GR Man Gets National Attention For His Metaverse Comedy Club
The virtual world is coming, and Grand Rapids resident Aaron Sorrels got in on the ground floor.
Sorrels Is Known For Booking Clean Comedy Shows Around The Area
Sorrels has been on the Jojo Show several times, mostly to talk about his other business, Clean Comedy Time Productions, which books family friendly comedy shows around West Michigan, but recently his other project, the Soapstone Comedy Club received some world wide attention.
Mark Zuckerburg, the billionaire founder of Facebook recently appeared on the popular Joe Rogan podcast. During the interview, he mentioned Sorrels' Soapstone Club by name.
Zuckerberg's Story About The Club Demonstrated The Power Of The Metaverse
When bringing up Soapstone, Zuckerberg shared a story about a woman who lost her son, and comedy became an important outlet for her grieving process. However, the woman was introverted and had a difficult time going out to appear in front of crowds.
So she started appearing at the Soapstone Club, and was able to share her comedy and her story, and still retain anonymity, all while feeling the presence of other people. The experience allowed her to work through her grief.
That episode received a HUGE audience because Rogan got Zuckerberg to talk about some of the content moderation Facebook was involved in.
The Comedy Club Is Accessible Using Virtual Reality Headsets
The Soapstone Comedy Club, which is accessible with an Oculus VR headset also known as Meta Quest headsets, is a clean comedy club free from inappropriate content, including profanity, racism, sexual content, toilet humor, and other objectionable material. Because it is meant to be a safe place to laugh for all guests, The Soapstone has become a popular destination in Meta’s Horizon Worlds VR space, achieving over 4,000 hours of weekly engagement from around 12,000 visitors, spending an average of 20 minutes each in the club.
Sorrels Says The Club's Success Defied Even His Wildest Dreams
“I am shocked every day when I look at how many people tune in to The Soapstone Comedy Club and engage as VR comedians or guests,” said Sorrels. “It is absolutely incredible how the VR community has adopted our space as a safe and accessible place to laugh.”
Sorrels, who is known on the conventional comedy circuit as The Unemployed Alcoholic, chose not to hide his alcoholism, but rather use it to help people laugh while sharing his story of recovery and finding purpose. He has produced comedy shows and performed with Gilda’s LaughFest, Dr. Grins Comedy Club, The Listening Room and several West Michigan churches.
Struggles Can Open Up Opportunity
“It is amazing how hardship keeps turning into opportunity,” said Sorrels. “I got into comedy after struggling with an extended period of unemployment and a battle with alcoholism, and then discovered the Metaverse after the pandemic flattened the entertainment industry.”
Sorrels’ experiences as a comedian, podcaster, public speaker, show producer and recovery coach contributed to becoming a successful virtual reality comedy club owner. He regularly shares his experiences on the business podcast, Well metaVersed, and is available for interviews and events to discuss opportunities within Metaverse.
While The Soapstone is free for all performers and guests, Sorrels believes the platform is well positioned for product placement, paid promotion, in-world purchases and other revenue streams within Metaverse.
“I never dreamed of owning and operating a VR comedy club,” said Sorrels. “The space may be virtual, but the laughter is genuine and the financial opportunity is very real.”
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