mandalorianmango said: I've been thinking recently of going to an open mic night to try some stand up. Would you have any advice to someone who's performed, but never in front of a microphone before?
So I’m guessing you’ve performed in theater, and based on your bio that says you want to be a voice actor, I assume you have some experience with a microphone…just not in front of an audience?
If you can get a microphone to practice with, that’d be really helpful. I actually have a full mic stand with a microphone and full chord that I keep at home for when I want to practice. (My wife gave it to me as a gift) Getting really comfortable with a mic in your hand is important. You don’t want to be fiddling with the mic, the chord, or the mic stand. Anything that distracts from the jokes you are telling is a negative. And one of the most important elements of being a good comedian is looking like you are completely comfortable and confident on that stage.
I also suggest you fall back on your theater training. Don’t forget to project. Sometimes people get a microphone in their hands and they think they should talk quieter, but that’s not the case. Be nice and loud. Risk being too loud rather than too quiet.
Rehearse your material. This part differs for every comedian. A lot of comedians like to “wing it” onstage so everything flows naturally and has a genuine feel to it. I personally like to rehearse every aspect of my routine, including the little gestures I’ll make with my hands, which hand the mic will be in during each part of the joke, etc. I rehearse my act so much that I get to a point where it looks/feels like I am telling the jokes for the first time, but I could also tell those jokes flawlessly even if I was being slapped in the face while telling them. One thing I like to do is to do my routine while driving and try to get through it without making any mistakes. When I can do that, I know I’ve got the material ingrained in my brain.
Feel free to ask me any follow-up questions and I hope your first open mic goes well! But don’t measure your success by how many laughs you get. Regardless of what kind of response you get from the audience, your first open mic will only be a success if you have a second open mic.