Have a Plan Before You Stand (Up)
Updated: Mar 5, 2020
Doing stand up comedy has always been a dream of mine, and until recently, that dream has always stayed on the back burner. Things like doubt, fear and rejection always kept me from taking the stage.
However, after I graduated college, I started to realize that I was wasting time and not pursuing anything that really made me happy. So I figured now was the time to go after that comedy dream.
The first thing I learned about open mics and comedy, is that you need to check out a few venues and see how these things actually operate. It’s a lot better than just diving in head first.
My advice is to check out a few venues before you go for it. This will allow you to get comfortable with the atmospheres and find the right place for you. Also, you’ll get to see other performers and learn what to do or not to do on stage.
You’ll see new comedians and more experienced comedians. You’ll enjoy some laughter or cringe at the guy who’s telling jokes that aren’t really that funny. Either way, it’s an experience.
The other really important thing that I have learned is to be prepared. Don’t get on stage without planning your jokes. If you plan on getting up there and winging it, then chances are you are going to struggle, especially if you’ve never done it before.
Writing out your jokes will allow you to come up with new punchlines or new perspectives that you may have missed before. Also, after your set, you can mark off the ones that worked well and the ones that didn’t, so you are better prepared for the next open mic.
Stand-up comedy is a rewarding experience. A lot of people are hilarious, but not everyone has the guts to get on stage. It’s a scary thing. I did my first open mic at a bar in front of about 10 strangers. Sure, I’d never see those people again, but I was beyond nervous. But luckily, I had been writing jokes and trying them out on anyone that would listen. So before you hit the stage, write out some jokes, have faith in your material and give it a try. Just have a plan before you stand.