When is the “right” time?

Jon Levine HeadshotThis item came up again during our show and it’s something that I’ve been thinking a lot about since being admonished about it by another comedian. What I’m talking about is the question: when is the “right” time to do things in your career?

Another comedian, who shall remain nameless, brought up several times that they think some of the things I’ve done have been too soon in my career.  The fact that I had headshots taken and have a Fan Page on Facebook particularly irk them.

Now, I completely understand where this person is coming from and I don’t necessarily disagree with their point of view; I’ve been doing this less than a year, so it may very well be premature for me to do these things. However, my thoughts on the matter are two fold:

One, why does it matter to other comedians what I (or anyone else) does? And two, when is the “right” time to do these things?

For the first point, I personally believe that people are too concerned with what others are doing and not focused on doing the best they can. This is not just in comedy, but in everything. I tend to look at the things I do in life the way a professional golfer often describes how they compete. I’ve heard time and again pro golfers say that when they’re on the course in a tournament, they’re only focused on playing the best round they can play because there’s nothing they can do that will effect the score of the other golfers they’re ‘competing’ against. You don’t play defense in golf. They’re focused on what they’re doing and forgetting about everyone else. I approach lots of things, including comedy, in the same way. I’m doing my thing and making the decisions I feel are the best for me and my journey. What other comedians are doing has little to no effect on what I’m doing. That doesn’t mean I’m not open to criticism, advice or help; on the contrary, I welcome it. I just don’t look at what other people are doing and think it somehow has an effect on me, the same way I think that what I do shouldn’t have an effect on anyone else.

The second point is more of an unknown. When is the “right” time to do certain things in your career?  I don’t think there is an answer to that one. I think it depends on the person and their outlook. I truly believe that perception is reality and the better you present yourself, the more opportunity you’ll have. Along those lines, the person with the headshots, website and Facebook Page is going to be perceived as being more professional than the person without them. It doesn’t make them better, more deserving or more worthy of the opportunity, but in the eye of the preceptor, that’s how they’ll be seen. So, why wait?

Now, I certainly don’t believe in putting yourself into situations that you’re not ready for. I don’t care how professional I might look, if someone asked me to do my own 30 minute special, I’d turn them down so fast it would make their head spin. I’m not ready (and probably won’t be for another year to do 30 minutes of anything), but I don’t think that means I need to wait until I am ready for a 30 minute special to start the wheels turning. I actually think that part of putting yourself out there can be, and is, a driver to do more and push you along.

You’re never going to learn to swim unless you jump in the pool.

Listen to me on the latest Wake Up Late with Dougie Show – Dec 30, 2014 with Dougie Almeida, Tim Hanlon, & Jon Levine

You can listen to the latest episode here:

Welcome to

the Wake Up Late with Dougie Show.

Join Dougie & today’s co-hosts, Tim Hanlon & Jon Levine.  Dougie has another Facebook battle with

someone that leads to unfriending and blocking / How do you feel about police

officers wearing cameras? / Dougie gets edible weed as a Christmas gift /

Dougie hates Secret Santa


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six-figure fees to dig up dirt on rape accusers’”, “F.D.A.: Celibate Gays Can

Donate Blood”, “Planetary Alignment On Jan 4, 2015 Will Decrease Gravity For 5

Minutes Causing Partial Weightlessness”, “Study: Marijuana use has increased in

Colorado”, “Actor Dustin Diamond, acc […]

2014 The Year in Review

Jon Levine Live at the Improv Fort LauderdaleAs the year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the year it was. 2014 saw some big changes in my life; changes I’d argue were as big as the ones I saw in 2013.

In 2013, I’d left the company I’d been with for nearly six years to branch out on my own. It was a scary step, but one I’ve never regretted. After finding my stride and working with some great companies, I’ve determined that I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, want it any other way.

2014 saw another big change in career, or what could possibly become my career: I started doing standup comedy. From the second I stepped on the stage at my first comedy class, to the moment I was introduced at my first show, to hitting as many mic’s as a I can on a weekly basis, I honestly fell in love.

So, what does 2015 bring? Good things, I believe. I’ll be hosting my first ever show at the Improv in West Palm Beach. From never doing comedy in my life until April 2014 to hosting a show at the Improv in January 2015 is an amazing thing to think about and an opportunity that I’m truly thankful to have.

Another first will be my hosting of the Affiliate Summit West 2015 conference in Las Vegas. Again, born out of my venture into standup comedy (the owners of the conference saw the video of my first Improv performance and asked me to be the emcee), this could be a whole new step in my life.

Comedy has also brought me back to one of my first loves: radio. After doing a few shows with the extremely talented Dougie Almeida, he offered me the co-hosting spot on his weekly radio show, the Wake Up Late with Dougie show. Just being behind that microphone brought back so many great memories of my youth when I started as a DJ at WKPX.

Finally, I’ve partnered with my longtime friend Jacki Schechner to create the Healthy Dose podcast, based around her experience in the health care policy arena. While it’s just starting, we’re extremely excited about where it’s going.

This year has been a great one for me and I know that next year (and the years to come) will be as well. I’m looking forward to meeting the future head on and just seeing where this crazy ride goes.