Published on July 4th, 2014 | by StandUpTalk0
Run The Light With Barry Katz
Barry Katz has managed some of the top comedians in the world including Jay Mohr, Louis CK, Dane Cook, Dave Chappelle, Nick Swardson, and many more. His podcast has been ranked as high as #3 on iTunes and he is set to do a live podcast at the Montreal Comedy Festival.
Ari: When did you first start comedy, and what made you want to try it?
Barry: I started at a talent show in high school. Tonight show comedians…and Johnny himself. I started in high school at talent shows doing Bob Newhart’s famous bit…the driving instructor.
Ari: How long did you do comedy before you gave it up to focus on the business side of things?
Barry: I did it on and off and hosted shows for about 8-10 years.
Ari: Do you ever miss it?
Barry: Not at all. I strongly disliked the feeling of killing one night and bombing the next with the same material.
Ari: Who was the first stand up comedian you managed?
Barry: Louie CK. He was 18.
Ari: Who would be your dream client to represent?
Barry: You… but since I cant have you… I will answer it this way… any rare brilliantly talented stand-up who can cross over to every area of the business seamlessly, go into every situation over prepared, be undeniable, create holy shit moments, someone who I have a great trusting relationship with, and who treats everyone with humility and respect.
Ari: What was the biggest mistake you ever made as a manager?
Barry: My biggest mistake almost always comes from pushing artists too hard and being overly truthful about situations that are not going well. That combination in my career hasn’t always worked that well as most people don’t want to know about the things that are difficult to hear or the excruciatingly difficult steps that it takes to get to the next level.
Ari: What was your greatest accomplishment as a manager?
Barry: I honor the SNL franchise…and I have so much respect for Lorne Michaels and his team…. So I am going to say that although it didn’t involve a show I created or produced… getting four clients on SNL with their talent and mine… as well as having Dane Cook host two shows in less than a year, including the season premier… .Certainly has to be at the top of the list.
Ari: You started the Industry Standard podcast, were you expecting it to be as popular as it is?
Barry: I always have a vision for an artist I represent and it is always very lofty. My goal is to leapfrog over others that have been doing it longer with a combination of navigating with my skill set and theirs… So I just applied that to myself. I really feel that since no other producer or manager was doing it, that I needed to make sure that it was unique, original, and different. When you manage a person, and great things happen, you realize that you have only helped one person—which is wonderful—but I wanted to help more people in my spare time and this podcast hopefully has served that purpose. I really just wanted it to be inspirational and I am honored that so many people feel that it has helped them to realize what steps are necessary to get to the next level.
Ari: What is your favorite part about the hosting the podcast?
Barry: To me, as odd as it sounds… its like sex… or at least the kind I’ve been having… in that when you sit down with these amazing guests—many who are doing it for the first time (virgins?)… time stands still and something channels through me that I haven’t experienced before… and it is very humbling that so many of these people want to sit down with me and share their journeys with the rest of the world—from modest beginnings to the top of the mountain.
Ari: You have done so much as far as managing, producing, podcasting, what is your next goal in comedy?
Barry: All I ever wanted to do was create, or help create, inspirational content that can entertain, help, and inspire people. My goals are to try to work on projects with relevant talent and executives (who are nice people) that are uniquely original and havent been seen yet in film, television, or other mediums.
Ari: Anything else you want to share with the world?
Barry: If you want it all, when you are going for it…change the pattern, be undeniable, create holy shit moments, and be the best representation of yourself.