James Byndon

E009 - Laugh Out Loud

James Byndon joined Plantastic Events episode on February 10, 2018. He talked about how to host live comedy events.

James Byndon

Hot topics for episode 009:

  1. Right venue to host a live comedy event
  2. Topics for comedians and off-limit topics
  3. How to find the right talent for comedy shows
  4. How to do you deal with no-show performers

James Byndon is the president and CEO of JABB Pro Inc., which is a multi-media production company formed in 1996. He has produced seven short films and was called an Award Winning Producer by the film festival for his best short film. He is also a famous percussionist with an emphasis on drums and has been playing for over 40 years! Overall, James has a unique background as an entrepreneur, producer, videographer, editor and musician!

Produced by Stoogeapp.com.
Host: Nausheen Punjani.
Guest: James Byndon.
Music: Justin Mahar.
Support: Aly Hussaini from Stooge and Prototype Prime.

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Podcast Transcript

Transcript by Nausheen Punjani

Nausheen: you are listening to Plantastic Events podcast episode number zero zero nine
Nausheen: hey everyone welcome to Plantastic Events I'm your host Nausheen Punjani, this is a weekly podcast dedicated to help you plan your events with ease be sure to subscribe at stoogeapp.com and stay up-to-date. That's stoogeapp.com plus you'll receive tons of resources, freebies, guides and show notes. Thank you for joining and now let's get into the show.
00:47 Nausheen: hey everyone I'm your host Nausheen Punjani and today we have a special guest on skype, James Byndon, he is the president and CEO of Jabb Pro Inc, which is a multimedia production company formed in 1996, that's impressive, he has not only done that he has produced seven short films and was called an award-winning producer by the Film Festival for his best short film he is also a famous percussionist with an emphasis on drums and has been playing for over 40 years! I don't know how but that is very impressive 
01:24 Nausheen: James has a unique background as an entrepreneur, a producer, a videographer and editor and a musician. I just…James I don't know how you do it but that's an impressive background I am truly like floored to see your background
01:40 James: well thank you so much yes it's been it's been a wonderful ride. You know we do a multiple of things as you said in my bio and I just want to thank you guys for this opportunity
01:52 Nausheen: I’m very excited and looking forward to this interview we're happy to have you on - and I'm glad the Skype issues worked out
01:59 James: - yes yes but I'm here yes definitely
02:04 Nausheen: and to all you listeners he also hosts a number of different shows including comedy shows and that's one of the things he's here to talk to us about
02:13 Nausheen: I'm going to have him as well as his wife perhaps on this show to talk a little bit more about their background as well as the film industry too
02:22 Nausheen: I hope you're okay with that James I've already kind of brought that in there
02:26 Nausheen: my first question to you is, how are you doing today
02:33 James: doing wonderful, wonderful got up and the day started off with a call and so about production so yeah we're we're doing
02:44 Nausheen: great awesome that's wonderful and I hope the weather there in California is nice
02:48 James: simply amazing I don't want to make anybody else beautiful like beach weather but anyway like I said I wanted to get back in snow 
03:09 Nausheen: we have rainy weather here
03:14 Nausheen: can I ask how did you start your career in the event industry and what inspired you to
start Jabb Pro 
03:22 James: well how I got started in the industry, it was I had a friend and I had been I was always into networking going to different events and things like that and then I managed some groups and a friend of mine was talking to me and he said you know what you're a producer I'm like what he said yeah you're a producer and so like okay so he said you have a lot of different things you network you're a photographer, videographer so he said you just need to bring everything together under one umbrella and that's the producer and so I was like okay so you know he basically gave me the steps that I needed to take I followed those steps and I got on the road and I began to put everything under the umbrella that's how we that's how we got started
04:12 Nausheen: that's actually interesting and then having such a wide variety of backgrounds that by itself is impressive so you to bring it all together most people are unable to do that so like to see you having that ability and bringing everything all together in one unit and one umbrella as you said that's actually really cool
04:30 James: Thank you so much and it’s expanding
04:37 Nausheen: how did you develop a passion for music and photography. I know that I brought up the percussionist background with drums I'm just curious how did you end up in music and how did you end up in also photography
04:47 James: okay what happened with that was I when I was young in like elementary school Wow is when it started and they had a music class within the class and they just had like tambourines and cowbells and little bongos and I took a liking to the bongos and so we were beating on tables and beef so that's pretty much how it began then when I can I always had this love for it and beaten on everything and so then when I got into junior high school that's when it really started and I my dad and mom bought me a drum set and we start playing and practicing the different songs and it just became more proficient at it and then I started playing with bands and things like that now far the photography my dad was a professional photographer and anyway so what he did he would go around take weddings and things like that and I was not interested to be quite honest with you so when I got out here to California in my dad had given me a couple of cameras so I was like okay and then they just set in the closet and so then I was like okay well you know I had a magazine that we also started and you didn't know about that right it's called LA real magazine and we will go around interviewing stars and so we had a photographer that traveled with us so we could get pictures with all the entertainers and a list stars and things like that so things got kind of tight and then like okay and I was looking at what the
photographers were doing this stuff not like you know what I can do that and so I picked up the camera and I begin to take photos going around for the magazine and that's pretty much it from
there I started doing wedding 
06:56 Nausheen: Wow
06:56 James: you know things like that
06:59 Nausheen: so you just went for it
06:59 James: yes just just went for it and then I began to get hired by different people for different events and and I just kept the ball rolling
07:09 Nausheen: I like that mentality I'm going to use that idea too were you just saying you know what I can do that it doesn't matter what the with the requirements on I can do it exactly
07:16 James: picked up the camera and like I said I think it's really a when when your dad does it you're around it you may not really pay attention to it 
07:27 Nausheen: right 
07: 27 James: but you kind of have a knack for cuz you kind of watch him and so when you pick it up it's almost like it's in your DNA yeah 
07:37 Nausheen: and even better you got lucky there and you build up on it you built that whole skill in addition to everything else which is really very very impressive
07:47 Nausheen: you also hosts a number of comedy events as well right so is there any events you can or advice you can share with our event planner listeners out there because a lot of our event planners or maybe fairly new in the event industry so they might like your tips like I guess your top three tips that you would give to them if you just happen to run into one of them and they were curious about your industry what would you share top three okay however many doesn't have to be three
08:15 James: okay all right not a problem now I've done a lot of concerts over the years and we did musical concerts and bringing a lot of groups together range artists and things like that so we we did this particular event and we rented out of Hall and and when we went into it we got we had a DJ comedic host we had reggae our being me and dancer so it was a variety show just you know put it in a nutshell so we did it and and so we were really just trying to see what event we could put on that will generate income and so we began to break it down because we ran into one of the situations look we have the reggae band and the reggae band is really a defined audience they really just love reggae so we love the comedy and the jazz they were like oh
09:28 Nausheen: that's challenging I can see that now yeah
09:31 James: and so I talked to a friend of ours and said hey you know what we're not gonna and I'm gonna get to the comedy 
09:41 Nausheen: no no no I like hearing all about it. Trust me as much as you can share I love it
09:44 James: what we did we pulled the comedic host and we put other comedians around him we ended up coming up with the name called the cleans of comedy and we kind of basically chemists did a spin-off because it was the Kings of Comedy the queens of comedy then we wanted to have the clean because a lot of people love comedy but what we were finding is they were like you know yeah every time we they have to curse every other word so we wanted comedians that were just as funny but could deliver their lives and it'd be totally clean and and then we wanted to make it where it was family-friendly
10:31 Nausheen: so you really had to integrate quite a bit right just to get yeah so that the audience would show up and the audience would be feeling like they're engaged as part of that
10:39 James: right yes 
10:39 Nausheen: how did you so what did you just learn as you go or did you just like learn from the audience how did you come up with that where you realize you know what I need to figure out and stop for a moment and say I need to be able to connect the dots and bring it together so people can actually enjoy the moment that they're in
11:02 okay well again like I said my wife and I we've done many events of the and again throwing my plug in for my wife and hopefully one day you'll you'll do an interview as you said with her as well because she have a wealth of knowledge we just collaborate together and so we are looking for innovative ways to come out with whether it's music because I'm a musician 
11:31 Nausheen: right
11:31 James: and we just have never I was telling you I network so in my networking I meet a lot of people. I mean musicians actors singers comedians so we we are all really like to go to when people are putting on an event they'll come to us and…and we'll put all the elements together for so that's what we did a meet these comedians are right on the cusp of being household name that we bring in and so the level that you get is very very high professional the comedians are will have you on the floor rolling
12:12 Nausheen: wow that's incredible how do you find these type of like I know that you network quite a bit but I guess for a standard event planner that's out there what kind of advice would you give to them for how to improve their networking in this process how to find the right type of comedians or performers or musicians or anything else what advice would you give to them as they're new in the field
12:35 James: it has a lot to do with relationship a lot, of lot of work what I'm sharing with you today is built on years and years and years of relationships so what you do you you are out at events and you talk to people you find out what they do once you find out what they do then you begin to see how you can tie it in and when you hear of events or have events coming up then you can bring that particular  artist or comedian into yeah we think so then you also you can talk to the comedian's because it's the old adage birth of a feather flock together so comedian then you're gonna pretty much know other  comedians because that's the circle you run in so we'll talk to the comedians and then we'll find out who they know who they think it's funny like them and their comedian they have a gauge on that so that we begin to reach out to them and find out what they're about and then if they you know we we've actually gone out for comedy shows checking out different comedians and then when we see them we'll get their information then when we have a show coming up well okay and it's at the same same type before film related shows as well like if you had to network you and network for those purposes as well it all plays a part you cuz you just gather a name yeah what they do and then but then you have that as a base but in the film industry it's slightly different because you you have a role or a part that you're looking to fulfill so then you have different ages you have different looks you're going for so then you do what they what we call a casting call so you have you go in and you normally what we do is set up a camera and we interview or have them read the tag like the tag line date and then you see how they deliver it and and how they come across on camera and then you can go back and look at and they agree to your headshot so it's a process that you're going through in in process of elimination oh they were good oh they were great oh really so it's kind of like that were in the film industry
15:11 Nausheen: okay so for all you listeners make sure you take that advice to learn how to network learn how to find that right the right group of people that can lead you to a whole new group of people learn that it's a trickling factor it takes time it takes energy you have to go out you have to mingle networking is key and and probably one of the biggest keys to be it to being able to improve this industry are being able to find the right people for your for whatever else event that you've got going on whether it be comedy or music events or a film production it could be anything so thank you for sharing that that actually means a lot
15:51 Nausheen: what about for venues I'm sure that you know there are certain types of venues that will you pick for a comedy event versus a live music event how would you you know find the right type of venue the way you find the venue
16:03 James; again is with technology you can go online you know and you pull it up and see what area you have to target what area are you looking to go into right you want to look for convenience of how easy it is to get to that particular event the parking, how many does the facility hold. These are questions that you need to ask and most importantly you want to make sure of the that you keep your cost down, find that it can accommodate what you want to do but keeping your cost down
16:46 Nausheen: that is key, most definitely key learning how to budget and then probably pre-planning all of this stuff in advance like you mentioned
16:56 James: yes
16:56 Nausheen: going through piece by piece where you're where you're gonna budget where are the key items that you would look into go based on that you know the venue the parking this that how are you planning everything planning in advance so you're not panicking at the end of the day when you realize that you know
17:15 James: Nausheen let me jump in right there. Now another key element and I think this is very important is you have to have you said earlier you have to have the right team around cuz it's a lot of work in any one of the genre that we're speaking about film television concerts comedian or you know our comics comedy show each one of them you have to have that team around you because you can't do it all by yourself you know you might have somebody looking for the venues or at least having their their ear to the ground and say hey you know what there's a venue over here you might want to check it out there's a comedian right here that where I went to see me he was hilarious this musician is fabulous so it's all of those things and having a team 
18:15 Nausheen: having like that super team impact the whole crew working together to essentially make that event happen and it is definitely a good point and knowing that if you have the right people they'll help you out in the end you know one person that's this you delegate your tasks appropriately you go
18:28 James: you want to join the team
18:28 Nausheen: yeah I'm ready I'm ready to join get the move to it's a California beach-like weather um another question that I had was what kind of topics do you have to choose for comedians to sometimes like you know our I guess our any topics considered off limit or do you just go with it and and work around all of the different types of things that comedians tend to say
18:54 well now remember I told you we have the cleans of comedy now now what happened that's how we formatted our show so all of our comedians are clean comedian insight some of them they do person thing but when they come to our show is clean so they're they have a clean to have a they have a how can I feel like a dirty show and they have a please like you the word dirty but you know they they where they they just keep it there they're really raw but a great comedian knows how to work it and if you could because all they're really doing it doing the same thing but they thought that customer because they think it the people that we have had have been like I said hilariously funny and then don't use the curse they don't do it I'm not curse
20:08 Nausheen: that's actually pretty cool and you said it was a family friendly environment
20:15 James: you can bring your kids you know your girlfriend your grandmother's grandmother exactly because it's just it's just because everybody loves to laugh and laughter kind of it's like a medicine and just you know makes you feel good
20:31 Nausheen: right I like that I like that I like that idea too that it's okay you can be clean you don't necessarily have to worry about using different types of languages just because you want to hit the punch line yeah that's good to know
20:44 Nausheen: do you deal with a lot of like no-shows what if someone just doesn't appear that's supposed to be a performer or a comedian that was set for that time you were advertising this individual and this person didn't show up what do you
20:58 James: We were actually doing a show in Redondo Beach and the parking it was on Valentine's Day and for whatever reason I mean people were on the pi-- it was like crazy I'm parking it took people were coming to the show and it took them an hour just right and so we had all of these comedians and people were they were calling me and saying oh you know I'm trying to make it and we were like oh my god get here you know yeah I've been driving around I'm trying to park so we got majority of the the comedian's in and this one didn't she oh I don't know what she was doing but anyway she got there and I had a decision we had a decision to make it was like we let her go because this show was amazing and everybody was up on a high oh yes they love this show yeah it was a sold-out crowd so we told we said you know what you are late you're called us and we're gonna you know we're gonna give you you know cuz each comedian had like 15 20 minutes rain um we were like you know what because you were late and we're at the end of the show because you made it we're gonna be nice and extend you a ball and so to speak and gave her five minutes and she brought the whole thing from up to down so to comedic hope I have looked at him I was like giving the satellite so you know my vision you want to try to trying to help people and then they come late and then they come and they don't bring in she kept saying I'm afraid I'm gonna bring my A game I said you better bring energy came and she only had five minutes yeah yeah and then we had another what we did cut though the artist and we had a soundcheck and that she ended up leaving came back late she was supposed to open the show and she leaving me coming back late I had to switch my order of performers to compensate her and I'm just like what how do you do that you know we have a show and you gotta leave out go somewhere and come back Lakes program so you know you just have to you have to deal with what you have being okay wait and you have to work around the situations too I'm sure
24:21 James: so the the people have to you have to just the promoter, our event planner you have to really just just move it forward and keep it going and restructure if you have to
24:38 Nausheen: yeah so for all you listeners again sometimes you have to work with what you have you will have and even when you say oh I know these folks they're like very close with me but they could be stuck somewhere as he said like parking issues or something happen or let's say they're stuck in Atlanta traffic which we all know is horrible but if there's a situation you have to work with what you have on hand try to work around all of that like youyou heard from James as well he mentions a success story even without one of his main comedians that it wasn't that didn't show up on time he still was able to mean manage an entire process and be able to have it as a successful event without one entire comedian until the very ending so that's actually impressive to hear that
25:24 Nausheen: and um for film production I actually have a quick question for you what are some of your quick tips that you can share with for like a newbie who's struggling to make their first-ever film let's say that they're just interested in starting something new they've been in the movie industry they've done different types of things but they're starting to create their own film and for all you listeners this is just a teaser question because we may ask James to join our next podcast as well as possibly his wife to to talk more about the whole film industry and so much more so James I'll go ahead and let you answer that question if that's okay
26::01 James: Oh that's fine that's fine one of the things that I was really quick tip that I would give is well if you're in production and you once you get your script and get everything in order ready to go your shooting schedule please hear what I'm saying you are shooting schedule it's make sure that you stick to it don't deviate because you're getting actors who come in they may work in different places they may have different projects going on and if you set a time make sure you always give yourself a cushion because it's don't and you you missed that deadline then you may lose actors you may lose cars you may be told because they're not available after the time the choose later so make sure you give you enough yourself enough time slate it to actually complete and complete on time that's very very  important if you have a budget stay on budget like right at it unless I'm just low budget like say and I'm just throwing a number right let's say a low budget like fifty thousand dollars if it's fifty thousand keep it either at the fifty thousand are bring it in under the fifty thousand these are very very key points than people when they want to think about using you in the future they're gonna look at your track record and see if you stayed under budget stayed right on budget if you stayed with the schedule all of those things are very very important
27:36 Nausheen: those are key things listeners and again if you're thinking about that make sure you  stay in under or in within budget just because in the event that James described what if what if something happens and you have to cut off in the mid way you've just lost so much that you've worked so hard on you know you don't want to lose that opportunity so take advantage of those tips make sure that you have you budget correctly you schedule things correctly make sure you have things in order before you before you start your first film production process anything else you would like to share for that piece
28:10 James: and…and the underlying undercurrent of it all be on time I mean the actors the the comedians the filming schedule be on time if you say you're gonna start at 8:00 o'clock in the morning make sure you're there at 6:00 6:30 be there especially if it's your project be there I had a time because it makes so much it makes the difference it makes all the difference in the world
28:41 Nausheen: and I think like just from what I hear from Aly, your sister um the whole process even cuz she's volunteered quite a bit in like the whole film industry and starting her own her own process to buy it she's told me at least in the past that it's difficult when the scheduling happens when you're working around everybody is all around everywhere the challenges also like you have to work with time you have to work with a hundred other people that are doing a godly amount of things so it's hard to keep track of everything so yeah there are a lot of moving parts there are a lot of things happening there's like hustle and bustle that's going on you have to make sure that you're you're following that process you know it's challenging but it's doable as long as you're following a set you know I guess tips that you can use too
29:27 James: yea and and…and the last thing I would say is that you really want to make sure that you follow through on everything is so important don't don't let the ball drop in the end it'll work out right absolutely that popped in doing the only failure is the one when you don't drop exactly do it you know and you get out there you may not you may not come out perfect but at least you did it and that's you step out there and try to amend keep keep at it that's that's what the more you do it the more proficient you become at it
30:05 that's what we say in our world too you know if failure is bound to happen and as long as you're trying as long as you're moving in a direction you just continue to move forward I like that line you know that it's okay you will fail sometimes you will fall but you move from that you learn from that and you evolve on that you make your changes based on that I mean yeah and you've had such a strong background I'm sure you've had challenges all throughout it but that's what kind of kept you going it really does
30:40 Nausheen: do you have any upcoming events and if you'd like to share with our listeners out there or anything
30:47 James: you know whether it's in your area a nationwide or even in Atlanta yeah actually I'm putting some things together and I will keep you posted but we we have an event we might be coming to Atlanta in the next month or so but I'll keep you posted we just working out all the details right now so but it's not for the comedy is it I'm telling you we've got some other things going but we come that way I definitely want to reach out to you guys and see if we can hook up while we're there so we have that I have some film projects that I'm coming up some meetings coming up this week like I told you how to call this morning so we have projects coming the pipeline is filling up so yeah we have yeah I'm trynna we have we do we do catering as well and so we have a lot like I said we have multiple things coming up and so it's just it's amazing it's amazing it really
31:52 Nausheen: that is awesome that is definitely very exciting. Do you have any like resources you can share with our members about anything you talked about today and for all the listeners if anything you want to reach out to him or see his site we can post that on our site as well just so you can have access and be able to reach out to him as well what I'll share on today
32:22 James: the resources yeah I think like I said the points that I thought I hit if you really just just get out there and do it it's one I hit on the magazine earlier yes but what I found out in doing the magazine is when you get out there you're moving you're doing something we got we get we have the magazine in movies we actually got to be in several movies because we will on the set you can't sit at home and think it's gonna happen you've got to get out there and get the streets and and as you hit the streets things will happen you'll get to meet people you get to know people and you'll get a handle on what's actually going on and once you get the handle then you can see the biz a little saying get in where you you know when you hear things that are going on oh I can do that oh hey I do this and and but being out there so many doors will begin to open you can't think you're gonna sit at home sit behind the computer and it's gonna happen you've got to get get out there and mingle network and get before the people so I would just say you know sometimes you don't feel like it but it's not about how you feel if you really want to make it you have to get out there and do it 
33:52 Nausheen: exactly exactly I think I hear a lot from just everyone that I talk to you they have ideas they have thoughts they want to do all kinds of things that they've ever imagined but it doesn't stop but the idea you have to move forward yeah and then I hear well I'm scared I'm nervous what if I what if I fall what if something happens I don't even know this industry I don't know what I'm doing but feel like no one else understands what's going on half the time in this world you know yeah you have to move forward you have to have that you skill build you learn the process and you move forward you just keep trying you will fall sometimes but that's ultimately how everyone else learned
34:33 James: that's right right you can join the process now too there's you know YouTube that that's a resource that is like amazing so you need to answer to something google it look up look it up on YouTube and you can get a lot of information like that that's it's a valuable valuable – you got thousands and millions of people out there that will give you free information crane just look it up and and that'll help you and then practice with what they're showing you and then make it your home 
35:07 Nausheen: folks don't even understand how lucky they are now I think like back when I was growing up this probably kind of gives you a hint of my age but I used to rely on encyclopedias I mean we didn't even have an opportunity YouTube wasn't there none of it was out there I had to go to a library think of the closest encyclopedia and then try to do my own research for anything and down take hours hours figure things out yeah we are very very lucky to be in this world that we live in where technology is like right at our hands we can network directly have no problems with interacting with people across the nation or across the world for that matter it's just exciting to see that
35:49 James: that's right
35:50 Nausheen: awesome awesome anything else you would like to share
36:06 James: but you know giving the parameters and the questions that you ask and by the way excellent questions thank you so much thank you for putting the time in and and the research in excellent thank you
36:18 Nausheen: thank you that means a lot to me and I just want to let you know that you have such an impressive background and not only that I've had the chance to even get to know your personality through this too I think having that gives us just a whole new perspective it gives us light on stuff who you are what you do your background everything that that goes on and has happened and what you're still planning on doing I mean it is truly very impressive I mean I just cannot say that enough I was just talking to Aly before this and I was like James has a very impressive background I've never seen someone like this you know I'm just yeah I'm so excited to work with you and have that opportunity and then potentially work with your wife as well I'm super excited about that awesome yeah
37:02 James: well I like to do some things with you guys we do have some Atlanta ties the ability is very very real
37:14 Nausheen: awesome awesome we are very excited and looking forward to all the things you have going on here as well okay thank you so so very much for joining and for being here and taking the time out I know you're incredibly busy and I just want to be very like I truly am very thankful that you took out the time to do this interview it means a lot to us it means a lot to our listeners and I just want to give you like a big thank you for that and and just know that you truly that's very helpful for us well
37:45 James: thank you for having me. I really appreciate you guys ally thank you for calling me and and following up with me and actually giving me this opportunity to come on your show I am so humbled and I am so grateful thank you thank you so much
38:04 Nausheen: although the event industry includes a lot of stressful work and late meetings
or late events just remember that every event you helped to bring to life creates memories of a lifetime for many people out there. Did you love this episode of Plantastic Events, we’d love for you to subscribe rate and leave a review on iTunes each week we'll give a shout out to the reviewer of the week also don't forget we have resources available at stoogeapp.com. thank you for listening and I hope you'll join us next time. Goodbye
38:42 Nausheen: produced by stooge app calm music by Justin Mahar