Even before you ever perform at your
initial comedy open mic:
1) Get your own microphone.
Alternately, as my high school bowling instructor
put it when a kid (OK: me) did not have 35 cents so they could bowl, "beg, borrow, or steal!"
Yet another solution:
The class gear is just sitting there before and after every class.
Stop being so polite: •use it!
When you get your own gear, what you want is a straight-necked microphone
with a solid base,
and a combination amplifier/speaker.
What's that look like?
See the three (3) photos below
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.
But, Jim: we can't find one that inexpensive even at Radio Shack.
Not in the store where they want to sell high end gear.
Look for deals on their web site and the web in general.
Remember: at this point, you do not need something expensive.
You just want to hear it if have the volume up so high that it picks up your
own breathing and you can hear the sound of spitting your p's and t's spit into
Not ready to spend about $100 for a radically inexpensive mic, mic stand and
•Then just use a cord and a soup spoon to practice basic
2) Make arrangements to get your first open mic performance recorded to
All the newer smart phones and tablets have a built-in audio/video camera.
For best results, get a cheap camera tripod for about $50 and a clip for the camera shoe that comes with the tripod.
Example (but get one that fits your smart phone) for an iPhone or iPodTouch4 (see mine in class):
iStabilizer Tripod Mount:
For the tripod adapter, things to know for setting up your smart phone in a night club:
Make sure a friend sits with the camera the entire time you are on stage so no one walks off with it
All tripods have the same “shoe” thread:
shoe holds camera and has threaded hole,
tripod has screw that fits this threading = screw shoe onto tripod.
The Tripod Mount
is small enough to travel with you wherever life takes you.
Once you've attached
the Tripod Mount to your tripod, just pop in your smart phone or mobile device
and you're ready to go!
It's quick access mount lets you instantly swap devices.
Capture one scene on your iPhone and switch to create another video on your iPodTouch
The Tripod Mount can be used on any tripod with a standard ¼ x20" camera
mount, aka 'camera shoe.' “
So, use your own
or have a friend record you on their smart phone/tablet,
•and email the video file to you immediately.
Simple as that!
Because how you interact with an audience before you "learn too much"
•will help your comedy mentor Jim Richardson to eventually bring out your uniqueness
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:
•When you get to your punch lines:
be looking at one audience member, right in
and keep looking at him/her a full :02 seconds.
Or better, keep looking at said audience member well past the :02 mark
audience laughter begins to fade.
If the audience does or doesn't laugh at your first joke, it doesn't matter:
Always just go to another audience member,
and proceed with above steps.
As John Wayne put it in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (1949):
"Never apologize, corporal, it's a sign of weakness!"
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.
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?
Why would you want to suffer through that?
Same thing happens when you meet someone for the first time,
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
a well planned introduction,
everyone meeting someone for the first time
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