Open Mics, Open Minds

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Last Tuesday night was another rung climbed on the comedy ladder towards getting back into the swing of things.  I did my first open mic at the Capitol Music Club on 1st Avenue.  It’s some of the same management, staff and memorabilia from the iconic Lydia’s that was situated on Broadway Avenue.

I wasn’t sure what to expect for my first time doing an open mic in the city in over two years, but right away my uneasiness was pushed aside when I saw some differences between Lydias and The Capitol.

For starters, The Capitol is larger and more roomy.  The tables are a bit more spread out, but the people there are more there to listen to the entertainment and let the performers perform.  they were respectful, whistled, laughed and clapped.  In other words it was a good comedy audience.  The only tricky thing was trying to hear where the laughs were coming from exactly, because the tables are quite a ways away from the stage.

But the material worked.  What makes this a proud moment for me is this material was written completely by me, without any tweaking from my comedy coach.  I have a good idea how to write, and I know what I am going to say before I go on stage too.  I usually have it worked out before I get to the venue, which certainly helps.

Some of you might be wondering what my comedy coach is teaching me, and that’s fair.  Some comics like to tell stories with a laugh at the end of the story.  I am being taught how to get laugh points every five or ten seconds at least.  We get those laugh points because my jokes get dissected and broken apart into “jokes within a joke” if that makes any sense.

For example, if I am telling a story that is one of my jokes, there is a beginning, a middle and an ending, or punchline.  Each line progresses from one thought or idea to the next, and each of those lines are broken down further to punctuate a laugh.  The more laugh points you get throughout your joke, the bigger the laugh at the end, or you at least get more consistent laughs throughout that piece.

This material was mostly written in a first draft, that’s all.  

As you can see, I try to put more laugh points in the jokes to get to the laughs quicker.  After I said the punchline about “it’s creepy when my girlfriend thinks I’m attractive”, I paused for a bit.  That’s because that joke is a configurational joke, it’s like a puzzle that the audience has to solve, so you give them a few seconds after the punchline to run through their head what they just heard, then once the connect the dots that a-ha! moment comes, followed by the laughter.

I can get on stage for the open mics every other week, which is good because it keeps me in the minds of the people who run the venue.  If I can develop some consistency with their audiences over a few weeks, it could open up a spot to open for some of the touring professionals that come through The Capital.

As of right now, I’m still waiting to see where I fit in to the rotation in the Laugh Shop’s scheme of things.  I will be on stage in Regina this year, just not sure when or with whom.  I am also hoping to get back to the Laugh Shop stage in Saskatoon again this year.  As always, I’ll keep you posted.

All I can do is take it one day at a time, one show at a time, and do the very best that I can and build from there.

Be blessed!

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