Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

When will I be on Live at the Apollo?

Recently I had two gigs back-to-back that weren’t terrible.

Hardly a ringing endorsement, but when I told a mate i’d had two average gigs he asked me when I’d be on Live at the Apollo. Now this is terrible for a few reasons, firstly it suggests that my ambition rests with being on TV rather than creating artistically vibrant shows (I am such a dick, and not really talented enough to get away with that sentence) and secondly everyone asks every comedian this question.

But it niggled at me that i couldn’t give them a definitive answer. So I thought I’d work it out.

Now I’ve done 22 gig and rated them all AND kept the timings, so surely it’ll be an easy thing to work out.

Firstly I looked at the success of my various gigs – now obviously it’s subjective as I mark them, but I’m pretty harsh, I don’t think I smash every gig. So I created a graph of my gigs and their ratings so far.


Now this graph isn’t that useful, it shows that I’ve had good gigs and bad gigs. But of course the acts at Live at the Apollo all have significant amounts of material, so to judge the quality properly I have to multiply to length of time (T) onstage by gig rating (G).


And so the story thickens. Clearly I am considerably less consistent than I thought I was, the peaks and troughs from failure to success absolutely massive.

However there are some good peaks there – so how does it compare to a Live at the Apollo comedian?

Well, the time (T) measurement is in seconds. My longest set so far was 1500 sec, but a top comedian’s set will be at least an hour (3600 sec). They also maintain a good average rating of at least 4.5. This means that if you assume they do an hour each gig and at an average of 4.5 my comparison to them is quite pitiful.



But even then it’s not the whole story. You see they will have 5 star gigs more often and will regularly do longer sets, so realistically the red line in the graph above is the bare minimum I’d need to achieve to be in with a shout. Also it’s about consistency. When my gigs are averaged out the distance in quality is even more plain to see.


As you can see above, the professional top comedian (blue) is vastly better than I am (orange).

(Incidentally comedians reading this, I should point out I have no ambition to be on Live At The Apollo or anything like that, I do stand up for fun not as something I want to do, I’m not really good enough, the graphs don’t lie.)

So how does this help me predict when I will get on Live at the Apollo?

Well, it’s simple really, I simply need to look at my average rating on gigs #10 and #20 to work out my rate of improvement (figure 1), then take the benchmark quality figure (14400) and deduct my average gig rating after 2o gigs (figure 2), then I have to divide figure 2 by figure 1 and multiply that number (figure 3) by the number of day it takes, on average, me to do 10 gigs. Simple.

SO… What you’ve been waiting for…

My rate of improvement is 1095.8 per 10 gigs.

That means that to reach 14,400 I need to improve by (14400 – 2874) 11,526.

That means that by dividing my rate of improvement by the increase needed I’ll have to do another 105 gigs.

It takes me 99 days per 10 gigs (based on my current average) (9.9 days per gig).

Therefore the total days it will take me to do 105 gigs is (105 x 9.9) 1039.5 days.

We should assume that it’d take me 2 years at the top to be accepted as “good” therefore we have to add (365 x 2) 730 days to the total.

That means that in a grand total of 1,769 days I should be on Live at the Apollo. If everything goes to plan.

In case you’re wondering when to put in the calendar: Thursday 1st March 2018. I hope there’s a show on that night.

Or…. Maths might lie.




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One response to “When will I be on Live at the Apollo?”

  1. Tony Avatar

    Stats and associated graphs can be manipulated to show whatever you want, look at the government. Maybe you need a clapometer, ( ask your mother).
    Just keep it going and enjoy yourself , sorted.