Gig Reports: First five open mic slots

I completed my fifth open mic stand up spot last night here in San Diego. I’ve been trying to keep up the momentum up after my initial performance and am gradually honing my jokes into material that gets consistent laughs. I’ve written a brief description of each of these gigs. I probably won’t continue to write gig reports on this blog, mainly because I think it might get a bit repetitive, but if I experience anything out of the ordinary or discover something interesting I’ll definitely write about it.

#2 Friday 19th March: Winstons, Ocean Beach

A friend from Toastmasters emailed the entire club to let them know I would be performing. This was a slightly unwelcome surprise. As a new comic there’s still a high probability that I’m going to forget my next joke / get tangled in the mic cord / generally embarrass myself. Furthermore I was planning on doing some “blue” jokes, which would not be appropriate at Toastmasters. But it worked out well. I had six friendly faces in the audience, and they sat in a group at the front which created a good atmosphere in an otherwise quiet bar.

My set was a cut down version of the previous Tuesday’s open mic performance, with a few of the less successful jokes removed. The set went very smoothly. I felt more relaxed and I was able to make eye contact as the stage lighting was dimmer.

#3 Tuesday 24th March: Comedy Palace

comedy_palaceMy second time at the Comedy Palace. The room was pretty full with plenty of non-comics which created a nice atmosphere. There were plenty of people sitting in the front row and I could see them through the glare of the lights.

I left much longer pauses after my punchlines which lead to much bigger laughs.
I tried out a new routine at the end, but I limited myself to the four best punchlines rather than committing my self to a much longer and potentially unfunny joke. Despite getting a bit lost in the middle I got solid laughs for three of the four punches. I’ll try an edited and expanded version next time.

#4 Friday 26th March: Winstons, Ocean Beach

The open mic starts at 6pm. Not being able to drive makes this pretty difficult to get to. I arrived late at about 6:10 and was told I was the next act. I had a couple of minutes to compose myself then I was straight up on stage. This turned out to be a good thing as I didn’t have any time to be nervous.

I did very similar material with a few minor changes to the last routine. It’s getting there, but there’s still a bit that goes on for too long without a punchline.

#5 Sunday 28th March: The Comedy Store, La Jolla

comedystoreljI met up with a friend from my stand up comedy class for an hour of work-shopping jokes, then we went over to the open mic at The Comedy Store. The format is strict and regimented. There’s a guy with a guitar who sits next to the stage and if you go over your three minutes he plays you off, you don’t even get time to finish you last joke. Although this is stressful for the comedian, it’s actually a very good thing as it forces you to really consider what you want to include and to rehearse. And the bad performers were more tolerable as you knew they would be off stage soon.

In the recording I noticed that I was speaking very fast and stepping on a few of the laughs. I probably need to have less material. But overall I was happy with my performance.

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