Ten Tips to Prepare Yourself to Get In Front Of A Crowd And WOW Them Out Of Their Seats

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1 1 Ten Tips to Prepare Yourself to Get In Front Of A Crowd And WOW Them Out Of Their Seats

2 2 T hey say most people would rather die than speak in front of people. Comedians run the risk of doing both at the same time. There are few things in life more terrifying than learning to be a comedian. The open mics are sometimes brutal with critical comics sitting in the dark in the back of the room. Or even worse, visible and disinterested in what the comedian on stage is doing. But even with all these negatives, doing the open mics is a necessary part of the process for learning how to handle any situation when you re on stage. But there are things you can do to help overcome the fear. Tip 1: Sit and Watch Decide to go to an open mic and not perform. Just go. Sit and watch. This will make you more comfortable with that venue once you decide you want to give it a shot. And the most important thing you ll learn is that the others at the open mic are less funny than you are. This will give you a small boost of confidence that you can indeed get in front of this group and do as well or better than they have done. Go. Sit. Watch. Later, perform. Tip 2: Arrive Early Get to the club or room early. Pick a spot in the room where you want to sit that has a clear path to the stage. This gives you the opportunity to organize your materials, get on stage to become familiar with the retina burning lights and size of the stage. Remember to ask the M.C. or club manager for permission to play around on stage. This familiarity will help you get more comfortable with all unknown aspects an unknown venue.

3 3 Tip3: Entrance and Exit Walk that path from your seat and step on the stage. Take the mic out of the holder and grab the stand below the fastener and move it behind you out of the way. Why grab it below the fastener? Because if you lift on the top section it may come out of the bottom section and you ll spend your time trying to fix the stand. Big problem. Talk into the mic to hear how you sound. And then bring the stand back to the front of the stage and place the mic back in the stand. Do this several time to make that transition smooth. Then walk off the stage, which isn t as easy as it would seem as your eyes will have adjusted to the bright lights and you won t be able to see very well. Take a moment to let your eyes adjust and then retrace your path back to your seat. The simple act of running through your entrance and exit makes for a smooth show. Tip 4: Mic Technique When you hold the mic, place it below your chin. Not in front of your mouth. Why below your chin? Several reasons: one, when the mic is in front of your mouth your breath goes into the mic and creates whooshing and popping sounds. This makes it difficult for the audience to understand what you re saying. Two, if the mic is in front of your face the audience can t see your expressions. Place the mic on your chest bone, which will solve most of the problems of keeping it near your mouth. The mic is an integral part of the stand-up comedy experience, so take the time to get comfortable with it.

4 4 Tip 5: Introduce Yourself to the M.C. Always let the people running the venue know you re present. More often than not, an open mic will be run by the M.C. The M.C. will tell you how to sign up and explain the rules, if there are any. Don t perform or try you jokes on the M.C. It s very annoying because every insecure comic will be doing that. Be easy to work with because this person can give you stage time. Tip 6: Sign-Up If it s an open mic they ll either have a sign-up sheet or a lottery process. Put your name on the sheet or drop your name in the lottery container. Later, the M.C. will either post or announce who will perform that night. This is one more advantage to arriving early, you can sign up before others. Tip 7: Greet the Audience It s very awkward when a nervous comic runs right to the microphone and goes right into, I hate bumper stickers. It lacks social grace. I m not saying you must have a conversation with the audience at the top of the show, but merely greet them before going into material. Even worse is when comics all say exactly the same thing as a greeting, Hi. How you all doin this evening? This kind of greeting is what I call a Comic s Cliché. Comic s Clichés are all the commonly used phrases comics repeat because they heard other comics use them. Greet the audience like you would with any conversation with strangers. Say, Hello, and introduce yourself. If you want more of a greeting beyond that, be honest about how you re feeling right at that moment, I m glad to be here, but a little nervous. Be genuine and the audience will respond in kind.

5 5 Tip 8: Make Sure Your Material is in Joke Structure This may seem obvious, but I see comics all the time doing so-called jokes that are not jokes. To understand joke structure, see my How to Write Jokes blog series on my website. Learn the structure of jokes and how to write them. Then you can clearly communicate your sense of humor with jokes. Even then, you ll never have a guarantee the audience will laugh, but it will certainly make the chances much higher. Learn the Fundamentals of Joke Writing and Performing Tip 9: Don t Try to Be Funny Have you ever tried to be funny? It didn t work did it? And even worse you were probably less funny than usual. The reason for this is that laughter are a result of saying or doing something humorous. You can t do a result. Being funny is the result of communicating jokes to an audience. Then, the audience decides if they think it s funny or not. So, forget trying to be funny because that result is in the future and it takes you out of being present with the audience. Tip 10: Be Playful and Honest Stand-up comedy is the world according to you. You must accept your own negative opinions and express them in no uncertain terms as jokes to your audience. Don t expect anyone to agree with your point of view instead, just make them laugh. With these tips you ll feel more prepared to go to an open mic. Nothing can take the place of performing, so get your ass out there and accept the challenge of making people laugh. You know you want to or you wouldn t have downloaded this booklet.

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