I’ve been taking this stand-up class at the Laughing Buddha Comedy. It’s a great class. Jeff Lawrence, the teacher & very popular comic, really pushes us to expose more of ourselves and our point of view – instead of relying on “jokes” only. He also challenged us to go to 2 open mics a week. Fifteen years ago when I first was doing comedy – open mics were like death to me. The comedians would be looking at their notes while the comic was up on stage. No one was listening – no one cared – and no one laughed. I hated them and did very few of them. I struggled enough with my insecurities – I didn’t need any assistance.
But the Laughing Buddha Open Mics are a totally different experience. They have set up boundaries – no looking at notes in the audience and they remind you how important it is to support for your fellow comediennes. It is the best experience I’ve had at an open mic. BUT tonight I felt defeated after the mic. I was working on new material – inserting into material I that had worked at other shows BUT nothing was working. Only when I would acknowledge my defeat did I get a laugh. Which is more a cheap laugh in my opinion.
I was heading into a downward spiral after the mic. Totally trashing myself. But luckily for me my comedy buddy and friend Alison Baker – helped me see what I was doing to sabotage my jokes. I was leaving out parts of the setup and so all was lost. And because I could see exactly what she was saying – I could re-frame the situation. I hadn’t memorized the jokes because for some reason I thought I could wing it. Which is insane. Preparation – Preparation – is what I need. I can’t wing it. I have to prepare for an open mic – that’s my setup.