Monday, 23 August 2010

Your First Performance - Part 2

Now that a crowd's in attendance, you need to get up there and make them laugh. Simply going through your prepared five isn't enough to ensure future Christmas DVD sales! Here are a few tips to enhance your first performance and have them rolling in the aisles (from laughing).

1) Microphone - Like most things, you can have it either in or out. Keeping it in the stand leaves your hands free to distract the audience, hold your set list or simply keep in your pockets. With the microphone in the stand, you can move the stand around itself while still talking into the mic. This ensures you look really laid back, almost as if you don't care about the audience - and just right too!

Removing the microphone from the stand allows you to move around the stage more while still talking (also good for distraction). The preferred technique for holding a mic is to keep it resting against your stomach, while talking at a normal volume. Some critics say this technique prevents the audience from hearing what the performer is saying. However, science has proved that the sound of your voice comes from your stomach - and you can't argue with science!

2) In-jokes - Given that you have a home crowd there with you (most likely on the front row too), they will be able to hear your performance fine. However, some Sell Outs at the back of the club may not. It is important at this point to begin telling in-jokes about people in the crowd you have brought. This ensures huge laughter and applause from your crowd, and even more confusion from the other comedians, which no doubt will help you out in the long run. So long as people are laughing, then there's no problem!

3) Timekeeping - If your crowd is performing as they should, then there's no reason not to go over your allotted time. After all, if you're making everyone (most people) laugh, then it'd look very unprofessional for the MC to stop you in your hilarious tracks. Even if you only have five minutes of material, it might be a good opportunity to ad-lib.

Ad-libbing is a technique that is used when a performer decides that their prepared material isn't going as well as they had previously thought or they've used all their material already. Simply pointing out audience members/inanimate objects/recalling irrelevant memories is the best way to work here. Holding back due to race, gender, sexuality, etc is not required, as the audience know that this is you flying by the seat of your pants and your words are untapped comic gold spilling forth. When you get into ad-libbing, it's hard to go wrong; it's a month of birthdays, you are the second coming, you found all the Chaos Emeralds.

Pictured: Comic Genius

If you end up going to twenty minutes when you were only originally given five, then the promoters are more than likely going to be very keen on giving you a longer, paid slot!

Keeping these nuggets in mind when you first get up to perform will be invaluably valuable to your comedy career! You'll be ordering vanity licence plates in no time!

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