So you’re a funny guy and you’ve learnt all the basic stand up comedy techniques. All you need to so now is to put them into action. So, you’re ready to rush the stage right? Absolutely not. Knowing what to do is one thing, putting it into action is quite another. So before you’re ready for the spotlight, here is what you need to do. Practice and practice some more and just when you think you’ve done enough, think again. You know what I’m going to say? Practice some more! The first and biggest mistake a stand up can make is to think they can rehearse in front of their audience. It is true that you should become more polished the more confident and familiar you are in front of an audience, but failure to rehearse before hitting the stage with your routine is a sure fire recipe for disaster.
Here are some helpful tips to prepare you for your first on stage moment:
- Rehearse in front of the mirror or on video so you can see/watch your own performance and identify areas for improvement. You should rehearse out loud, using the body language and voice tone you will feel comfortable using on stage. If necessary, adopt different postures and voice tones till you find the one that gives you the most confidence and the one you are more comfortable with.
- Trial your routine in front of a ‘friendly’ audience of family, friends or colleagues. Ask for constructive criticism.
- Get confident in your timings. On stage time is at a premium and any spot you are given you will be required to work to the exact timing. Initially some spots can be as little as 3 minutes, up to 15 minutes for spots at a lot of comedy clubs. Practice your material, making sure you are conscious of the time you need for each ‘joke’ in your routine.
- When you are ready, check out as many ‘open mic’ events as you can. These provide a great opportunity for gaining experience of audiences without the pressure of a paid booking.