I just wanted to take a second and share some helpful information with anyone who is thinking about starting or running a show. This past week, I had a show and experienced some technical difficulties. I was setting up the speaker and microphone and when I plugged in my XLR cable, I heard a loud pop. And then...the mic stopped working...
I figured it was no big deal. I messed with some of the settings. I plugged the XLR cable into another slot and still nothing. The mic would work for a few seconds and then cut out again. After a few minutes, it was obvious that the cord wasn't going to make it through the show. I sat in my car and had a mini panic attack. I sent one comic to Wal-Mart to see if they had a cord...they didn't. I walked over to nearby brewery to see if they had a cord or mic...they didn't. I was low on options. Luckily, at the last minute, the owner of the venue found a karaoke mic that plugged into my speaker. Disaster was averted.
So here are a few tips that can help you avoid getting into this situation and help you run a successful show.
Always test your equipment beforehand- This was the first show where I didn't plug up the mic at my house to make sure everything was working. Now chances are, the mic would have stopped working at the show regardless, but it's always good to check beforehand. It will give you more time to handle the crisis.
Invest in some decent equipment- Running/hosting a show isn't easy. And if you're doing shows at different venues, it's a good idea to invest in some good equipment. I have a decent speaker that I bought back in the day that I use with my drums. The thing I cheaped out on was my XLR cable. And that was the item that let me down. Fortunately, I went to Guitar Center and bought one that should last me a long time(knock on wood). I'll probably go buy another one at some point just so I have a back-up. And speaking of back-ups...
Always have a back up plan- This is something you should always have because you never know what will go down. A good back up plan is to ask the comedians coming to your show if they have an extra mic or cord. If so, ask them to bring it just incase something happens. Expect the best but prepare for the worst.
Use the money you make to upgrade equipment- If you're one of the lucky ones and you're running a show where you make a little money, I suggest saving it and upgrading your equipment over time. Sure it's nice to hit McDonald's on the way home and buy some tasty treats, but it's also nice to have a successful show with no hiccups. Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than having a crowd waiting and you can't start a show because your equipment is failing. It makes you look less professional as well.
So anyways, those are just some tips that might come in handy to help you avoid a panic! at the comedy show. And remember, if all else fails, you can just hold the mic and yell at the audience. It's not optimal, but the show must go on baby!