Huh? You Can ONLY Last How Long?

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Let’s be honest here.  Just between you, me and the fencepost I am aware that there are things I write about and openly discuss that others won’t.  Then again, I don’t have an ego like some comics, I call it being defensive instead  🙂

I don’t have a problem talking openly about things that might not put me in the best light at times.  That’s what life does to you when it humbles you and it brings you to your knees.  In my case this happens repeatedly for some reason.  If my writings make you uncomfortable or disgusted, think of it this way.  Back in the day to really find out about a comic’s personal life you had to watch “Biography” on A&E.  Now with social media that takes the guesswork out of it, and gets you the story much sooner.

As the intro suggested, somebody asked me about my stamina recently, my comedic stamina (get your mind out of the gutter).

A friend of mine inquired about my availability if they wanted to book a show, and asked me how long I can go for on stage.

In the five years I have pursued comedy, I have done all sorts of stage times.  I have done the quick, tight three minute set.  I’ve also done the usual for open mics which is anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes.  I have done guest spots at comedy clubs for 7 to 10 minutes, and I have done 20 – 30 minutes of material when I host/MC at the comedy club.

So what am I comfortable doing, and why?

I am glad you asked, because it’s sort of a two-part answer.  You should know by now that nothing with me is ever black and white, nor shades of grey.  It’s always full of several different colours.

As some of my videos have shown, I can put together a really solid 5 to 10 minutes with timing and polish.  The problem lies with what material I choose to use, as I have five years worth of material to comb through.  But that’s another story in itself….

I can do a really technically solid set and not get the laughs, which happens more often than you would think.  I have no problem in admitting that either.  That will usually happen in the open mic shows.  The venue is awesome but it’s not really an audience that is conducive to my material.  I am certainly not here to trash the venue or the audience that supports us, but suffice it to say the bar crowd isn’t necessarily a comedy crowd, per se.

There is a huge difference between the comedy club crowd and the bar crowd, as there should be.  My problem is, there is a certain style or attitude maybe that one needs to have in a bar setting to be successful.  Whether that means a comic needs to do “bar friendly” material or to have the comic deliver it in a particular fashion is something I have a tough time doing.  I can do the same set at the open mic and the comedy club and get a better reaction in the comedy club setting.  If you think about the differences between the bar and a comedy club, you will be able to discern those differences yourself.  For me to list them means we would be here for a while.

So for the open mics it’s probably best for me to stick to 5 to 7 minutes.  The comedy club when I do a guest spot, I can do a solid 7 to 10 as a couple of the videos have shown.  15 minutes is doable as I have enough material for it, and more importantly I can create the flow of seamless transition from one joke to the next.

But after 15 minutes it can be a toss-up.  If the set is a half hour long and broken up like it was when I first hosted/MCd at the comedy club, that is better for me.  I can memorize a half hours worth of material and give it the polish it needs, but I haven’t had enough experience yet to put it all together to have it work.

I mean, I can take a few 5 minute sets, perfect them and string them together to create a good flow, then again it’s all about getting in front of the right audience.  At least for me it is.  It isn’t an excuse, it’s just the reality that I have been presented with.  Once I can figure out the secret to breaking through with the bar crowd, if I can……when I can be consistent with the laughs from those sets then it might change the length of time I am on stage.

But for now, there are people who are comfortable with me being in front of an audience doing comedy for 7 to 10 minutes for a good comedy audience.  Those sets may be infrequent for now, but that’s at least one feather in my cap.

Ummmmm…..check that.  The feather is on Carnac’s turban, not on my hat.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.