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Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


If nothing else, improv skills may even help with coming up with material or riffing on the spot.

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the trump tutelage
Aug 30, 2008

MY EXISTENCE IS INTOLERABLE


Has anyone taken the Second City stand up course? Is it worth it?
There are some Saturday spots open here in Toronto but it's $290.00

XIII
Feb 11, 2009


I've never taken one, but I would pass. Honestly, I don't see any class teaching you anything you couldn't get from watching some videos of comics discussing the craft and, more importantly, getting a poo poo load of stage time. That last one is the big one.

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

XIII posted:

I've never taken one, but I would pass. Honestly, I don't see any class teaching you anything you couldn't get from watching some videos of comics discussing the craft and, more importantly, getting a poo poo load of stage time. That last one is the big one.

Yep. You might get a few tips but just go hang out with comics. some are arrogant douches, but you know what? there's a lot of legit artists that can tell if you're someone that's really interested in the craft and will pass on nuggets of wisdom and tips. I learned half of what I know from Dan Cummins and Jay Wendel Walker from hanging out in green rooms. (both amazing comics, btw)

Dr. Magnificent
Sep 1, 2006



I did a new bit at this competition in Philly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDFUSMB0fho

And yeah, I've never taken a stand up class of any kind, but I can't imagine it would outweigh what you learn just doing mics and being around other comics.

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


Well it seems that I'm doing another open mic a week before that improv workshop starts!
Gonna try some new stuff which I'm not sure is as funny as what I had before, but it's a little more confessional and personal so I hope that can earn me a few points with the crowd.

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


Question Mark Mound posted:

Well it seems that I'm doing another open mic a week before that improv workshop starts!
Gonna try some new stuff which I'm not sure is as funny as what I had before, but it's a little more confessional and personal so I hope that can earn me a few points with the crowd.

Good luck! Gonna film it?

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


captain platypus posted:

Good luck! Gonna film it?
Not filming it but I might record the audio.

I'm nowhere near as confident with this set - it feels like forever until the first joke. I ought to come up with a good opener.

XIII
Feb 11, 2009


Question Mark Mound posted:

Not filming it but I might record the audio.

I'm nowhere near as confident with this set - it feels like forever until the first joke. I ought to come up with a good opener.

Film/record it. Not an option. Then, post it here and we'll give you feedback (at least, I will).

Something to consider, try running through your set in front of a friend or someone and have them use a lap timer to mark each punchline (or, at least, what the listener perceives to be a punch). Then, you can see what jokes take the longest to get to where their going and if they can be trimmed.

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


Unfortunately "supportive" isn't a word I'd use about most of my friends with regards to me trying comedy, so I don't think that'd work.

My problem right now is that it's more of a storytelling bit than joke/joke/joke, which I think is more of a UK thing compared to American stand-up. And with that, I need a little too much explanation right now to make things make sense so I'm gonna need to shoe-horn some jokes into the middle of the speech somehow.

Smerdyakov
Jul 8, 2008



Question Mark Mound posted:

Unfortunately "supportive" isn't a word I'd use about most of my friends with regards to me trying comedy, so I don't think that'd work.

My problem right now is that it's more of a storytelling bit than joke/joke/joke, which I think is more of a UK thing compared to American stand-up. And with that, I need a little too much explanation right now to make things make sense so I'm gonna need to shoe-horn some jokes into the middle of the speech somehow.

In my experience, a good "storytelling" approach works approximately the same as the "lots of jokes" approach in terms of the overall number of potential laugh lines. Even if they don't all land, there should be a punchline of some kind planned every 15-30 seconds or you're going to lose people.

A nice experiment is to try reducing all your bits into one or two line form and then try them out. If you're having trouble doing that, the bits themselves might need work. People see famous comics and forget that they can get away with fewer hard punchlines because they already have credibility and a fan-base, whereas open micers have to be really compact. That said, another way to get a bit tightened up is to do it more loose a bunch of different ways at open mics and figure out what's working and what's not, then cut the fat. Seconding what everyone else said, it's vital you record your set somehow.

If you're already committed to comedy, not having a lot of friends watch you perform can actually be a big advantage--comedy is the art of making strangers invested in what you're saying, and a crowd with lots of friends/family can be way too forgiving, which leads to nasty surprises when crowds don't have that bringer element.

AccountSupervisor
Aug 3, 2004

I am greatful for my loop pedal

Dr. Magnificent posted:

I did a new bit at this competition in Philly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDFUSMB0fho

And yeah, I've never taken a stand up class of any kind, but I can't imagine it would outweigh what you learn just doing mics and being around other comics.

This is a great bit. I popped in this thread out of curiosity put this on while there were a bunch of people in my living room and they all had a good laugh and have been quoting it ever since.

Do you have any other videos of your sets?

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

OY. Tanked like the titanic last night in a local competition. I had this whole Oregon Trail (the video game) bit ready and the dude right before me did an bit almost exactly the same. it's a pretty common thing here, so I'm not mad or anything but goddammit it threw me off and I just rambled for a few minutes to silence and crickets.

E the Shaggy
Mar 29, 2010


Greek Tragedy posted:

OY. Tanked like the titanic last night in a local competition. I had this whole Oregon Trail (the video game) bit ready and the dude right before me did an bit almost exactly the same. it's a pretty common thing here, so I'm not mad or anything but goddammit it threw me off and I just rambled for a few minutes to silence and crickets.

Bombing happens. It's always going to happen no matter how good you get (I mean Dave Chappelle "bombed" recently and he's considered one of the best of the best.) I kind of look at them as learning experiences, it shows you what works and what doesn't for a specific audience. I know I will look over a crowd before I start and see if they're skewing more towards the older generation, then change my setlist accordingly.

Protip on Pop Culture References, NEVER assume that everyone in the audience knows what you're talking about, even for the most basic of things. You may know everything about Oregon Trail and it was a huge part of your childhood, but there's more people who have never even heard of it before and they just aren't going to get the joke unless you map out what the game is and how it was significant to you. I'm kind of surprised that someone before you had an Oregon Trail joke. What's the premise of the bit?

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

E the Shaggy posted:

Bombing happens. It's always going to happen no matter how good you get (I mean Dave Chappelle "bombed" recently and he's considered one of the best of the best.) I kind of look at them as learning experiences, it shows you what works and what doesn't for a specific audience. I know I will look over a crowd before I start and see if they're skewing more towards the older generation, then change my setlist accordingly.

Protip on Pop Culture References, NEVER assume that everyone in the audience knows what you're talking about, even for the most basic of things. You may know everything about Oregon Trail and it was a huge part of your childhood, but there's more people who have never even heard of it before and they just aren't going to get the joke unless you map out what the game is and how it was significant to you. I'm kind of surprised that someone before you had an Oregon Trail joke. What's the premise of the bit?

I know. It's for sure not the first time I've ever bombed:) I just wanted to vent it not on the local comedians board on facebook where they would have zero sympathy and tell me what a douche/fag/pussy I was or whatever. I honestly didn't really "need" the competition so much as I wanted exposure in that area because I don't have as much as I'd like. It was also a good excuse to hang out with some of my comic friends from over there, but drat did I make a poor showing.

The thing about that Oregon Trail bit: I only ever, ever use it in Washington State. I've tried it in Oregon 3 times to CRICKETS but since I wrote it (about 6ish years) it's been KILLING in Washington and Idaho. I would never use it outside of the NW for the very reason you describe but I know it works in general.

I was shocked as HELL that this guy had an OT joke. I think that's why it threw me so bad. also I had been wandering around a museum all day with my nephew after getting about 3 hours of sleep and driving 3.5 hours so I for sure wasn't at the top of my game. Didn't really put as much focus and effort into it as I could. I got cocky, for sure.

The premise is basically that I loved the game but was terrible at it because I chose the worst job to be when I left on my mission from missouri. The punchline is: "being a seamstress sounds awesome when you're in the 5th grade. Until you're in Nevada surrounded by wolves." His was a little more rambling about dysentery and what not, but his ending was almost exactly the same. It was about how you could write anything on the tombstones and it would save it in the hard drive forever. Librarians get made when you write "kyle's a fag" and "get bent" on the tombstones, etc.

It was HUGELY popular where I grew up/now live so it doesn't surprise me he had one, so much as the fact that he used it right before me on that very night. I mean, I played it like 20 years ago!

Dr. Magnificent
Sep 1, 2006



AccountSupervisor posted:

This is a great bit. I popped in this thread out of curiosity put this on while there were a bunch of people in my living room and they all had a good laugh and have been quoting it ever since.

Do you have any other videos of your sets?

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. I have another one from about a year ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uqRCqtMHOc

freud mayweather
Jan 29, 2009



Smerdyakov posted:

In my experience, a good "storytelling" approach works approximately the same as the "lots of jokes" approach in terms of the overall number of potential laugh lines. Even if they don't all land, there should be a punchline of some kind planned every 15-30 seconds or you're going to lose people.

this is something i'm working on dilligently right now. i've got this story i've been doing for like a month and getting decent to good reactions. i'm trying to come up with two or three punches towards the end and i think i'll have a really solid five/six minute bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BKbJTF2q9Q

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


So my gig today didn't go too bad, I guess. It was a bit odd because for the first half (which I did my bit in) the entire audience was entirely made up of the other acts and a small handful of their mates, so there was about a dozen people in the room and nobody was getting any big laughs even for stuff that has worked well before.

Totally gutted that about 1/3 of the way in I forgot how I started my next bit so I very quickly had to check notes on my phone. My friend said I covered it well enough but I still wish I had nailed it all. Still, I suppose with moving up from 5 to 10 minutes in my 4th ever gig I hope I can be forgiven for cocking it up a little.

XIII
Feb 11, 2009


Question Mark Mound posted:

So my gig today didn't go too bad, I guess. It was a bit odd because for the first half (which I did my bit in) the entire audience was entirely made up of the other acts and a small handful of their mates, so there was about a dozen people in the room and nobody was getting any big laughs even for stuff that has worked well before.

Totally gutted that about 1/3 of the way in I forgot how I started my next bit so I very quickly had to check notes on my phone. My friend said I covered it well enough but I still wish I had nailed it all. Still, I suppose with moving up from 5 to 10 minutes in my 4th ever gig I hope I can be forgiven for cocking it up a little.

You had a phone on hand AND a friend in the room and you didn't record it?! Shame.

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


I have an audio recording from having the phone in my pocket but it's practically unlistenable.

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011


Greek Tragedy posted:

Oregon trail.
I'm putting together a set for an open mic in Spokane and I had a bit about Oregon Trail. But I'm also from north Idaho/eastern Washington, so maybe it's a regional thing.

XIII
Feb 11, 2009


I'm from Arkansas and I'm going to write an Oregon Trail bit now, just because.

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011


XIII posted:

I'm from Arkansas and I'm going to write an Oregon Trail bit now, just because.
Well I'm going to write a bit about your stupid state, so there. What's in Arkansas again? Nothing? You just added a prefix to "Kansas" because you couldn't even come up with your own state? This could be difficult.

XIII
Feb 11, 2009


FactsAreUseless posted:

What's in Arkansas again? Nothing?
Preaching to the choir.

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

FactsAreUseless posted:

I'm putting together a set for an open mic in Spokane and I had a bit about Oregon Trail. But I'm also from north Idaho/eastern Washington, so maybe it's a regional thing.

Where you hitting a MIC in Spokane? I live in E. Washington too and used to live in Spokane actually, that's where I started stand up.

Do I already know you???

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011


Greek Tragedy posted:

Where you hitting a MIC in Spokane? I live in E. Washington too and used to live in Spokane actually, that's where I started stand up.

Do I already know you???
I've never performed before, so I doubt it. It's just something I've been thinking about doing for a while, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

FactsAreUseless posted:

I've never performed before, so I doubt it. It's just something I've been thinking about doing for a while, so I thought I'd give it a try.

You should. At the very least if you decide never to do it again, you can mark it off your list of things to do in your life. Less than like 1% of people in the world ever try stand up, or some crazy number like that.
Let me know if you find yourself in the TC or near. I run the open mic here.

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011


Greek Tragedy posted:

You should. At the very least if you decide never to do it again, you can mark it off your list of things to do in your life. Less than like 1% of people in the world ever try stand up, or some crazy number like that.
Let me know if you find yourself in the TC or near. I run the open mic here.
What is the TC?

SaavikSpocksDaddy
Dec 22, 2012


I enjoy reading this thread and I learn from reading your posts.

this is my stand-up.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV4IuZk1V5k
I'm trying to book some local gigs right now; I'm located out of Tampa, FL. If any of you are in Tampa, FL, feel free to contact me.

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

SaavikSpocksDaddy posted:

I enjoy reading this thread and I learn from reading your posts.

this is my stand-up.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV4IuZk1V5k
I'm trying to book some local gigs right now; I'm located out of Tampa, FL. If any of you are in Tampa, FL, feel free to contact me.

I'm going to be near Orlando next month. wouldn't mind traveling to Tampa. I'm actually looking for some stage time while I'm there too. Do you know who I'd contact?

SaavikSpocksDaddy
Dec 22, 2012


Greek Tragedy posted:

I'm going to be near Orlando next month. wouldn't mind traveling to Tampa. I'm actually looking for some stage time while I'm there too. Do you know who I'd contact?

There is a Tampa Improv comedy club in downtown Ybor as well as one in downtown Orlando.
For Orlando: http://www.sak.com/

For Tampa: http://www.improvtampa.com/
There's a couple local coffee shops that have open mic nights.
http://www.sacredgroundstampa.com/ They do theirs Monday at 8p.

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011


My open mic got canceled and I hit a deer on the drive home. My comedy career is off to a beautiful start.

jumba
Sep 6, 2004

Hang in there!


FactsAreUseless posted:

My open mic got canceled and I hit a deer on the drive home. My comedy career is off to a beautiful start.

You could probably get 2 minutes of material out of that alone.

captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


jumba posted:

You could probably get 2 minutes of material out of that alone.

Yeah, seriously. I used my accidental three-hour walk from Bangor, ME to Orono as my five-minute bit.

Greek Tragedy
Aug 4, 2008

That sounds like a recipe for getting snatched and murdered

jumba posted:

You could probably get 2 minutes of material out of that alone.

Thirding this. pretty much every single one of my best bits are about something super lovely that happened.

you ok? you didn't swerve did you? that poo poo will gently caress you up every time.

FactsAreUseless
Feb 16, 2011


Actually I got really lucky. It was in the middle of the lane coming around a curve, but it jumped away from my car rather than into my windshield. All it did was give me a small dent, smash my turn signal, and break the casing to my headlight, but not my headlight. Which is good, because I'd already lost the headlight on the other side some time earlier and I was about 20 miles from any sort of lights. I actually already had a bit about having a smashed-up car, but I'll probably throw in something about this as an opening line.

AA is for Quitters
Aug 6, 2009

Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers.

Just popping in to this thread to say that the local bar does open mic on the third thursday of every month...

and thanks to this thread I worked up the courage to sign up for it. Worse case scenario I end up getting a drink in exchange for making an utter fool of myself and get to cross something off the bucket list. Best case scenario,I get a few laughs.

I have about five minutes worth of material, any tips for not rushing through it like a freight train on meth when I actually get up there? And segues! Those are the weakest thing I have. Tips for going from bit to bit? My five minutes is almost entirely about music and how band is the only class in high school you get an A for effort since "playing music as well as stevie wonder can sight read" isn't a reason to fail someone so I manage to avoid it, but I will eventually need to branch out into more than one subject.

AA is for Quitters fucked around with this message at Sep 16, 2013 around 07:42

XIII
Feb 11, 2009


For rushing, I've started taking a beer (almost always my first drink of the night) on stage with me. When I feel myself starting to barrel through material, I'll take a quick sip. It kind of gives me a moment to reset.

For segues, I wouldn't worry about them for your first time up. Until very recently, I've always made sure I could segue through my entire five minutes, but I've realized that all it's doing is asking a lot of extra words to my set that should be spent going for laughs. Early on you'll want to ramble and fill the space, when what you should be worried about is stripping all the fat off a joke. After you sharpen a joke to a razor's edge, then write segues in and out of it.

Question Mark Mound
Jun 14, 2006

Tokyo Crystal Mew
Dancing Godzilla


I tried to make segues for all my material less for making it seem like a smooth transition and more as a memory aid so I know what I'm doing next!

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captain platypus
Aug 30, 2009


AA is for Quitters posted:

Just popping in to this thread to say that the local bar does open mic on the third thursday of every month...

and thanks to this thread I worked up the courage to sign up for it. Worse case scenario I end up getting a drink in exchange for making an utter fool of myself and get to cross something off the bucket list. Best case scenario,I get a few laughs.

That's the best way to think about it. Break a leg! (I didn't even get the free drink.)

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