My Third Time Ever Try at Stand Up Comedy

So I stood up in front of a crowd for the third time tonight in Montreal at Paul Ash's Red Rope Show at HΩ Club.  The premise of The Red Rope show is pretty simple: anyone who goes on stage must touch the red rope with one hand and hold it if they tell a joke they've already told before on stage, and must hold said rope with two hands if they tell the joke verbatim.  The idea is to get comics to try out new material and it makes for an interesting show.  Confident comics are pretty much brought to their knees as they try out 5 -10 minutes of brand new stuff. A tough gig to say the least, but the spirit of the event means that everyone tries to stay away from the red rope and the playing field is leveled considerably as sporadic ideas from earlier in the day are brought to life, and judgment, in front of a paying audience.  Since it was only my third time on stage, it was easy to keep away from the red rope.  I've got pages of un-birthed rants and ideas and premises from years of writing whatever pops into my head, but it was awesome to have the gauntlet thrown down and to try to stray from any previously enjoyed material.  Still a long way to go to get comfy on the stage with this stuff, and I think I really need to work on my pacing of the material.  I'm learning it's very tough to take a previously thought-out idea that you can think of at top pace, and to bring it down to speed that is easily digestible for an audience.

Coming up:
On Tuesday Aug 24 I'm planning to be at Paul Ash's Kick Ash Comedy show at Bistro L'Etranger in Montreal and will do my best to provide you with fresh material both live and via some sort of online video situation.  I'm also planning to want to check out the New Talent Showcase (Amateur Night) at Yuk Yuk's in Ottawa on Aug 25th.  If anyone in Montreal wants to ride shotgun to Ottawa in a Burgundy Subaru Forester next Wednesday, then give me a shout!

T'il then,



Kay Richardson said...

Tip = walk onto the stage doing your flies up. The audience love it.

KB said...

You weren't that bad! :] good job. I think with a little more exposure and experience you'll be super hilarious on stage in no time.

The Unknown Pro said...

Kyle, there is something very naturally funny about you,. You've got a good presence and are immediately likable when you come onto the stage. So the question begs to be asked, why are these sets not going well for you?

Your nerves on stage are going to make you or break you. It's important that you NOT CARE about whether you fail or succeed. If a joke bombs, fuck it, move on. If an entire set bombs, this is not an indication of whether you are good or not. Forget about success, forget about what the audience thinks. Just get up there and tell your jokes confidently. What is most important is that you just be you.

When a joke bombs, you are listening to the lack of laughter in the room, when you should be making a mental check, "Gotta work on that delivery", or "Maybe reconsider the punchline on that one".

Remember, the objective is to be funny. And that's it. Nothing else matters. A single set won't make or break you, so relax. Don't try too hard.

Before you go on stage every time, tell yourself: "Fuck it, if I bomb then I bomb, so why should I care?" Take a deep breath, relax and walk on stage and just tell your jokes.

Good luck, you are going to be great.