You love comedy. You watch all the great (and some not so great) comics and lots of comedy tv shows. You’ve probably written a few jokes and you’ve toyed with the idea of performing. Here are some tips to motivate yourself to get on stage and what to do when you’re there.
- Get on stage as soon as humanely possible. You don’t want to over think it, start making excuses and end up never getting on stage.
- Don’t get on stage without first running the jokes by your friends and seeing if they laugh. If your friends don’t laugh at any of your material, you either have terrible friends or terrible jokes. You decide.
- Keep a note card in your pocket. No matter how much you practice, your mind can go blank the first time. My mind would go blank at least once a set my first ten or twelve times on stage.
- Slow down. You’ll almost certainly be nervous and start to rush through your punch lines if there isn’t instantaneous laughter. It takes a long time to get comfortable with silence, but for now, just talk slower. Think you’re talking too slow? Slow down more anyway.
- Videotape it. Or if you can’t afford a camera (most still digital cameras have a video mode), get a $20 voice recorder or download VoiceNotes for your iPhone (if you have one).
- When you see a light, that means you have one minute to wrap it up. Don’t run your time. Chances are you’re not gonna be that funny your first. You don’t want to piss off the host and club manager as well.
- Don’t stop until you finish all your jokes or time runs out, no matter how quiet the crowd is and how much you feel like dying. Embrace the feeling of wanting to kill yourself, if you get hooked on this stuff, you’ll feel it many more times, even when you start getting paid to perform.
- Being nervous is normal. You’re stepping outside your comfort zone so you may feel some nerves or adrenaline before hand. That’s fine and natural. Know you’ll be fine once you’re up there and talking. If you’re up there and feel nervous for more than the first minute, you can say it aloud, the truth of the situation will probably get a laugh.
- Try to have fun. You’re not gonna get a half hour special or a sitcom deal from your first time ever on stage (this isn’t the 80’s!). So just try to enjoy it as much as you can.
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