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Thread: Open mic experiences

  1. #2101

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    Re: Open mic experiences

    The way to deal with 2-3 min sets in my experience (I'm lucky enough to have enough choices that I often don't have to worry about this) is to have a solid 1 liner opener. You don't have to be a 1 liner comic but chances are you've all got at least 1 good 1 liner. Then work on shorter bits or parts of chunks (what I should've done the other night when I went over and irritated the host) that are 1-2 min long.

    If you need structure then go listen to some people who have bits akin to this (or parts of longer ones) and write out what they say to give yourself a feel for how quickly they move around and have punchlines.

    That being said I usually avoid open mikes that don't have 4+ minutes but there are usually enough independent shows that I can do my 7-8m there and hit up an open mike and work on a diff 3m (of 4 after an opening reliable one). One thing that was harped to me early was always have a goal or purpose behind every set. And that doesn't just mean 'say this joke this way, follow this order, etc' it can be as simple as standing up straight, not looking down, and maintaining eye contact (or the illusion thereof) with the audience.

    Early on it feels boring cuz you don't always understand how many levels there are to work on. I feel that way and it took me 2 1/2 years to get a 7-8min act o.o


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  2. #2102
    funkyrhino's Avatar
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    Re: Open mic experiences

    I won a comedy contest last night. What happens now?


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  3. #2103

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    Re: Open mic experiences

    Quote Originally Posted by funkyrhino View Post
    I won a comedy contest last night. What happens now?
    Hollywood, baby. Now you're a star!


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  4. #2104
    Couldn'tThinkOfaName's Avatar
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    Re: Open mic experiences

    Quote Originally Posted by funkyrhino View Post
    I won a comedy contest last night. What happens now?
    You are now funny™.
    Hot tub foot?


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  5. #2105

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    Re: Open mic experiences

    What kind of contest?
    You could have a credit for a lil bit haha. Something's better than nothing.



  6. #2106
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    Re: Open mic experiences

    Quote Originally Posted by nixonjames View Post
    What kind of contest?
    You could have a credit for a lil bit haha. Something's better than nothing.
    I'm on the phone with an agent. J/K I don't take anything from contest, it was fun and to a full room and the guy who came in second brought 20 people and
    it was by round of applause...Hey I got a $50 gift card to the club for winning so it's all good in the hood!


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  7. #2107

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    Re: Open mic experiences

    Had a really nice set last night. One of the cool things about living in Chicago at the open-mic level is there are some improv rooms that'll have stand-ups. Improv folks generally don't fuck around with corners of bars; there's a stage, there's lighting, and usually a mic AND a stand. Granted, it can be as sparse or sparser than an open-mic but if there is an audience they're going to be a really good one. Also since they're use to 20-30 minute improv sets they ASSUME you'll do 10 or more.



  8. #2108

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    Re: Open mic experiences

    Quote Originally Posted by JayP7 View Post
    Had a really nice set last night. One of the cool things about living in Chicago at the open-mic level is there are some improv rooms that'll have stand-ups. Improv folks generally don't fuck around with corners of bars; there's a stage, there's lighting, and usually a mic AND a stand. Granted, it can be as sparse or sparser than an open-mic but if there is an audience they're going to be a really good one. Also since they're use to 20-30 minute improv sets they ASSUME you'll do 10 or more.
    Which room/bar are you talking about?



  9. #2109

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    Re: Open mic experiences

    Last night's was the 'Underground Lounge' in Wrigleyville.



  10. #2110
    funkyrhino's Avatar
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    Re: Open mic experiences

    Went to two open mics last night. Zero audience members at both! Each was cancelled. I learned a lot from not being on stage last night...



  11. #2111
    SeanX3's Avatar
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    Re: Open mic experiences

    YMIW/Shelby Fero interview was a great listen, especially the bits about doing open mics, coping with bad sets, etc.


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  12. #2112

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    Re: Open mic experiences

    "How long have you been doing stand-up?"
    Is one of like 3 or 5 questions you'll get and/or ask after meeting another stand-up at an open mic. ("What number are you up?" is another)

    And I have a weird time answering it.

    Technically I've been doing stand-up for like 4 years. And although I've literally lived and grown those 4 years (which isn't nothing), 3 1/2 of those years were in Western Massachusetts and maybe 2 1/2 was before we even had a weekly opportunity to do stand-up.

    8 months ago I moved to a real city where you can do it many times in a week, my average being somewhere between 2 and 5. In truth, in terms of pure stand-up stage time I'd imagine I'm probably more comparable to like a 2 year old.

    Yet, I still feel like I have to tell people that number and have an opinion about it. I think I still feel the entitlement of "success" or movement or whatever that somebody who actually was bumping around a real scene would be compelled to feel after that amount of time. I don't think this is fair for me to psychologically demand of the people around me ("Why don't these assholes realize I was the Joke Prince of the Greater Pioneer Valley???") and frankly it's not fair to put that pressure and negativity on myself. I'm still very new and should think of it that way. Still not sure how to answer succinctly without going way more into it than anybody asking really cares "Well, um, I mean this long TECHNICALLY, but I mean reeeeeally like this long cause you know, yadda yadda"

    [note: Also, all of this sounds just a little better to me now since I've been telling people "5 years" only to actually realize while writing this that it's wrong and I'm and idiot.]


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  13. #2113

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    Re: Open mic experiences

    I like to round down so I sound slightly better for the amount of time I've been doing it, though I'm still counting in months.



  14. #2114
    funkyrhino's Avatar
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    Re: Open mic experiences

    It's somewhat tough in my city to make the most of the two open mics a week that we have especially when the average crowd size is 6-15 people on most of those nights. It's weird but I remember (before I ever started) having 1 comedy club in the city with one 3 minute open mic per month...the only positive was that open mic was packed with wall to wall people.



  15. #2115
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    Re: Open mic experiences

    I'm in a year and a half but NYC is 100 miles away and I can't get down much—I'm probably more like a three month old.



  16. #2116
    KeithTalent's Avatar
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    Re: Open mic experiences

    Quote Originally Posted by funkyrhino View Post
    It's somewhat tough in my city to make the most of the two open mics a week that we have especially when the average crowd size is 6-15 people on most of those nights. It's weird but I remember (before I ever started) having 1 comedy club in the city with one 3 minute open mic per month...the only positive was that open mic was packed with wall to wall people.
    One of our handful of open mics just shut down. I have a list of bars who do karaoke and shit, gonna try to get a new thing going maybe.

    I feel you, the inconsistent crowds really make it hard for me to feel like I'm learning from my bad sets, so much of it is these tiny crowds and nobody's doing well and it's just like let's burn this place to the ground.

    I'm doing a thing tomorrow at this shitkicker bar with a goddamn outdoor stage. Last week nobody was listening and my set was just a slow sink into a bog. I tried legitimately for about a minute and a half and then got all desultory and sarcastic. Then I pretended to fumble with getting the mic back in the stand for a while because literally nobody but other comics was even looking at me...that part was sort of funny. Anyway, I'm back there again tomorrow and my only goal is to get these awful people to listen to me. I could try a little crowdwork but I don't want to get stabbed. ughhh guys comedy is hard
    TV innit



  17. #2117

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    Re: Open mic experiences

    Here's a question:

    An open-mic started up pretty close to me. It's a pretty decent room, real stage, etc. The girl who runs and produces is an acquaintance. The host is absolutely terrible. He's condescending (even insulting at times) to the other comedians, doesn't appear interested with what's happening on stage when he's not on it, does way too much time between comics, kills the show's momentum. Etc etc.

    Is it fair or foul to illustrate my concerns to this producer? Particularly in like an e-mail.

    I'd really like to have a solid open-mic close-by and I'm just not excited to go back if I have to tolerate this guy's shoddy bullshit and generally negative attitude.



  18. #2118
    SeanX3's Avatar
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    Re: Open mic experiences

    I wouldn't ever put anything like that in writing. Instant shitsville.

    Does the producer attend the mics?



  19. #2119

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    Re: Open mic experiences

    She does.

    Though she's relatively new to stand-up so I don't think she totally realizes how awful he is and what that means, and how unlikely it is that these particular issues will improve with time and experience.



  20. #2120

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    Re: Open mic experiences

    Why don't you ask if you could try and host a few nights?



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