Is There Any Way To Bypass Stand-up Comedy Open Mic Nights?

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Another question that seems to come up from time to time is this:

Is there any way to bypass stand-up comedy open mic nights?

The answer is yes, but there’s a bit more involved than meets the eye.

Let me start with this:

Many new comedians are under the impression that the reason they don’t do well at stand-up comedy open mic nights is because the audiences there aren’t big enough.

The reality is that a bigger audience won’t make any comedian funnier if they don’t know how to develop and deliver a high impact stand-up comedy routine in the first place.

They simply end up sucking in front of more people.

Another reason that new comedians look to bypass stand-up comedy open mic nights is because there are not enough open mic performing opportunities.

In other words, they recognize that more stage time is needed in order to develop a solid stand-up comedy routine.

However if they don’t really know what they are doing when it comes to developing and delivering a stand-up comedy routine that generates frequent laughs, more stage time tends to offer no advantage to the comedian at all.

In other words they effectively squander the valuable stage time they are afforded at comedy open mic nights, whether they are performing twice a month or four times per week.

I don’t recommend that any comedian bypass stand-up comedy open mic nights. They can be of significant value to the comedian who knows what they are doing.

A better approach in my opinion is to augment comedy open mic performances with any other type of performing opportunities that are available.

What do I mean by that?

For comedians who focus on developing and delivering adult stand-up comedy act, there’s really only one option available to get around open mic nights and that is to promote comedy shows independently.

The problem with that approach usually involves sustainability and here’s why:

Most self-promoted stand-up comedy shows (especially those set up by new comedians) are terrible, usually involving a cadre of other inexperienced or unfunny comedians who simply cannot entertain audiences at a high level.

Those shows tend to die as fast as they are put together.

Comedy clubs get away with this in their open mic nights because they force comedians to bring people to shows for stage time AND they usually have several pro comedians in the line up to shore up the show.

For comedians who are able to develop and deliver clean stand-up comedy material at a high level, virtually any assembled group of people can be a stand-up comedy audience.

These comedians are not solely dependent on comedy club open mics to move forward in their stand-up comedy endeavors.

One of the more exciting ways that I have been exposed to for getting stage time and actually get paid for that stage time was developed by one of my students working with a team of other new clean comedians.

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It’s not my place or desire to tell any comedian what type of act they should or should not develop. That decision lies strictly in the hands of the comedian.

But what I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt is this:

There are far more performing (and income) opportunities when it comes to non-comedy club venues, events, etc. than there are in the comedy club or comedy club style one nighter market by themselves.

That’s the main reason that I added the Corporate Comedy Secrets module as an additional resource in my online course – not to discourage comedians from pursuing the comedy club market, but simply as an alternative option for those who may want to explore a less traveled and more lucrative path with potentially many more performing opportunities when it comes being rewarded for the stand-up comedy entertainment product they choose to offer.

But make no mistake:

Every comedian who can deliver a powerful stand-up comedy act that kills audiences is a true champion, no matter what “flavor” of stand-up comedy they choose to deliver.

About 

Leading stand-up comedy educator and trainer, providing proven 21st century strategies and techniques for individuals who wish to become comedians on a professional level. For a detailed stand-up comedy resume go to: Steve Roye’s Stand-up Resume.

6 thoughts on “Is There Any Way To Bypass Stand-up Comedy Open Mic Nights?

  1. I, too, lived in an area where comedy clubs are not an option. I compensated for that by accepting opportunities to emcee, toast, introduce, thank, group-lead, do committee work — any small opportunity to “say a few words” that provided opportunity to provide a few laughs. I also used to speak at church and community church events occasionally. I am very interested in the possibilities offered by corporate speaking. I believe that there are opportunities to practice or perform all around us if we are open-minded and creative — even coffee with friends provides an audience; sometimes we just need to think beyond the FORMAL audience..

  2. Where I live, there are no comedy clubs. Thus there are no open mics! It is all about making opportunities to perform your stand-up. Whether it is in churches, parties for different organizations, Lions club and Rotary club events, community celebrations (4th of July, Christmas, etc). The bottom line is…find places to perform! Don’t full into the trap that there is only one way to become a headliner! There are many roads to achieving success. But actually there is only one way…being doggone funny! 🙂

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