Updated: Jan 10
The thought of getting up on stage for your first Open Mic can be daunting. Especially if you have minimal experience with public speaking, zero stage experience or can barely even hold a mic (don't judge, it's harder than it looks!)
Your jokes could be killer but you're worried about the delivery or how your nerves might get in the way.
Fret not, we've compiled a list below of all the things that might go wrong on you first Open Mic and some ways to prepare. Oh and don't worry, the baskets of rotten fruit on the tables are purely decorative.
1) You Forget Your Lines
Don't worry, it happens to the best of us. The important thing is how well you recover. Seconds can feel like minutes on stage so what seems like a long pause to you might only be a few moments.
Try taking up a glass of water or a drink and some notes that you can leave on a chair in case you lose track of where you're at. This way you can walk over and take a sip while skimming over your dot points.
2) You Get Heckled
Sometimes it happens. You can close all the windows, shut the doors, spray some repellent and a mozzie still gets in! Some are more persistent than others and will continue to pester you.
Have some quick clapbacks ready to go. They don't even have to be complicated. You can have some "Your mum" clapbacks, insult their intelligence or you can even just ask them why they're not up on stage if they think they're so funny.
If it get's too much, the event organizer and the pro comedians will step up and help you out.
3) No One Laughs
Sometimes it only feels that way when you're on stage. We can get tunnel vision. Have a mate record you so you can review your set and listen for when people re laughing.
If no one did laugh, ask yourself why? Was it the jokes themselves? Did it take too long to get to the punchline, did you leave a bit out by mistake, was your point not clear, were your jokes distasteful? Or was it the delivery? Were you too nervous to deliver the joke to full effect?
Don't be afraid to ask for feedback from the comedians and your friends. We're always happy to give you some tips.
4) You Get Boo'd
It doesn't happen. But if it does... don't worry, it doesn't.
But if it does, it could mean you have a nasty heckler, or you said something controversial. Review what you said and break it down to determine the cause.
5) You Pee Your Pants. Literally.
Rest in Peace.
It can be completely common to get the nervous wets. Just make sure you relieve yourself frequently before your set and maybe stop drinking 30 minutes before you're due on stage if you're genuinely worried this will happen to you. Fail all that, they make adult nappies for a reason.
At the end of the day, comedy is just like gymnastics: It's entertaining even if you fail. Don't worry no one will remember and they're will be lot's of other comics on to distract them. Plus, you'll have a funny story to tell about the first time you tried Stand Up Comedy.