed Forces Entertainment tours, Marc did comedy on the bed of a five-ton truck while getting his shoulder-length hair shaved down to a buzz cut. Marc’s love of performing, coupled with his adaptability to challenging performance spaces, makes him a great choice for many events. Casino events are no exception.
Communication with the Event Host
A red flag when booking a comedy act, as we described in “Recommendations for Booking Comedy Acts,” is when booking a comedian, they seem way more focused on securing the contract than any details of the show. An experienced comedian will always have relevant questions to make sure; A) they are the right fit for the show and; B) they can offer the client any suggestions to help make the show better. Marc’s advice to comedians and casino event bookers alike is to have clear understanding on both sides as to the audience, the performance space and the show expectations before finalizing any contract.
“The goal should always be 100 percent client satisfaction,” says Yaffee. “If the comedian seems more concerned about their needs than those of the event staff and audience, they probably aren’t the right person for your show.”
Marc stresses the fact that he is there to do whatever he can to not only to make his show a success but elevate the casino’s standing with audience members. To this extent Marc makes himself accessible and available before and after a show. In advance of a show, he is accessible for media interviews. On show nights, he makes himself available for meet and greets and photo ops with audience members. And he is always ready to give and receive feedback if requested by the casino staff.
Casino Culture is Also Important
Having performed extensively in Las Vegas casinos as well as Tribal casinos across the country, Marc understands that the culture of the individual casino is another important aspect to consider. What may be the expectations and sensibilities of a Las Vegas casino can be way different than a casino in rural Wisconsin, for example. In our piece, “Diversity in Life and Comedy,” we described how Marc applies his diverse background to his performances. This is especially true for his casino gigs.
Although he loves performing in Vegas and for corporate events, Marc feels especially comfortable performing and relating to audiences at tribal casinos. The chance to connect with fellow Natives, as well as bringing together mixed native/non-native audiences in shared laughter, is something Marc values and enjoys. His goal is to not only make the audience remember him, but also remember the casino venue for putting on a memorable event.
Book Marc for Your Next Event
Marc Yaffee is ready to make your next event laugh-out-loud funny. Marc has numerous endorsements and personal testimonials and his resume can be viewed here.