Become An Observer
Most of the time when I go to a comedy venue, it’s to perform and try to get better. But other times, I just like to go and watch other comedians work on their craft. It’s a fun and educational experience.
I think one of the most important things you can do is always be open and always be learning, especially from people who have been doing it longer than you. So far, I’ve only done six performances. Six. That’s nothing.
Some of the comedians that I go see have been doing this for years. They’ve working countless hours on new jokes, new punchlines and how to make their 5 minute set flawless.
One night, you may see these comedians eat it and totally lose the audience. The next week, they could be blowing the crowd away. Comedy is like that sometimes.
You can learn a lot by becoming an observer. You can see how some jokes kill and others bomb. You can see how comedians use timing and how to really work a room. You can also learn from people’s mistakes.
At one of the open mics I did, I went right after a guy who started to offend the audience. (He was very intoxicated and I doubt he knew what he was really saying.) Let’s just say he had some disturbing sexual jokes that make everyone uncomfortable. His set made me realize that jokes that are offensive, have to be told in the right way. He also taught me not to drink like a fish all night and attempt stand-up.
So if you’re a new comedian, my advice is to do go watch comedy. If you’re doing an open mic, stay for the whole thing and watch how other comedians present their jokes and find out new ways to make yourself better.
Observe and learn.