I think some people have the wrong idea. They think I'm anti-booker or comedy club system. I am not. There are many ways of succeeding in stand up comedy and those angles that require you to work within the system of multiple bookers and with a big chain comedy club or clubs is a way of succeeding, no question. I have done this very thing and it worked for me to a certain degree.
All I've ever said is I felt there came a time that the business light bulb went on in my head and I knew I had outgrown or at least lost an affection for that particular system or micro-systems.
Though you can succeed in a system that is booker and comedy club venue controlled there are others that are outside of that and are equally if not a better universe. It's not brain surgery either. It is a bit tougher but the rewards are better, as in more respectful treatment of the talent, your own scheduling and a big bottom line is...better money. Let's face it, $$ is why they call it show BUSINESS.
The system outside is simple, you take your show and sell it directly to the venues. You create your own stages and serve your own audiences. Not as easy as renting your creative content to ready made stages but it can be done it IS being done everyday and is proven VERY successful.
For me it was and is THE way. The only problem with the assured $$ of comedy clubs can be these funds become set and limited. Unless you hit a big TV spot regular comedy venue payments can become set no matter how well you go over with their crowds or the momentum you can create with your stellar live performance. Especially with bookers. They tend to still be stuck in 80's dollar signs anyway. In an environment the talent (that's YOU) controls you can also get a handle on when you return to an area to meet YOUR audience's needs and wants to see you more often, thereby creating a forward motion to your career. ..which means you can in fact develop an audience. If your audience cannot see you on TV they MUST be allowed to see you more often LIVE!
So have fun with whatever you chose to be your experiences to becoming a better comedy artist and make a buck BUT always look at the big picture and for god sakes don't be afraid to make a move.
Remember, you're beyond fear now, YOU are a stand up comic! Fear is your fuel for creating and existing. They can't scare you or stop you. YOU have the creative goods (literally the product) they need. YOU are valuable, don't sell yourself short.