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Advice to a first time Open Micer:



Even before you ever perform at your initial comedy open mic:

1) Get your own microphone, straight-necked microphone stand with a solid base, and an amplifier:

It can take up to 6 months to learn how to use a microphone if the only time you handle a mic is when you are in a comedy club.
Not ready to spend about $100 for a very inexpensive mic, mic stand and amplifier?
•Then just use a cord and a soup spoon to practice basic microphone technique.
But if you have your own gear at home, you can learn how to look like a professional inside of 6 days.
And not be afraid to "walk amongst them!"

2) Make arrangement to get your first open mic performance recorded to video:
All the newer smart phones and tablets have a built-in audio/video camera.

So, use your smart phone/tablet or have a friend record you on their smart phone/tablet,
•and email the video file to you immediately.
Simple as that!
Why bother?
Because how you interact with an audience before you "learn too much"
•will help your comedy mentor to eventually bring out your uniqueness
•with the control made possible through proper writing and performing techniques.
Not to worry about that now:
just take you best shot,
. . . but get it on video!

3) Get out of the chute fast—be unstoppable:

•Don't waste time:
asking the audience how they are doing,
asking them to applaud the club or the MC,
begging the audience for sympathy,
nor saying anything that is not directly setting up your first joke.

•Start with your second strongest joke.

•When you get to your punch lines:
be looking one audience member right in the eye,
and keep looking at him/her until the audience laughter begins to fade.

If they do or don't laugh at your first joke, it doesn't matter:
Always just go to another audience member, and proceed with above steps.

Never apologize.

Remember: this is a vigorous activity.

Confidence builder: a little realized truth that can set you free!

•Stand-up comics walking out on stage have at the outside 10 seconds
a) to live up to the audience's expectations
b) by getting a big laugh
c) that also introduces their main character.

Tip:
For that initial 10 seconds, the audience is totally on your side.
Think about it.
Have you ever hoped the next comic would be totally unfunny?
No!
Why would you want to suffer through that?

Same thing happens when you meet someone for the first time,
whether socially or in a business situation:
•They want to like you.
That's why they are offering you that very friendly opening handshake:


Therefore, if everyone took the accomplished stand-up comic's example and had a well planned introduction,
everyone meeting someone for the first time
would be as relaxed as a seasoned comedy performer.

Try to improvise?
The comedy graves are full of wannabe comics who always open with an untried "I-hope-joke."


How can you have a series to tried and true jokes,
•even before you step on stage at your first open mic?
Simple: every time you come up with a new joke, tell it off-stage
to at least 20-30 different people
before a full day goes by.

Don't know 20-30 people?
Good: this works much better with perfect strangers,
just like an audience begins as a group of folks you have never met.

Reason you want to tell your new jokes to strangers:
You real friends know too much about you that audiences do not know.
The trick is to give the audience all the information they need to know in order to get the joke.
Where?
In the set up lines.


So:
Make new friends.
How?
By standing in line at the post office:

Ask a person near you, "Would you like to hear a joke?"
If they agree, they have given you permission to tell them a joke.

Go from store to store, standing in line, telling your jokes:


There are little audiences in embryo everywhere
. . . just waiting for our jokes to bring them to life!

Side-benefits:
After you have told a joke 20-30 times, you will have automatically edited it down to the most efficient version.
Plus, you will have involuntarily memorized that joke.
Such a deal!

Good news: since you now already know your act backwards-and-forwards,
•you only have to worry about that opening 10 seconds!

Go get 'em, Tiger!

Jim Richardson
Just a simple, country comedy coach

Questions?
Get in touch:
415-877-4424
jim@Stand-UpComedyWorkshop.com

Snail mail:
Jim Richardson
Organized Comedy
PO Box 992
Mill Valley, California 94942-0992
USA


Page last updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 10:28 pm PST and Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 2:15 pm

Copyright © 1997-2014
Home | Video | Coaching & Co-Writing | Order | About | Techniques | Register | FAQ | Contact
Studying Comics | Comedy Roots | Comeback? | Defense | Character mask | Robin | Censorship
Writer's block | Camcorder Coaching | Memorizing | Remembering | Setting a bit
Business | Business Cards | Your Web Site | Open Mics | Evil "Bringer Shows" | Audition | MC tips
Promo Packet | Contact media | Interviews | How to get BIG-$ Gig$ | Agents vs. Managers
Newsletter | Goodies | Auditioning: TV & Movie parts | Site Map: more tips