I’ve been doing comedy for over 15 years and tonight I decided to hit the open mic and go in first. It felt like my 15 years of experience got erased in a moment. It was a humbling experience, to say the least. I still had my stage presence and control. I think those skills will always be my savers. So all was not lost. But I had to work for every bit I did. Some worked and some didn’t. So here’s what I learned about being the first comedian in a show:
- Never assume the audience knows you or how long you’ve been doing comedy. Always prove yourself from the first bit to the last.
- Do your best. Come prepared. Don’t just wing it. Don’t look at your notebook. Practice before the practice.
- Don’t care. There still has to be a bit of an attitude of not caring what the audience thinks. If they don’t laugh, don’t let it affect you. Know that you’re funny and they will find you funny. Once you lose confidence in yourself, the audience will too.
- Mean what you say. You have to give conviction to what you’re saying. Put your emotions into the topic you’re talking about.
- Stay within your time, regardless if you’re bombing or killing.
I’ve always known these things but it took being an opener again to remind myself. Always respect the craft. It will give back what you give into it.