So, the holidays are upon us, bearing down like an unstable Christmas tree on an all too curious cat, and I thought I would give a little inspirational cheer as well as do a few plugs for gift giving, if you don’t mind.

First, I would like to invite everyone reading this to take 10% off EVERYTHING in the store. This is the site run by myself and fellow filmmaker/comedian Graham Elwood. We offer some really cool signed and personalized merchandise from comedians and filmmakers. Right now you can get my book Pacify Me and Stefanie Wilder-Taylor’s new book It’s Not Me It’s You both signed and personalized and sent wherever you want in time for Christmas. We also have T-shirts, DVDs and even short film downloads, although I’m not sure how great a gift downloads make. They’re hard to wrap. So please stop by. Use the coupon code “improv” Don’t use the quotes, though. Seriously.

Now, I have often wondered (and been asked) how many fans do you really need to support yourself creatively? That’s a great question, and I didn’t think there was an answer, until another comedian, David Feldman, told me. He said the answer is simple: It’s 5,000.

Wait, so 5,000? David explained to me that it was called something like catching the tail of the comet. You need 5,000 people who like your work enough to pay $20 a year for it. The math is very simple. That’s $100,000 a year. And your fan base will grow from that 5,000.

It has nothing to do with the medium. Writing, podcasting, blogging, sculpting, painting, music, etc. It doesn’t matter. It could even be something technical like a piece of software or a video game. Maybe even an iphone app… You just need 5,000 people to spend $20 a year on you. Whether they are buying a book, CD, or paying for a podcasting subscription.

At first it seems like a lot but then think about it. It’s not 5,000 people in your town. It’s not 5,000 in your state, or even in your country. 5,000 people in the WORLD. That’s all you need. Friends and family count, too. See? You’ve already started.

Sure, it won’t happen overnight, and it may take a few years, but nothing worthwhile is easy. So get out there. Find your 5,000.