Comedy open mic nights are usually the primary stepping stone most comedians use to start the process of becoming a comedian.
Unfortunately, open mic nights also tend to be the performing opportunities most squandered by new and prospective comedians. It’s from this perspective I want to answer the question, keeping this in mind:
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
What you will find at virtually any comedy open mic is this:
1. The majority of comedians performing at comedy open mics are grossly ill prepared to deliver a stand-up comedy act that will get laughs.
2. Many times the “content” a new comedian has to offer with their stand-up comedy material involves bowel movements, masturbation, menstruation, graphically detailed sexual exploits or other typically juvenile types of subject matter.
3. The set-ups to their “jokes” are simply way too long. Subsequently, they don’t have a chance of getting the punchline frequency or the laughs they need to get the attention of comedy managers or owners for consideration to perform in higher level spots.
4. The comedian hasn’t rehearsed and is dependent upon notes to deliver their stand-up comedy material. Yet they somehow expect to be “discovered” as a pro comedian.
5. Open mic comedians can be absolutely clueless to the fact that they are bombing on stage, yet will perform the same lame comedy material over and over again – sometimes for years without any noteworthy improvement.
6. Few open mic comedians engage in any sort of performance improvement activities.
7. Many open mic comedians treat open mic audiences as a lesser entity that can’t seem to get their “jokes”, not realizing that a paid audience wouldn’t respond any better either.
It’s not the responsibility of any audience to “get” a comedian’s jokes. They are simply there to be entertained. That responsibility lies solely in the hands of the comedian.
8. Many new comedians attempt to deliver their comedy material as some sort of fabricated character that is not only unnatural for them, but severely reduces or eliminates the audience laughter response they could get.
If you want more specific details on why many new comedians get stuck in “comedy open mic mode”, simply check out the 5 free lessons in the Killer Stand-up Online Course.
But here’s the good news:
All these things (and more) make for some great opportunities for new comedians who do know what they are doing and can generate the big laughs with a tight act in a short period of time.
Let me leave you with this:
Stage time is a scarce and precious commodity for new comedians.
Common sense would dictate that in order to progress quickly, the smart comedian would want to squeeze out every bit of benefit possible from every comedy open mic performance.