The Underwhelming Value of Crickets

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Usually when you attend a show of some type, regardless of whether you paid admission, it’s safe to say that you will have a good idea of what to expect. Social media and word of mouth are good barometers to determine if an event is worth taking in.

except when it comes to open mic stand-up comedy

There are a few reasons for this. First and probably most importantly, it’s a show where the performers on stage do not get paid, unless it’s “pass the hat” type of show, which is more prevalent in Regina than in Saskatoon.

Since it’s a show that doesn’t pay (most open mics are like this), comics aren’t obligated to perform and many of them do not. The shows are often held during the work week, and some comics have these responsibilities called a career, a relationship/marriage, or kids (I have none of these) which makes it difficult or just not enticing enough to go. I hear some of you asking why I don’t attend more open mics if I don’t have a job, woman or kids. My reply to that is that I’ve written over 300 posts, some of which talk about why I don’t bother going sometimes.

Headliners don’t come out to these open mics a lot. I have my ideas on why this is, but they aren’t important, nor is that the point I’m trying to make with this piece. Well, there might be an underlying theme to it all. Keep reading and see if you can make sense of it.

There are more open mics now than ever before. However, the audiences for some shows are very small and in some cases the only audience is just the other comics in attendance.

So why would a comedian want to go on stage possibly having a non existent audience to perform for? Is there a benefit?

Some newer comics aren’t comfortable on stage with no audience because they might not get laughs. They get uncomfortable with the silence. Some comics who have been around for a while may not enjoy performing for a room full of comedians only, then again, with an open mic you don’t know what you’ll get for audience numbers until you show up.

I am one of the few comics that is comfortable on stage with a very small, or no audience. With no audience comes very few, if any laughs at all. I’m able to go through my set with the timing and not look like it bothers me. The only issue that may arise in this situation is when the audience laughs when you don’t exoect them to. And, usually when there isn’t an audience or just a couple of people in the audience, thr comedians will be too relaxed and get pretty loose with the language on stage.

Then again, for myself when there is a large audience sometimes that is just as difficult for a comic. I guess it just goes to show that regardless of how many are in the audience that night, as a performer you’re truly never comfortable, or at least have it seem that way.

That isn’t to say that you should avoid open mics in the city. With me, I’m completely clean. Some of the others are clean also, but it’s hit and miss, depending on who decides to show up and take the stage. We all need your support.

I know this post sounds a bit contradictory and I suppose it might be. However, these are just my opinions.

I just had a thought. Maybe we need to have a CLEAN open mic night that I can help put together or host. Would that bring out more people during the week? I dunno right now, but I will think about that later. Right now I’m loving the fact that Serena “poor sport” Williams lost and enjoying having fingernails! I need to go and give myself a good scratching.

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