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meet the industry

Laugh After Dark has always been equal parts live comedy and live tv production which is why the ComedyFest represents both aspects of the entertainment industry.

From club owners and bookers, to directors, producers, writers, talent agents, distributors, and more! ComedyFest is bringing together industry representatives from every corner of comedy. Collectively the attending industry representatives have worked on projects for Netflix, HBO, NBC, Hulu, Fuse, Comedy Central, Amazon, and many many more!

As the entertainment and comedy industries are both evolving at a rapid rate, ComedyFest aims to bring together different arms of the industry to create quality opportunities for recognition, education, networking, and feedback within the community. Through panel discussions, 1-on-1 networking, and Q&A sessions, comedians and film makers will have a chance to gain valuable new perspectives as they navigate their careers in 2022 and beyond.

clubs + festivals

We are proud of the opportunities represented by the clubs and festivals attending ComedyFest!


We are so grateful to each of our industry guests for volunteering their time to attend ComedyFest and nurture the talented nominees attending and performing. 

career & education

Explore the career development panels and workshops our industry representatives are participating in throughout the festival.

Unlock the world of TV pilot writing with “Intro to TV Pilots Basics.” Dive into the essentials of crafting an original TV pilot, exploring the various TV structures that are fundamental to your success as a writer. Discover why mastering TV pilots can be your ultimate tool to secure work in the industry. Whether you’re new to writing or looking to elevate your skills, join us for a workshop that delves into the heart of creating compelling TV pilots and sets you on the path to success as a writer.

Keisha Zollar (Writer, Showrunner, Executive Producer/Actress, Netflix’s Astronomy Club)
Andrew Kimler (writer, producer, and performer, Sundance Fellow)

From Stage To Screen: Transitioning from Comedian to Actor

Comedian and manager Michelle “Chelle T” Turner invites you to explore the world of acting in her workshop! Discover why comedians are highly sought after in the acting industry and learn how to create a compelling comedian-actor package. Navigate the complexities of managers and agents, explore various acting platforms, and master the art of impactful headshots. Uncover alternative career paths within entertainment and gain the insights and confidence you need to step onto the acting stage.

The Gauntlet is an exercise for comics to workshop their unique perspective and develop new material on the fly.

One by one each comic takes the stage and gets a minute on random topics shared by their peers. After each 3-4 minute set, you’ll get feedback. Which topics should you pursue? Did you discover a new premise? A past Gauntlet student described the process as “20 open mics rolled into one.”

Leave your material at home. Bring paper, a pen, and an open mind. Each student will get multiple sets on stage

Chris Trew (Booker, Comedy House NOLA, founder of Hell Yes Fest, the largest and longest-running comedy event in the South, and Hell Yes Creative, a comedy education agency.)

Hit the road to comedy success with “Road Warrior: No Credits, No Problem.” This workshop is your ultimate guide to navigating a comfortable and thriving career as a comedian on the road. From securing bookings to mastering club etiquette and surviving life on tour, Carlos has got you covered. Whether you’re a rising talent or an experienced performer, join Carlos for an informative session that will equip you with the tools, tips, and tricks to make your journey as a road warrior an absolute triumph.

Carlos Rodriguez, Full-Time Nationally Touring Comedian

Delve into the world of Agents & Managers and join our expert panel as they dissect the essential questions surrounding signing with representation in the entertainment industry. Gain insights into the process, learn about the optimal timing, and understand the crucial factors that determine when and why representation can be a game-changer for your career. Whether you’re an emerging talent seeking guidance or a seasoned professional looking to navigate this crucial decision, this panel offers a variety of insights to understanding the role of agents and managers.

Nicole St. John (Partner/Agent Elev8 Agency), LyNea “LB” Bell (CEO/President & Partner BH Talent), Rashidi Hendrix (Partner, Independent Artist Media), Jodi Leiberman (Talent manager/producer Lieberman Entertainment. Co-founder Comedy Gives Back)

Kelsey Borlan (Director, Laugh After Dark)

Join our panel of experts for a discussion on the process of creating a compelling pitch for both scripted and unscripted tv shows. Our experts will highlight crucial do’s and don’ts, providing invaluable insights to navigate the pitching landscape. Whether you’re a seasoned creator or new to the scene, this panel equips you with tools and insight to craft an impactful pitch and bring your TV show ideas that much closer to reality.

Andrew Kimler (Writer, Sundance Fellow), Rashidi Hendrix (Partner Agent, Independent Artists Media), Justin Herman (Director, Producer, Writer), Keisha Zollar (Producer/Actress, Astronomy Club on Netflix)

Kelsey Borlan (Director, Laugh After Dark)

Uncover the real workings of the entertainment industry and discover the path to a successful career in 2023 and beyond at “Entertainment 101.” Join our panel of experts as they provide insights, strategies, and the essential skills needed to thrive in the ever-changing entertainment landscape. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or curious about the industry, this discussion is your guide to navigating the world of entertainment with confidence.

Charlie Sotello (SXSW Comedy Producer), Keisha Zollar (Writer, Producer, Showrunner), Justin Herman (Director, Producer, Writer), Hillary Hutson (Owner, Mic Drop Comedy and Big Pine Festival), Peter Strickland (General Manager of BMG Nashville)

Kelsey Borlan (Director, Laugh After Dark)


Find out when + Where our industry will be speaking on panels