Consider Your Legacy
Episode 20 ft. Foxy P | Stand-Up Comedian & Founder of African Princes of Comedy
Pol and Pals is a podcast where I, Ponyboy Pol, interview my creative Pals to learn how they became who they are TODAY... to inspire you for TOMORROW.
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Isn’t it kinda wild that March has 5 Mondays, but we’re already on the 4th 😩!?
Anyhoo, you might notice that this one is dropping in your inbox on Monday evening. I saw a tweet recently about how people tend to be overwhelmed with Monday morning emails, so I wanted to test how the response is to receiving the email later in the day.
Was I just too lazy to finish writing the newsletter by Sunday night?
Who Is: Foxy P?
How To Make Money In Comedy
On Episode 20, I have a #CreativeConversation with my Pal, Foxy P, a stand-up comedian, Wedding MC, and founder of the African Princes of Comedy.
We talk about what inspired him to pursue comedy, how he founded a whole comedy group, and why he does everything “for his people”.
WHO IS: Foxy P?
Foxy P is an Igbo boy from Lagos, Nigeria who moved to the U.S. in 2001 with 1 piece of luggage and exactly $16,606 to his name. He came with this specific amount of money because this was the cost of tuition and room and board for just one year at SUNY Buffalo.
With the pressure of only having enough funding for one year, it motivated Foxy to hustle and figure out ways to make clean money. He himself added the word clean because he knew that if he had messed around and got deported, his mom would never let him hear the end of it.
Fortunately for Foxy, he performed well on his standardized tests and was contacted by a faculty member who brought him into the Honor Program and informed him of different scholarships and other opportunities available to him on campus such as being a Resident Advisor (free room and board), Captain of Boxing Team (stipend), job on campus, etc… After figuring out creative ways to fund his education, Foxy was able to finish undergrad in three years. But his hustle mindset never went away.
Foxy decided to supplement his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering by going to grad school for IT in Maryland. One of the first things he did in Maryland was ask people he met, “how do you make money… clean money?”. This led him to meet people that were in the party scene and renting out venues to host events.
But the event that would change Foxy’s mindset was when he decided to invite some of his coworkers to one of his parties. They were so taken aback by the level of activity at the party and Foxy’s involvement that eventually, word spread at the office about Foxy’s extracurricular activities. But through a crazy game of unintended Telephone, Foxy’s role as “the person who host parties” quickly became “the person that was making $20K/weekend because he owned his own club.”
This perception was all good until it started to affect how his boss viewed him at work. Foxy didn’t like how any little mistake or early dismissal would be attributed to his alleged role as a club owner. So he did what any of us would do in this situation:
he became a stand-up comedian.
How To Make Money In Comedy
The main reason that Foxy got into comedy was because he wanted to do something by himself where he provided a service and got paid for it. Although the party hosting gig was fun, it caused him to have an over-reliance on others to ensure that things went well. Annnnnd, he also was tired of his boss getting on him about his non-work business.
He chose stand-up comedy specifically because he knew he was charismatic, but he had also been told by people around him that he was funny. But in order to ensure his pockets wouldn’t be looking funny (ba-dum tshhh 🙂), Foxy had to do research to learn how comedians actually made money.
He learned that comedians get paid when they’re on tour because 1) venues pay to accommodate you and 2) it gives you a good resume when you’re pitching to other places for booking. So to start his touring career, Foxy reached out to his grad school’s African Student Association (ASA) to ask if he could be the host of one of their upcoming shows. He made sure to record the show and then repeated his act by reaching out to three other nearby schools. Although he did not get paid for any of these gigs, his goal at the time was to build up a name for himself with the video proof to back it up and then use this credibility to reach out to the Ivy League schools.
Why the Ivy League schools specifically you ask? Refer to the image below 🤓.
As you can see, of the 10 universities on this list, 5 of them are Ivy League schools.
Foxy’s reasoning came from his experience as captain of the boxing team at his own university. He knew that a student org’s budget is based on a school’s overall budget a.k.a endowment. By targeting the ASA’s at the Ivy League schools, there’s a higher chance of getting paid versus targeting a community college or lesser-known school.
Sidenote: I actually met Foxy when he was invited to host the ASA at my alma mater, the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. Makes me wonder now if he only came because we got a phat ass endowment?😕
To start his Ivy League tour, Foxy emailed Yale the following
Nigerian-born comedian Foxy P is currently on his African Princes Comedy of Tour and is performing on the East Coast. If you want him to perform at your school, please let us know immediately. Once he leaves the East Coast, he won’t be available again till next year.
Yale responded. He hosted, recorded his performance, and got paid.
Next on the list: Princeton
Nigerian-born comedian Foxy P is currently on his African Princes Comedy of Tour and is performing on the East Coast. He’s the first African-born comedian to perform at Yale. If you want him to perform at your school, please let us know immediately. Once he leaves the East Coast, he won’t be available again till next year.
Ivy League schools love to outdo each other so when Foxy added that sidenote, it provided him with the leverage to increase his price.
With these two schools added to his resume, Foxy was able to reach out and book almost any school he wanted on the east coast, and that’s exactly what he did. It got to a point where he wasn’t charging less than $3K a show!
Once Foxy figured out this formula to booking gigs and getting paid, he went back home and decided to bring his boys with him. From this… The African Princes of Comedy were born.
Because my interviews are focused on my guests telling their story, I try to give them as much Talking Time as possible. “My Takeaways” is a space for me to share my thoughts on the interview:
Do It For Your People
One thing that stood out to me during this interview is although Foxy P was all about getting his money and making sure he was good, he lives by the motto of doing it “for my people”. He attributes this to the way he was raised and even mentioned that his middle name translates to “thou shall never forsake your brother”.
This touched me personally because growing up, I always wondered what the point of life was and if it’s true that there’s this pre-set lifepath that I’m supposed to follow.
I immigrated to the states when I was 5 years old, and the way this came about is something I’m forever grateful for. My dad won the Visa Lottery, and this gave him the ability to obtain a green card a.k.a a permanent resident card and move to the United States. The keyword in that last sentence is “him”. My dad was the only one eligible to come to the states, but during his immigration interview, the immigration officer saw my mom and me waiting for my dad, and decided to give us all green cards.
Ever since I was told this story, I’ve always felt super grateful to be in the states and deep-down, I feel that it was for a reason. Regardless if there is a reason or not, it’s heavily impacted I live my life, how I treat others, and the legacy I want to leave behind.
How I Live My Life
To the fullest. I want to make all my thoughts reality.
How I Treat Others
Kindness and respect. “Remember that you’re great… but not greater than anyone else.”
The Legacy I Want To Leave Behind
Positive impact. Where I can say I’ve done something to make the world a better place for me, my family/friends, and others.
How About You?
I’m curious to know how what keeps yall going and how you live your life, so if you’re open to it, please reply to this email with a motto or mindset you live by and/or a legacy that you would like to leave behind.
I’ll be sharing my favorites in the next newsletter!
Congrats to Sema A. for being WINNER 1 of the Episode 20 Raffle Prize! I’ll be in contact soon to get you your bottle.
Congrats to myself for being WINNER 2. Mind ya business tho🥲.
NEXT EPISODE… On the next episode of Pol and Pals (Apr. 1st @ 8 PM EST), my guest and I will be discussing why everybody needs a mentor, the concept of “woman empowerment”, and how to manage running multiple businesses.
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