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Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



Greek Tragedy posted:

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

Awesome Opossum!

I managed to get some more funds for festival submissions, and I'm using a 5 minutes and 55 second version of this video as my submission:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0Hrhg3KS9k

A few festivals have indicated that they'll watch multiple videos if they're on the fence about you, so I'm trying to have a couple more videos floating around as well. Anyway, good luck to you!

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Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


Did my first 5 minutes there on Saturday. I was utterly terrified and forgot a couple of bits I was meant to do in my routines, but thankfully none of the crucial stuff for it all to make sense. That being said, I would've loved to have had a chance to say "nominative determinism" to a room full of people. I was introduced as a first-timer so I dunno if I was getting pity laughs or if it actually did go down well.

Accidentally used a bit of a "no-no" word just because a lot of people I hang out with use it casually and it sort of slipped out in one bit that I had only just thought of that morning, but luckily the crowd went with me on it, and some people even thought it was intentional and worked well in the routine.

After about a minute and a half my mouth was utterly dry, so next time I'll need to remember to have a glass of water with me or something.

Symptomless Coma
Mar 30, 2007
for shock value

Well done mate! As far as first times go, it sounds like it went rather well.

Zero Star
Jan 22, 2006

Robit the paranoid blogger.


Mine's coming up on Wednesday. I'm terrified already. What if nobody laughs?

Thing is, I'm trying to treat it as a learning exercise, but I'm still absolutely quaking.

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


Zero Star posted:

Mine's coming up on Wednesday. I'm terrified already. What if nobody laughs?

Thing is, I'm trying to treat it as a learning exercise, but I'm still absolutely quaking.
If you're anything like me, then even if people are laughing you won't notice them doing so while you're performing. Just trust that what you're saying is funny and don't react the the notion that people aren't laughing, because they probably are.

Stormfang1502
Jan 26, 2003

The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on.

Tomorrow night I will be playing my first open mic of any kind. It'll just be at a small bar/coffee shop in a small college town, but I'm doing it mainly just to practice my timing and get some experience being on stage. I can easily fill 5-10 minutes with the material I have and I'm adding more to my little notebook every day. I hope to work up to a real comedy clubs open mic nite, which for me would be in StL.

And if my comedy career ends there tomorrow night I can die fulfilled, knowing that at least I played on the same stage as the "Because I Got High" guy.

Which is kind of funny because getting high is sort of the reason I'm getting up there!

Dick Holden
Jul 18, 2003

Purple!

Zero Star posted:

Mine's coming up on Wednesday. I'm terrified already. What if nobody laughs?

Thing is, I'm trying to treat it as a learning exercise, but I'm still absolutely quaking.

I forget where I heard it, but someone once said that the only goal they had for their first set was to get one laugh. When they got two they felt like they were already ahead of the game. That being said the first time I ever got on stage I got an applause break, and then bombed my face off a couple sets later. Even if you crash and burn there will always be a chance to redeem yourself.

The one thing that I repeat to myself before I get on stage is this: "you're going to die, you're going to die, you're going to die...", ad infinitum. What I'm telling myself isn't that I'm going to die on stage, it's that one day I'm going to die, and getting up in front of a bunch of drunks for five minutes to say some silly things pales in comparison to the inevitability of my own death.

Also, stretch.

Head Bee Guy
Jun 12, 2011

Retarded for Busting

Grimey Drawer

I am interested in comedic acting, not just stand-up, where should I look for more information?

Zero Star
Jan 22, 2006

Robit the paranoid blogger.


So it turns out I'm capable of writing a decent (albeit short - I think I hit the 3:30 mark) set. Most of my 'good' jokes got a decent laugh from the room. I hadn't exactly been shy in letting people know that I was a first-timer (it was a very nice venue full of lovely people). Whoever said your mind goes blank when you get onstage was spot-on though - I'd been reading and rereading my notes all through the night, but completely forgot everything when I stepped up. I had to keep referring to my notebook which was kinda embarrassing. One of the other guys just told me afterwards that that comes with practice. In conclusion: material is fine (though the more the merrier obviously), but my delivery needs practice.

All in all, a great experience for me. The two guys that run the night even thanked me for choosing their evening for my first gig.

Insurrectum
Nov 1, 2005



Will it spoil me posted:

I am interested in comedic acting, not just stand-up, where should I look for more information?

Try your local improv group/groups. The crossover of people between theater/acting and comedy is much greater than it is in standup. Also, most "comedic actors" come from a background of improv nowadays.

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

Question Mark Mound posted:

If you're anything like me, then even if people are laughing you won't notice them doing so while you're performing. Just trust that what you're saying is funny and don't react the the notion that people aren't laughing, because they probably are.

This happens constantly, I call it "stage deafness".

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


Greek Tragedy posted:

This happens constantly, I call it "stage deafness".
Listened back to my recording and I definitely got more laughs than I thought. Still not sure if they were pity laughs or not, though.

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

Question Mark Mound posted:

Listened back to my recording and I definitely got more laughs than I thought. Still not sure if they were pity laughs or not, though.

who cares? take ALL the laughs. because even if they were pity laughs, eventually they won't be, and laughter is motivating (at least to me it is)

E the Shaggy
Mar 29, 2010


Thought I'd jump into this thread as I just discovered it, but I've been doing standup for a few years now. Toured the east coast, performing at some colleges and conventions. While I was having a fairly steady stream of paying gigs, it was never really enough to replace the 9 to 5, and the road life/dedicating my entire social life to standup just didn't appeal to me. As was mentioned earlier, it can be really trying and bottom line was, I didn't work nearly as hard as some other folks (two shows a week vs guys who were doing three to five shows A NIGHT.) It's more of a pastime than anything at this point.

Here's a video of one of my jokes:

http://www.rooftopcomedy.com/watch/IAintAfraidOfNoGhost

Anyway, before I left for a new city, I recorded a 50 minute cd that I plan on distributing but I was wondering if anyone else has done this? What's the best way to market an album? Once I get the album cover finalized, I was planning on submitting it to iTunes and charging around $5 for it.

fritopi
Feb 16, 2007
YUM YUM SO GOOD

E the Shaggy posted:

Thought I'd jump into this thread as I just discovered it, but I've been doing standup for a few years now. Toured the east coast, performing at some colleges and conventions. While I was having a fairly steady stream of paying gigs, it was never really enough to replace the 9 to 5, and the road life/dedicating my entire social life to standup just didn't appeal to me. As was mentioned earlier, it can be really trying and bottom line was, I didn't work nearly as hard as some other folks (two shows a week vs guys who were doing three to five shows A NIGHT.) It's more of a pastime than anything at this point.

Here's a video of one of my jokes:

http://www.rooftopcomedy.com/watch/IAintAfraidOfNoGhost

Anyway, before I left for a new city, I recorded a 50 minute cd that I plan on distributing but I was wondering if anyone else has done this? What's the best way to market an album? Once I get the album cover finalized, I was planning on submitting it to iTunes and charging around $5 for it.

Dude, you have a super commanding stage presence and an awesome voice! You kinda sound like Eugene Mirman, haha.

I tried my hand at standup for the first time last night. I'm a student at an advertising school and one of the final classes we're offered is a standup class so I thought I'd give it a shot. Here's the vid:

http://youtu.be/A_GZ9zr31UA

I was shaking the whole time and even 20 minutes after I got off stage, but it was such a rush. I think I'm hooked, haha.

Ted E Ruxpin
May 7, 2003

getting way cuddly in here


I been doing stand-up a little over a year and had what felt like the best set of my life at a show in January, but the dude who filmed it basically disappeared off the Earth for four months. Wouldn't respond to e-mails or phonecalls, the whole deal. I didn't record anything on my own, so I had no idea if it held up. Anyhow, he just sent it over:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMV19YIFmYg

Any of you old-timers have any tips on strengthening your presence on stage? I feel like any time I watch video of myself (which is rare) all I can think about is how I move around too much like a weird bird and my voice sounds way reedy. I quit smoking to try and deal with the latter but who knows if it'll help.

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



Hey, I enjoyed your set but it's a little bit inside baseball--it's nice to be known by some/most of the crowd, and it's definitely nice to have a more friendly and comedy-aware audience to play with, but it can be a self-limiting style. You have good delivery and are comfortable on stage, but you may have difficulty winning over a cold crowd or being the opener. Maybe those are skills you're already confident about, but I find those to be the biggest sticking points. The sets I usually end up being most proud of are when I can put in a mediocre-to-good performance on a night where everyone else is bombing. Of course the high-energy sets with crowd buy-in are the most fun (and you definitely need them for festival submissions and video resume stuff!) but when everything's working, it's hard to see where the problems are. But yeah, nicely done!

Zip
Mar 19, 2006



So loving annoyed tonight. I've been performing for like a year and a half and the good friend who got me into stand up, usually gives me rides to open mics. The problem is he's a total hack. A complete loving hack. He steals my jokes often or worse just asks "can I borrow that joke". If I say "no" he says "dude it's just a joke..."

The only time someone should ask to borrow a joke is from a dude who is a roofer or some poo poo and he never will go near a stage. Then maybe it's ok to borrow a joke IMO.

Then he just fucks them up too. Which pisses me off even more.

But he's a really good friend overall. Just not when he's on stage.

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


Zip posted:

So loving annoyed tonight. I've been performing for like a year and a half and the good friend who got me into stand up, usually gives me rides to open mics. The problem is he's a total hack. A complete loving hack. He steals my jokes often or worse just asks "can I borrow that joke". If I say "no" he says "dude it's just a joke..."

The only time someone should ask to borrow a joke is from a dude who is a roofer or some poo poo and he never will go near a stage. Then maybe it's ok to borrow a joke IMO.

Then he just fucks them up too. Which pisses me off even more.

But he's a really good friend overall. Just not when he's on stage.
This is a pretty good read on that topic: http://www.stewartlee.co.uk/press/w...sundaytimes.php

Unrelated, but I have my second open mic this Tuesday. It's mostly base-level jokes which I am openly not proud of, but I need to squeeze it into 7 minutes (it's on a timer). I'm always running 40 seconds over when I practise it at home, having trouble seeing what I can cut.

Zip
Mar 19, 2006



Where are you doing open mics at? What city? I perform in the Northern California Bay Area. Have about 4 or 5 open mics here if you need info.

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


Belfast, Northern Ireland. I know comedians are supposed to travel, but that'd be a bit of a trek.

Palmtree Panic
Jul 28, 2007

Trust Your Gut


Started doing stand-up in Michigan, did it for over a year and then moved to NYC. Took a little break & getting back into it. Discovering that there's a lot of differences between open mics in Michigan & NYC.

In Michigan, almost all open mics were in front of a real audience, but in NYC it consists entirely of comedians. Whether it's a comedy club, bar, or coffee shop, it's only comedians there. Is this a common occurrence in other comedy hotspots like LA?

Naturally, prefer performing in front of real people. It's much more difficult to see what material needs work, when only going in front of comedians. Comedians, we don't laugh (Yeah, I realize I'm whining about comedians not laughing at my material).

Any NYC goons know of good open mics where you're in front of people? Outside of *shudder* bringer shows. I use nycomedylist.com to find shows.

Anybody tried barking before? It sounds awful, but I'm interested in doing it. You get paid & stage time apparently, just want to hear first-hand experience to see if it's worth it.

E the Shaggy
Mar 29, 2010


Palmtree Panic posted:


Anybody tried barking before? It sounds awful, but I'm interested in doing it. You get paid & stage time apparently, just want to hear first-hand experience to see if it's worth it.

Barking? I've never heard that term before.

I just got accepted into a comedy festival in NYC, this'll be my first one. Anyone have any experience in the festival circuit?

Dr. Magnificent
Sep 1, 2006



E the Shaggy posted:

Barking? I've never heard that term before.

Barking is basically standing outside and trying to get people come to a show. Those "You guys like live comedy?" people in Times Square. I've never done it myself though.

E the Shaggy
Mar 29, 2010


So I released my first album, now up on iTunes and Amazon: "That's What You Get For Being Different"

If you have the chance, give it a listen:

http://www.amazon.com/Thats-What-Be...=Evan+Valentine

DavidAlltheTime
Feb 14, 2008

All David...all the TIME!


fritopi posted:

I tried my hand at standup for the first time last night. I'm a student at an advertising school and one of the final classes we're offered is a standup class so I thought I'd give it a shot. Here's the vid:

http://youtu.be/A_GZ9zr31UA

I was shaking the whole time and even 20 minutes after I got off stage, but it was such a rush. I think I'm hooked, haha.

I really liked your set. Good work! Keep doing it!

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



E the Shaggy posted:

So I released my first album, now up on iTunes and Amazon: "That's What You Get For Being Different"

If you have the chance, give it a listen:

http://www.amazon.com/Thats-What-Be...=Evan+Valentine

I've been thinking about doing an album pretty soon but I know a bunch of guys who have done it and they've all reported pretty rough numbers. It's definitely an accomplishment to have an album's worth of polished material out there, but the online market for comedy seems pretty cutthroat. The local scene godfather here has done 2 albums and just gives them away for free because he doesn't want to go head to head with famous comics filmed specials that are at the same price point. I wonder if he's right though, because if there's a local fanbase I can definitely see it working out, but this is all theory on my part--What's your experience been like for sales/promotion on your album, if you don't mind me asking?

E the Shaggy
Mar 29, 2010


Smerdyakov posted:

I've been thinking about doing an album pretty soon but I know a bunch of guys who have done it and they've all reported pretty rough numbers. It's definitely an accomplishment to have an album's worth of polished material out there, but the online market for comedy seems pretty cutthroat. The local scene godfather here has done 2 albums and just gives them away for free because he doesn't want to go head to head with famous comics filmed specials that are at the same price point. I wonder if he's right though, because if there's a local fanbase I can definitely see it working out, but this is all theory on my part--What's your experience been like for sales/promotion on your album, if you don't mind me asking?

I didn't really ever think I was going to make enough to live off my album or anything (My friend, Mike, recently released his album through Comedy Central and he's #6 on iTunes, but its his job and he works all the time. It's really more just a hobby for me).

I just have been marketing it to friends and family at first, then at every show I do, I make mention that you can find my album on iTunes or Amazon and so even when I'm doing an open mic or something, I usually get one or two new purchases, so essentially I'm getting "paid" to do free shows. I've already made back all the money I put in production costs (Recording costs, partnership fees, etc etc).

It also looks great on your resume and for clubs when they see that you have an hour worth of material you've crafted.

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



That's actually really cool and I hadn't thought about it that way--it's definitely an advantage to be able to have something you can always plug after you have a good set, regardless of the size of the crowd, open mic or paid show, whatever. What was the lag time between submitting it on amazon/itunes, and are there any hidden costs or difficulties involved with that, or was it pretty smooth?

freud mayweather
Jan 29, 2009



rookie comic checking in. i've been hitting mics in new haven, ct since may 1st. if anyone is reading this thread nervous about trying it out, i guarantee you couldn't be as nervous as me. i had to choke back puke on my way up to the stage and spent my first five minute set pacing nervously back and forth while holding onto my belt like a child's blankey and cursing entirely too much as a defense mechanism.

but now i can't go a week without doing it. it's my stress release, and the comic community is loving awesome here. you can't really match the feeling of walking off stage after a set and hanging out with other guys who just battled the same demon in order to go up there and risk humiliation in order to make people laugh. it's loving incredible.

a dingus
Mar 22, 2008

Rhetorical questions only

Fun Shoe


I'm a little north of you and Torrington and as far I know there is no standup scene here at all. It's cool to hear people are cool close by. I'd assume everyone would be going to NYC. How many open mics can you hit on a weekend night in New Haven?

freud mayweather
Jan 29, 2009



Smeed posted:

I'm a little north of you and Torrington and as far I know there is no standup scene here at all. It's cool to hear people are cool close by. I'd assume everyone would be going to NYC. How many open mics can you hit on a weekend night in New Haven?

there's no open mics on weekends that i know of. i've been hitting the wednesday night one at jokers wild, which is good. a lot of talented people pop in, and the atmosphere is good. there's the funny bone in hartford too. then cafe nine does a comedy show on every third monday, which always features one or two rookies on it. i got a card tonight from a lady who might give me some time in bars in new haven as well. most of the pros around here do travel to nyc a ton, like you said, but there's plenty to do locally.

XIII
Feb 11, 2009


Glad I found this thread. I've recently made the decision to get involved with stand up, after loving it my entire life. I'm another one of those people that have always just viewed comics as some kind of mythical creature. I've spent the last 24 years trying to make people laugh, to varying degrees of success, and it's one of the most enjoyable things in the world to me. But, it's also a major defense mechanism. I've frantically jotted down every even semi funny thought I've had over the past few months and have been trying to get a decent 5min ready. I live in a fairly small city and haven't been able to get any good leads on an open mic night until yesterday. Turns out, the local comedy club does have one, despite not listing it online (and not returning my email asking about it), which is perfect since they're less than half a mile from my place. There's also a bar about 10min away that host a weekly open mic, but I think it's primarily music. I'm going to look into it and see about getting up in front of their crowd as well (being a primarily black room, I think it would be good practice to learn different rooms). I'm planning to go to the comedy club this week, just to scope it out. Then, next week, I'm going to give it a shot. I also started a not funny blog about me trying to be funny. It might seem like a waste of time that could be spent writing jokes, but I like the idea of keeping a public record of my successes and bombs. Plus, I decided to post it to all my social media as a way of pressuring myself to do it (dame goes for posting in here). If anyone would care to read/follow it, I'll post a link. And I'll definitely post a recording of my first night up.

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



XIII posted:

There's also a bar about 10min away that host a weekly open mic, but I think it's primarily music. I'm going to look into it and see about getting up in front of their crowd as well

The most important piece of advice I got about doing comedy at an open mic that's mostly/all music is to keep it short and make sure everything is snappy--you may be able to close with a bit that requires longer setup, but if you don't make some people laugh within the first 30 seconds, you're kinda screwed. Even if they give you more time, do a tight five minutes. If you don't have a tight 5, do a tight 3. A music open mic isn't a good place to ruminate and work out tags, it's a place to cut the fat and sharpen up your jokes as well as get a sense for what kind of crowds are at the venue and what kind of material they want to hear.

XIII
Feb 11, 2009


Well, I just found out today from a friend who's performed there a few times that they seem to only have musicians, so I'm pretty much scratching that idea out. But, I still have the actual comedy club as an option. I'm going tonight to check it out and planning to get up next week. Even if I'm not 100% prepared, I think it would be better to get up there and bomb than make an excuse and put it off because that will just establish a precedent of flaking. My goal is to start doing it 3 weeks out of the month. This is one of the few things that I've been really, truly interested in in my life, so I want to go at it full force.

Ninja edit: there's a local micro brewery opening soon that will have a small bar attached to it. I've talked to the owner a little, just to establish communication, and I'm planning to approach him about starting an open mic night. Another place, another crowd, more practice.

XIII fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2013 around 18:01

thrakkorzog
Nov 16, 2007


Will it spoil me posted:

I'm in the same boat as that other guy who doesnt know where to start. Any tips on how to look at situations differently? Actually sitting down to right jokes is near impossible for me.

The best advice I was given was to write down everything that mildly annoys you throughout the day, then just take it to its comical extreme. This is why comedians are big on notepads.

freud mayweather
Jan 29, 2009



I did my first guest spot last night opening for Tom Hayes and Joseph Anthony. not huge names by any means, but real pros, and I learned a lot from watching them deal with a crowd who kept switching from hostile to indifferent all night. While I didn't lay a complete turd, I did realize how little I know about crowd work. I had a couple of moments where I connected, and really, I couldn't have asked for a better learning experience.

XIII
Feb 11, 2009


Well, I went out for my first open mic last Wednesday. I was happy with the five that I had prepared, but, with the repealing of DOMA, I shelved it and wrote a new five. I know it's not exactly the best idea, but I have nothing to lose and liked the challenge of writing under pressure. Plus, I felt that the material would only be worth taking to bat if it was fresh. There were enough people there that we didn't all make it up. They're having an open mic contest starting this week, so I signed up. So, my first time up will be in a competition. I'm not really any more nervous than I would be on any other night though. I dread bombing, but I accept it. I know it's a part of the game, so I'm just going to go for it. Plus, after watching some of the others, I feel confident that I won't be the worst, by any stretch. There was, literally, no way that a couple of them had done any form of preparation.

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

Hey All,

God drat it's been a while since I've been in here. Apparently life happened and I can't gently caress about on the internet as much anymore.

Any of you other comedy goons run an open mic? How do you get people (not just comics) out to your open mics? I know this isn't the case in places like NYC and LA but I'm in fairly rural eastern washington state. We have a decent population (over 200000) but there are nights when there are literally just the 7 comics performing that night in attendance. Of course the same club on the weekend gets 80 people to the comedy show. How do I get like even 20% of that to come to a FREE comedy night? Any tips from my goon peeps? It would be much appreciated, i'm getting really frustrated.

Also we just finished our 3rd annual amateur comedy competition and holy poo poo guys. Some serious talent coming up in the northwest!

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XIII
Feb 11, 2009


I'd also be interested in hearing how to increase turnout at an open mic, since I may be helping start one soon.

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