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From the Comedy Club Owner

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012


Open MIc …Should I do them ?
Al Martin
          A lot of times, I ask young developing comics after I watch their set, ” How often do you do Stand Up”?…Many times a comic will say to me I only go up once in a while because I do not have enough friends to bring to shows.
          This is an area I would love to comment on…Here are some tips for young comics starting out.
          1) Hit open mics…I know , I know, some open mics can seem very depressing. But look at it this way, if a joke gets a good response at a mic , it could very well be a keeper, those are pretty tough audiences.
              Open mics have a hidden intrinsic value…They allow you to network, stay in the loop…You can often find out just by gossiping where other open mics are, but better yet, that rare pearl of a room where you do not have to bring people.
               Along these lines, you never know when a friendship made during an open mic can pay off years later…I know people that did open mics and stayed friends with some major comics . They now write or open for them on the road.
               Also, some of these new friends you make at mics, might start their own rooms. Then you can get up on stage at these rooms…I remember over 20 years ago, making some friends at open mics who opened their own little rooms…I was able to get valuable stage time.
              I did open mics with a comic named Seymour Swan…Today 23 years later he runs New York’s longest running showcase for  African -American comics, called Still Funny Saturdays at New York Comedy Club.
              I did open mics with Chris Murphy, today he does a comedy class at New York Comedy Club.. He also writes for some other very huge comics who we both  did open mics  with in the late 1980’s. as well as opens for them on the road.
              Lastly how about starting your own mic to get stage time.   That’s right if you live in an outer borough of New York or in the suburbs, these are great places to start a mic…You can also use it to get stage time..Via the old trade off…I willl give you a prime spot on my show if  you give me one on yours…
              I will use this space in future posts to focus on different ways to get stage time when starting out, when is it time to see a manager or club owner to move up the ranks and other topics  ..
             I hope you enjoy the column and find it informative.


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