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thegasman2000
Feb 12, 2005
Update my TFLC log? BOLLOCKS!
/


I love it when a comedian goes improv on the audience. You see their unedited self and it's always funnier! I remember a Frankie Boyle gig I went to where he finished with 5 unforgettable mins of just that. What that man filters for tv is the last 1%!

thegasman2000 fucked around with this message at Dec 29, 2012 around 22:23

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Dick Holden
Jul 18, 2003

Purple!

I'm so happy to have found this thread! I knew there was one in EW and another in RGD but I'm glad to have found one dealing with the actual work of creating comedy, stand up in particular.

I started doing stand up just last summer, at the age of 27. I currently live very far away from any major city centre, so one thing I wanted to accomplish in my trip back home (family reunion) was to do stand up just once, just to say that I did it. I've been a huge fan of stand up from a very early age (Dad got me hooked on Steve Martin and SNL back when I was just a wee lad) and I never even considered it a thing I could do, it just wasn't performed in my city and I had never met anybody who did it. I just considered comedians on television to be magical creatures who were birthed out of some Hollywood vagina.

What started out as a one time thing now has me completely obsessed. I think of jokes almost everyday, I do my best to write them down and save them into some long term format so that I don't forget. Since this posting I have been on stage 6 times, bombing once. Where I live currently (Thompson, Manitoba) I have to drive 8 hours south to Winnipeg to do 5 minutes. Each trip costs me around $500, but to be completely honest I don't even think about the money; I'm addicted to that high produced from being on stage in front a group of strangers and somehow managing to make them laugh. It's honestly the best I've ever felt about myself, coming down from the stage and having other comics tell you that you did a great job, it truly is one of the best feelings.

I have two sets recorded and would love to share, if that's cool let me know!

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



I also grew up in a midsized town without many cultural activities and the nearest comedy club was two hours away and only had one open mic night every other month and you had to pay 10 dollars to do it and be 21. And then I didn't live in an english speaking country...so yeah, I got into standup a bit late too.

It's also good that you have a fanatical level of devotion to doing standup--your level of commitment is really great/extreme. What I'd recommend you look into are regional comedy festivals: a lot of them are springing up everywhere and they're 2-3 days long and the better ones give everyone multiple venues to perform in and more than one chance to go up. Plus, you get to meet lots of other people doing standup comedy and that's valuable for a lot of reasons. They're not like "elite" events by any means: usually you submit a headshot and a video of you doing a set and if you're not awful you're in somewhere at sometime.

As for posting sets, go for it--I'll listen and let you know what I think. I posted a few of my sets on the last page, so if you want to return the favor that'd be great. Hopefully we can encourage other people to post too and this thread can be more active!

Dick Holden
Jul 18, 2003

Purple!

Here is the latest set I've done (sixth time getting up), which is awful since now it is over two months old. I really need to move out of this place. http://soundcloud.com/richardjburke...-234940/s-M5ycE (I just relistened to this and it was a terrible experience, a lot of it sounds so hacky)

Smerdyakov I listened to both of your posted sets and I liked the second one much more, maybe it was just a better crowd? It's obvious you're very comfortable on stage, you sound very natural, but the one piece of advice I would have is to have some sort of pause before your punchline. It felt like you were rushing through some of the jokes, while I think giving the audience a moment to ponder what it is you will say next would give your already established punchlines more of a kick when delivered. The mom material in the second clip was great, you can probably work more on that and develop it into five minutes on just your that subject.

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



Howdy Dick Holdem! Thanks for the critique--I've been working on slowing down in general, but your advice to pause before punchlines is not something I've heard before and I'm definitely gonna try it, because I may be losing people unnecessarily.

Your set was good, some of it was a bit too canadian/regional for me but the crowd seemed to respond pretty well to it, and you delivered it confidently, so that's great. I laughed several times, and I don't think you're hacky. You talked about a lot of shopworn comedy topics and did it with a somewhat familiar perspective, but that doesn't mean it's bad, since they laughed and I laughed too.

Also, you are much smarter than me, soundcloud is pretty convenient. I haven't been as active recently as I'd like, but here's a set of mine that went decently but I haven't revised since, and now I'm trying to figure out how to reduce the weird and increase the funny, plus I need to finish the last bit which just goes on forever:

https://soundcloud.com/dickovitch/m...-carlitos-12-20

My own theory is that at the open mic level it's a fine balance between telling the kind of jokes you want to tell that are uniquely from your perspective and jokes that are filthy/universal/easier to convey. If you do all of the first type, it's harder to get the crowd on the same page as you and you'll have to straight up wiff and bomb a lot more. If you do all the second type, it devolves into gross-out humor and cliche and you usually can't hold a crowd for very long or be very memorable. The jokes about being hairy and seeing your dad naked are pretty classic and your delivery for it was dead on, but if you can more personal (not more gross, but more specific to you and bits about things that actually happened or are plausible) I think you'll get an even bigger laugh on the punchlines.

Even if you live in a village of 1500, you may want to consider starting an open mic night at a local bar. I've had success in the past by talking with a manager and asking them what their slowest night is and doing open mics then on a trial basis. If you can bring out 4-6 friends/family members/co-workers to come and do five minutes, and put up some fliers and make a facebook event, that's enough. They don't care if the whole show is 30 minutes, they don't care if it's just your friends, they don't care if it's not funny, they don't give a gently caress about anything else if you can get people to show up and buy drinks at a time when normally the bar is always empty. If you can't make the trek anytime soon and you have some new material you want to get some feedback on, I'd be happy to listen to it, crowd or not, but it's definitely a different dynamic.

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


Smerdyakov posted:

Howdy Dick Holdem! Thanks for the critique--I've been working on slowing down in general, but your advice to pause before punchlines is not something I've heard before and I'm definitely gonna try it, because I may be losing people unnecessarily.
Strangely enough, I just listened to a radio documentary that Adam Bloom did back in 2006 about comedians' use of a pause and it was really great for this kind of advice. If you can find Adam Bloom's "Why The Big Pause?" anywhere it's definitely worth a listen.

Pastamania
Mar 5, 2012

You cannot know.
The things I've seen.
The things I've done.
The things he made me do.


Dick Holden posted:

Here is the latest set I've done (sixth time getting up), which is awful since now it is over two months old. I really need to move out of this place. http://soundcloud.com/richardjburke...-234940/s-M5ycE (I just relistened to this and it was a terrible experience, a lot of it sounds so hacky)

There's some good stuff here mate. Yeah, it's wank and poop and buttsex all the way, but its good wank and poop and buttsex. The 'number 3' stuff made me laugh.

Is it normal for the Compare to heckle during a set over there? I mean, he wasn't trying to break your act or anything but I could hear where one of his quips towards the end led you to losing your flow. Dunno if its just a cultural thing, but that's a big no-no on this side of the pond. I'd of been pissed if I were in your shoes.

Overall, I'd say the pacing was good and you kept in control of your audience. You said it sounded 'hacky' and...yeah, wanking and the poopies are well worn topics. You sound confident enough that I think you can get away from that sort of easy, scatalogical material a bit without losing the audience. You might not get as many 'shock' laughs, but you won't lose them at all.

There are some bits in there that you could maybe run with to take it well off the beaten (heh) track - for example, you quipped that you came up with 'number 3' to hide doing it at work. I really liked the number 3 gag, but you hinted at a whole weird working life that you didn't then touch on. Some ideas that popped into my mind that you could explore - Is that some sort of accepted code with your boss, and if so does, how far and absurd can you make that relationship? What's a number 4? 5? What if it's something absolutely mundane, like 'Eating a tuna sandwich'. Or sad, like 'a good cry' What sort of ridiculous conversations can that lead to? What happens when you combine them?

Or, what about being at work makes you want to have a number 3? Is it a reaction to something? Wanking in the toilet at work is a pretty extreme and absurd visual, can you find something about the world of work that it is equally as extreme but in the opposite direction? I used to work in a call centre, and I started coming up with some half-formed quip about being now so dead inside now I can only get off if someone over the age of 80 calls me a stinkyhole before 9.57am.

Or, what about the language itself of the phrase. Workplaces are full of code and weird corporate language - having setup to the audience what 'Number 1,2 and 3' means, you could use those terms to act a conversation with, say, an invisible member of HR, that is incredibly scatological and offensive while juxtaposing the content with incredibly polite corporate doublespeak.

Turbo Poggs
Jan 6, 2013


I'm more of an improv guy myself, but I have some stand-up buddies and have tried it myself. Charleston, SC has a pretty healthy stand-up scene that's being cultivated by a few very dedicated people. I've only done open mics, bombed most times, but got some decent laughs a few times too. The best part of the scene here is that everyone is very supportive. Even if you bomb, you get applause at the end of your 5 minutes.
The more dedicated stand-ups I know keep paper and pens with them at all times, as has been mentioned. They also schedule times once or twice a week to sit down and write jokes together. I can see the pros and cons to this-- It's great to have someone to bounce your ideas off of, but it can lead to lots of inside jokes and self referential humor. That works fine in a self-contained scene, but it can limit the wide-spread appeal of your jokes.

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



Did a set tonight, mostly new material, it all got a pretty good reaction from a pretty small crowd. Once again, I say like far, far far too much. The Alice Cooper bit in its raw form is 10 minutes long, but I chickened out and didn't do an entire Alice Cooper based set. I'm planning on going to another open mic on Thursday and I'll probably try to do a more polished version of many of these jokes, so you can hear my editing process and also (hopefully) hear how laugh lines can move around in unexpected ways.

https://soundcloud.com/dickovitch/c...-13-standup-set

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


Are any of the other posters/lurkers in this thread from Northern Ireland at all? I'm hoping sometime within a month or two to finally memorise a few of my bits and try to find a 5 minute open mic night somewhere handy, like in central Belfast. I know that the Pavilion Bar does them but apparently it's a little out of the way.

Incidentally, I'm about to launch a comedy listings website for NI quite soon. Not sure if it's worth linking here seeing as I assume most posters are likely from America or England, but I can put up a link if anyone is interested in having a look regardless.

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Dick Holden posted:

Where I live currently (Thompson, Manitoba) I have to drive 8 hours south to Winnipeg to do 5 minutes. Each trip costs me around $500

Blimey. As someone who's been putting off going literally down the road to a gig for months now, I respect that. Long term (actually not that long term, just get a PA and a space), it might be a whole lot more viable to set up your own space. There's bound to be people around who want to give it a try, and you'll get plenty of stage time as MC. Just find a bar that's quiet on a certain night, go in and say, "hello, sir! I notice that you are quiet on [sampleday]. Could we talk about hosting an Open Mic night?" They get more people through the door, you get your night. I seem to remember there being lots of good guides on how to do it - for the UK, at least. Same queen same rules. That is how everything works.

Also, your sixth set is really good for a sixth set.

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



Question Mark Mound posted:

Are any of the other posters/lurkers in this thread from Northern Ireland at all? I'm hoping sometime within a month or two to finally memorise a few of my bits and try to find a 5 minute open mic night somewhere handy, like in central Belfast.

Don't set artificial barriers for yourself because they can become excuses all too easily. Of all the people that posted in here who are interested in amateur comedy, I think only one other person has posted a set. We're like a fitness thread where everybody's talking about lifting technique but nobody ever goes to the gym or posts their fitness log.

It's not the best thing in the world, but even really good open micers may refer to written down stuff on occasion. When I'm doing new material sometimes I keep my setlist on my phone and I'll leave it on the stool next to me. That way if I just totally blank, I can make a joke about being unprofessional or something and glance at it real fast. Obviously you wouldn't do that in a showcase or a paid gig, but those are very different from open mic nights. People shouldn't feel like an open-mic is a miniature version of a showcase, almost none of the same "rules" apply.

Over-editing and over-memorizing can actually hurt your material and growth. When you have a good crowd reaction from a phrasing or ad lib you stumbled upon by accident, you're going to want to be able to plagiarize from yourself and consciously get that good reaction in the future. If you stick to the script, (or have a script at all) you can lose that advantage.

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


Well the limitation of being near the city centre is mostly since I don't drive and need to be able to get home afterwards.

As for bringing notes on stage, I wrote a small bit as an excuse to do that. It's a mixture of a referential gag to my opening bit and then hopefully a visual laugh from the fact that I'd plan on having notes as a big sheet of paper sticky-taped to my arm (under my sleeve which I'd then reveal). Plus something else I've written is about various features of my phone, so the plan would be to have screenshots of each app so that I can flip through them - seemingly to show to the crowd what I mean but really just to remind me of what happens next.

I definitely agree about the ad libbing and would plan on recording my sets to make sure I can remember anything that came out on the night, I'd just feel a bit nervous without having at least the key beats that I have to hit drilled into my brain to make sure I don't accidentally forget to set up a thing that I want to refer to later on.

Fingers crossed I'll stop being a pussy and finally do it soon - I think I've just set myself too high of a standard that I want to live up to, even for my very first try!

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Question Mark Mound posted:

standard that I want to live up to,

Out of interest, have you been to any open mic nights just to watch yet? If you have, you'll see the most comforting-yet-terrifying sight there is: there are some really bad people out there. And it didn't stop them!

So yeah, you won't rock it on your first attempt. But you're not supposed to...

Zero Star
Jan 22, 2006

Robit the paranoid blogger.


Symptomless Coma posted:

Out of interest, have you been to any open mic nights just to watch yet? If you have, you'll see the most comforting-yet-terrifying sight there is: there are some really bad people out there. And it didn't stop them!
Seriously, this.

On the first open-mic night I went to as a punter, one of the acts was this slovenly-looking guy. He wore a black t-shirt and grey tracksuit bottoms and looked as though that was his sleeping outfit of choice. He got onstage, told a few lame jokes that elicited little more than a couple of sympathy laughs, then asked a girl in the front row to join him on-stage. When she got up, he proceeded to strip down to his underwear and make increasingly-awkward passes at this girl, who was clearly terrified. And the jokes? Let's just say the only moment that got a laugh from the entire audience was when somebody pointed at the black boxers he was wearing and shouted "PISS STAIN!!!" at full volume.

So yeah, QMM, don't worry about ducking the bar for open-mic nights. There isn't one.

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


Not quite open mics but I've been to a handful of local shows that a friend of a friend was performing in, one of which was for charity. I think he was the only one in the charity night who didn't do a catholic priest joke and one of the few where I didn't notice any of his jokes being lifted from other comedians. I think my girlfriend was getting bored with me constantly poking her in the side and whispering where the act at the time lifted a gag from. And I've seen several different Not-Frankie-Boyles who just brought up surprise sex as a punch line to everything without really getting that Frankie Boyle does a little bit more than that.

I think all those people had done it at least a few times before, so that made me more confident. It's more of a personal thing, I hate being poo poo at stuff! Still, I've asked the friend whose done it before about open mics in the area to hopefully I'll pull my finger out and give it a whirl!

The guy stripping to his pants and trying to chat up a girl sounds so loving surreal that I suppose I would've been laughing jus to try and fool myself into thinking its clever performance art rather than a mental breakdown.

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



Logistics are a problem and I get it, but don't let fear hold you back at all! For real, there's absolutely no standard. If you have bits that you've worked on more than once for more than 5 minutes, you'll be in the top 50%.

A big social tip I would give you is to not be visibly disgusted by how bad everyone else's set is. You don't have to force laughter, but you should listen politely. The golden rule of open-mic scenes is that you don't call people out for being crap, and it's the responsibility of the MC and the showcase bookers to talk to people about lifting material. Unless someone steals from you, just kinda take it in stride and make a mental note of it. The scary part of an open mic is usually not going up on stage and doing your set; instead, I find the biggest challenge comes from watching everyone else's set over and over again, even when it's the exact same unfunny five minutes three times a week for six months.

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


Oh yeah I made a point to laugh politely and make it look like I was just whispering a "I liked that" sort of thing. It was just really grating after a while to see how much stuff can get lifted at times!

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



https://soundcloud.com/dickovitch/twisted-mikes-1-11-13

Set I did tonight, with about 40% of the same material as tuesday's. It's a nice example of how not studying the actual laugh lines on the first set made the second telling much worse because I focused too much on what I wrote originally and not on what people laughed at when I did it before. The crowd was a little less good and five of the six comics before me kinda sucked the life out of the room, but even if all things had been equal it's clearly an inferior set in large part because it's less compact, I wasted time for no reason, and I wasn't as enthusiastic about the older material.

That said, it's not entirely a "what not to do" set. I could've easily eaten my balls completely but I managed to put in a decent set because I was unapologetic about my bits that bombed and I acknowledged/defended them in a way that didn't turn the crowd against me. A classic open-mic mistake is to ignore poor crowd reaction when the opening part of a bit falls flat and the tags can't save it--there's no reason to plow through when the crowd didn't find the initial premise funny, because you end up just digging yourself deeper in and making them less ready to listen to an unrelated bit that they might love.

I'm doing a paid showcase in the next week or two and hopefully it will go well enough that anyone who's interested will be able to see the structural/philosophical differences between a showcase and an open mic. Basically I'll be corralling all my most reliable old bits into a single show and then building bridges between them, making a set order makes sense, culling weak tags, and doing my best to use the most reliable phrasing,tone, and body language for punchlines that have been temperamental in the past.

Dr. Magnificent
Sep 1, 2006



So glad to have stumbled upon this thread. I've been doing stand up for almost 2 years in Philadelphia. I haven't been doing it as much as I'd like lately because I've been getting more into sketch comedy stuff, but I'm hoping to start getting on stage again more regularly.

Here's a set I did recently. I think I maybe drank too much beforehand, but it turned out alright.

https://soundcloud.com/trevor-cunni...n-lounge-dec-20

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

Dr. Magnificent posted:

So glad to have stumbled upon this thread. I've been doing stand up for almost 2 years in Philadelphia.

https://soundcloud.com/trevor-cunni...n-lounge-dec-20

This is good stuff man, especially for someone that's only been doing this for 2 years. I'm still laughing about applebees. your timing is good too, I mean you seem to read the crowd well on where you should pause and when to launch into the next tag. I mean, for what it's worth I would book you at one of our showcase fundraisers. You have definite comfort on stage. How's the scene in Philly? I have a cousin that lives out there and I'd like to come out and do some stuff.

since I'm all flinging critique up in here and what not, here is my latest video that I've been using. I've been doing this 5 years or so. "professionally" (part time, but paid weeeeeeeeeee!) for about 2.5.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjSv4LmGa-w

Greek Tragedy fucked around with this message at Jan 12, 2013 around 05:25

Dr. Magnificent
Sep 1, 2006



Philly actually has a pretty impressive and growing comedy scene. There's open mics just about every day of the week as well as monthly showcases here and there. If you're ever looking to swing by, WitOut.net is a great resource for all things Philly comedy. They keep an updated open mic listing here http://www.witout.net/comedians/open-mics/.

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

Dr. Magnificent posted:

Philly actually has a pretty impressive and growing comedy scene. There's open mics just about every day of the week as well as monthly showcases here and there. If you're ever looking to swing by, WitOut.net is a great resource for all things Philly comedy. They keep an updated open mic listing here http://www.witout.net/comedians/open-mics/.

Thanks! That's awesome.

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



Dr. Magnificent posted:

So glad to have stumbled upon this thread. I've been doing stand up for almost 2 years in Philadelphia. I haven't been doing it as much as I'd like lately because I've been getting more into sketch comedy stuff, but I'm hoping to start getting on stage again more regularly.

Here's a set I did recently. I think I maybe drank too much beforehand, but it turned out alright.

https://soundcloud.com/trevor-cunni...n-lounge-dec-20

I thought you put in a pretty drat good set here, generous amount of bridges, fairly polished, a reasonable number of tags, and your closer is hilarious because you took it in a really silly direction that was unanticipated. How much of that is finished material and how much of it was new/you're still working on? Either way, you seem really comfortable and natural with all of it and you made sure the crowd kept up with your pace.

Has anyone here done any festivals recently/ever? I've applied to a few and got into one already, but I'm not sure what to expect and what the whole vibe is: I assume everyone does their most prepared/best material, but I'd also really like a chance to workshop with a lot of comics from different places on bits I've been working on for awhile but have never gotten quite right. I'd be interested in hearing about anyone's experiences.

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

Smerdyakov posted:


Has anyone here done any festivals recently/ever? I've applied to a few and got into one already, but I'm not sure what to expect and what the whole vibe is: I assume everyone does their most prepared/best material, but I'd also really like a chance to workshop with a lot of comics from different places on bits I've been working on for awhile but have never gotten quite right. I'd be interested in hearing about anyone's experiences.

I've only ever done one "festival" but I've done some competitions. The festival I did was an all women's comedy festival and to be honest it was really fun. the camaraderie was great, because we all were there for the same goal, and there wasn't any weirdness. The competitions I've been in were sort of similar, at least when it was beginning. I competed in the world series of comedy here in the states (I feel like you're in another country based on what I've read of yours, but forgive me if I'm wrong I can't remember anything lately) and it was honesty a really great experience. I got to network a lot, and felt very supported by everyone. They were all competing for the same thing, so it was like a level playing field. My advice for you about festivals or competitions would be to get contact information, add on facebook, email, whatever for the comics you hit it off with. then down the road you can email them bits or if they are near you, do a meet up to work on material together, or at least ask what they think. it's not the same as stage time in front of an audience, but i find it very valuable. that's how we started our open mic here, we started as a writing group meeting once every 2 weeks.

What festival you doing?

Dr. Magnificent
Sep 1, 2006



Smerdyakov posted:

How much of that is finished material and how much of it was new/you're still working on?

The stuff at the beginning is pretty new. Probably the 2nd time I've done the car accident/Home Depot thing and the first time doing the Orange Julius/Applebees bit. The rest I've been doing for a little while but still tweaking here and there.

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



Thanks for the sharing about your festival experience! I'm doing the Cape Fear Comedy Festival and I'm in the middle of applying to a few others, but probably the biggest one I'm applying for is the Bridgetown comedy festival.

As far as I can tell being admitted into the festival can be a little bit random, and there are two schools of thought for the application. The first is to do a hyper-polished "tight five" video of your safest/easiest material and load up the crowd with friendlies to make sure everything lands. But since everybody does that and everyone knows that everybody else does that, I don't know how much you stand out when you do that. What I've tried is more naturalistic videos of me at open mics doing old and new material, ad-lib and improv, light crowd work, and my/crowd reactions to bits that just totally bombed. It's too soon to t ell if that'll pay off, but I feel more comfortable doing it that way.

Dr Magnificent, I thought your newest material was your strongest, maybe just because that's how it worked out or maybe because you were more enthusiastic about it since it's new. Either way, you're a strong writer and have really smooth delivery considering it's new.

Zero Star
Jan 22, 2006

Robit the paranoid blogger.


I've just booked my first-ever gig. It's in March which should give me plenty of time to write. Not gonna lie, I'm a bundle of nerves and it's still a month and a half away. How did you guys cope with "OH GOD I'M GONNA GO ON STAGE, WHAT DO I DO" nerves?

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

Zero Star posted:

I've just booked my first-ever gig. It's in March which should give me plenty of time to write. Not gonna lie, I'm a bundle of nerves and it's still a month and a half away. How did you guys cope with "OH GOD I'M GONNA GO ON STAGE, WHAT DO I DO" nerves?

It sort of depends on what the situation is. Have you literally never been on stage before? or do you mean "OH GOD I'M GOING TO GO ON STAGE IN FRONT OF A LEGIT PAYING AUDIENCE" nerves?

Zero Star
Jan 22, 2006

Robit the paranoid blogger.


Greek Tragedy posted:

It sort of depends on what the situation is. Have you literally never been on stage before? or do you mean "OH GOD I'M GOING TO GO ON STAGE IN FRONT OF A LEGIT PAYING AUDIENCE" nerves?
Both. This will be my first time on stage doing stand-up.

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

Zero Star posted:

Both. This will be my first time on stage doing stand-up.

I am totally encouraging of comics, so please do not take this in the sort of assholish way it it will likely appear without tone of voice, but how did you get booked to do a show without ever having been on stage doing stand up?

That being asked/said:

the first time I ever went on stage at an open mic I was so loving nervous I took a hydrocodone and drank two Guinness and my nervous adrenaline was STILL so high that I didn't notice I was wasted till I got almost all the way home. And I had been an actor for over a decade. I guess what I'm saying is that even if you're prepared it's still going to be scary. I would advise you to write as soon as possible and make sure it's funny.

[editing this as it seems that you've gone to an open mic before but maybe just not gone up? I went back and read your responses. I jumped the gun on this response] GO UP AT AN OPEN MIC if you still have one near you. https://www.badslava.com has a list of a poo poo ton of them all over the place. If you live in a coal mine in the middle of nowhere, then run it by friends or family that you trust, and do it in a stand up situation (like in their living room, in front of them in chairs or such). This probably sounds like the most awkward set up on the planet, and it is, but that's how it's going to be the first time you do stand up, so you might as well get used to the awkward feelings. Get your jokes set out into some sort of format that makes sense to you (like a set list for a musician type thing) and learn it. generally speaking when you are first starting you want to know your jokes really well, the detail and what not. Unless you're someone that just has a natural talent for riffing on stage and then you can just know the "jist" of the joke and fill it in, but this rarely works for first timers unless they just "have that thing".

record yourself and watch it. listen to all the millions of times you say "uh" and "um" and then cut them out the next time. all of this will help you feel more secure on stage, but honestly nothing, and I mean NOTHING can help you like stage time can help you. Try to find an open mic, just trust me it will help more than you can even fathom.

Greek Tragedy fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2013 around 02:47

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



Zero Star posted:

Both. This will be my first time on stage doing stand-up.

Greek Tragedy posted:

I am totally encouraging of comics, so please do not take this in the sort of assholish way it it will likely appear without tone of voice, but how did you get booked to do a show without ever having been on stage doing stand up?

This is a totally fair question. It's very unusual to get paid without having ever done any open mics before, and if you want to go well I agree that you're going to need as much stage time as humanly possible. Workshopping with people you know and writing alone are absolutely not enough/ The only real test is the stage and the crowd.

If you can go to 2 or more open mics every week you might be able to carve out a tight 5-10 minutes of reliable bits. If it's more than that you're gonna need to be quick on your feet and do crowdwork or something, because I can't imagine grinding out 20 minutes of tested, tagged, and reliable new showcase level material in less than two months, especially not as a new comic. Anyway, you better get started, so good luck and get going!

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

Smerdyakov posted:


I'm doing the Cape Fear Comedy Festival and I'm in the middle of applying to a few others, but probably the biggest one I'm applying for is the Bridgetown comedy festival.



I'm seriously thinking about applying for this festival, it seems they are still taking submissions. I live in E. Washington and am also planning on applying to Bridgetown. If I don't get in, I might head down and watch some shows anyway. I understand it's a great experience from the comics I know that have done it.

Are you applying at all to the World Series of Comedy?

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



I've set aside about 100 bucks to apply for various festivals and then if I get in I'll figure out how to get there. My local scene is pretty hot right now (5 open mics a week in a city of 150,000) and about a half dozen local comics are doing the same thing. The guys out here are crazy dedicated and I know if more than one us gets in anywhere we'll roadtrip it. The main thing about standup that I've found that's unexpected is that lots and lots of advance planning is key, because places are up for whatever as long as it's far enough in the future.

Some people here who went to a really far away festival submitted early and then used the time in between being accepted and the date of the festival to set up a four day miniature tour at clubs and bars at places along the way, which was a great way to offset travel expenses and work on their set a little more!

I've got a set I'm working on that's been crushing fairly hard in the first half but the second half needs work. As soon as I get it worked out (or replace it with more reliable material) I'll record the video and submit to the world series of comedy. It's 50 bucks, but a few of my friends live in one of the Satellite cities that's not too far from me. Otherwise, I'm not sure I'd do it: their past winners seem kinda mediocre from a cursory glance.

Smerdyakov fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2013 around 06:41

Zero Star
Jan 22, 2006

Robit the paranoid blogger.


It's a comedy night for new/untested performers - I've been to it before. I've put myself down for a 5 minute slot. The only real difference (in terms of people) is that you pre-book via email rather than turning up at 6pm on the night and putting your name down. It's not a paid gig - although performers get free drinks

I'm going back to that open-mic place I previously mentioned next Tuesday to get a slot there too. I should have elaborated on this earlier but it was rather late.

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

Smerdyakov posted:



I've got a set I'm working on that's been crushing fairly hard in the first half but the second half needs work. As soon as I get it worked out (or replace it with more reliable material) I'll record the video and submit to the world series of comedy. It's 50 bucks, but a few of my friends live in one of the Satellite cities that's not too far from me. Otherwise, I'm not sure I'd do it: their past winners seem kinda mediocre from a cursory glance.

I would suggest putting the killer front at the end and front filling. They only watch 5 minutes of the video, it's really important to have that last minute or two really kill since that's what they will remember best. but I mean, it's a good idea to work towards getting a good solid set all the way through of course.

I competed in the world series in Chicago in 2011 and honestly found it to be a really great experience. Forget winning dude, I mean it would be nice but it's not all about that. Networking. Meeting comics, performing on stages you might never otherwise perform on, that's where it's at. I think it's totally worth it to be honest.

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008




If you're doing a 5 minute set with a signup, no pressure then, just enjoy! Write it out, practice it, edit it, and remember not to speak too fast! If you practice in the mirror twice and spend an hour writing and editing, you will not be the worst one, even if it's your first time.

As for the comedy world series, what it comes down to is if I have enough money: if the choice is between it and two regional festivals, I'm going to pick the two regional ones, but of course I would like to do as much comedy as possible.

Smerdyakov fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2013 around 19:23

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

Just submitted my applications to Cape Fear and Bridgetown festivals. We'll see what happens!

alanthecat
Dec 19, 2005



I'm in Dublin, Ireland, and was hoping to have done something by now but have been too busy to even look up when the stand-up workshops run here. I've been writing down jokes for almost a year now but they're pretty much all programming jokes. My two most recent, the second inspired just now while reading this thread:

"Whats a pirate's favourite microprocessor architecture? ARM"

"Now I'm supposed to ad lib. Which I think comes from the latin for import java.util"

I've started writing a fashion blog that I'd like to be funny and so far feedback has been good, but "I know nothing about fashion, lol" wears thin fast. I'm hoping it will give me enough material to stand up in front of a general audience.

http://ucdfashion.blogspot.com

I can't see a thread on comedy writing so any resources would be good. I've a post that has its fashion content ready but is too boring to publish yet.
I'd like to see the listings website that Question Mark Mound mentioned, just to take a gander.

And to give him the views, here's one of my friends' set on ketamine:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBIcqJPQmbY

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Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


alanthecat posted:

I'd like to see the listings website that Question Mark Mound mentioned, just to take a gander.
Sure, here it is: http://laughni.com/

I'm in class at the moment but I'll try to check out your links when I get home this evening. I do always like comedy websites that do pretend reviews of things they know nothing about or go off on tangents.

Also, it seems like there's a standup writing course in February/March in Belfast so I've signed up to that, hopefully it'll be good. I suppose I should get a notepad and a pen since I don't wanna be "that guy" typing everything up on an iPad.

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