Get Stage Time
The best education you can have as a beginning comedian is on the stage. This book is sharing several strategies and techniques with you, but the only way to truly learn how to be funny is to get stage time. You need to stop waiting for the right time and just get out there now.
If you have a love for making people laugh, then use that as your motivation to get out there and learn. As you get your stage time you will learn what does, and what doesn’t, work through a process called trial and error. Yes, you will fail, but remember that failing is the best learning experience. You will not improve if you do not perform in front of live audiences.
Practice performing anywhere there is a group of people.
You need experience to improve your performance. Getting the experience may not be a fun process, but you need to put together a strong 20-25 minute show that you can consistently get laughs from night after night. Once you have that show that continually works for you, you will be able to start getting paid work. However, until that point you still need to get the experience. The following section will give you suggested opportunities to get that experience.
Open Mike Night
Nightclubs, restaurants, coffee houses, and other places provide ample opportunities for beginning comedians to perform a three to six minute comedy show. You will be able to get laughs anywhere if you can get laughs at open mike nights. There are some things that you need to know before undertaking the open mike nights.
You may not be treated fairly.
It is going to be tough. You will most likely be slotted early in the show before anyone is there or late in the show after everyone has left. There will be times when you get lucky and have an audience, but they will most likely be other comedians waiting their turn or drunks that couldn’t care less. Whatever the case, keep your belief in yourself and the process.
Learn when the sign-ups are.
More often than not you will have to sign-up earlier in the day, or even the week if not earlier. It will take time, but you need to be committed to making the sign-ups so that you can get your practice on stage.
Regulars will take over.
Even though you have a specified slot, the regulars may take over and bump you later into the show. The worst case is that they bump you completely off the roster. It will get frustrating, but keep at it and keep your cool. The more you perform at a given club, the more seniority you will gain.
Pay attention to your cues.
Most of the time the club or coffee house will have a signal of some sort that lets you know when it is time to get off the stage. Pay attention to it. Learn where it is and how it works, and watch for it during your show. You have about 30 seconds after your signal before they get forceful or even ask you to never return.