So you think you can dance? Are you ready to dance with the devil?
Well, your friends say your funny, and you think you are funny, or maybe you just think you can be funny, or that guy at the comedy fest really wasn’t that funny, I’m funnier than him.
But how do I start? Answer (assuming you live or can relocated to Melbourne):
1. You need 5 minutes of material (you only need 5 minutes, 4 minutes would be fine. Don’t prepare loads of material before you do it! i.e. more than 10 minutes of material)- you can have a few ideas, a story, a song on your ukalele. It really depends on how much you want to prepare and how perfect you need it to be before you perform it. If you are a perfectionist who stresses at the idea you may not be funny or you might make mistakes you will prepare heaps of material, pick your best five and probably memorise it totally before you perform it (that’s what I did). But if you are more laid back, you may just have some ideas, wing it, and probably not go that well…and that is fine! It’s all a process and there is only one way to get better and get more material – perform it! Besides, there is no need to stress to much about your first gigs getting started. No-one really cares if your not funny and chances are you could be starting in a difficult room or with a difficult (or very small) crowd. Generally, other comics are pretty supportive and you will probably be performing in front of a number of comics starting out and some of their friends they have dragged along. Everyone who has done comedy before has been there or died on stage before!
2. You need to get a gig:
- you may need to go to the gig to watch only before they give you a spot (in fact most nights are like this). Go to the different comedy open mic nights and network with the host or MC and ask them for a spot.
- emailing and facebooking different comedy nights regularly is important but as mentioned above, for your first spot at a venue, you will probably have to come along one or two nights two watch before getting a gig.
- take your luck on the night – sometimes people don’t turn up or thet have extra spots.
You will find lists of the comedy nights around by joining the facebook group Melbourne Comedy Rooms Hub http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/285368744865301/
My top venues for starting out:
The Monastery – http://www.facebook.com/monasteryonchurch
Station 59 – http://www.facebook.com/#!/FREECOMEDY.com.au?fref=ts
Club Voltaire – http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/234587533285897/
MIB – Melbourne International Backpackers – it is easy to get a gig here but it can be a very challenging venue (due to background noise of the room). I wouldn’t pop my cherry here.
My other tip is to go to the comics lounge workshop. It’s at the Comics Lounge from 6pm on Tuesday Nights. It is a great place to network and meet fellow comedians starting out, find out where the rooms are, work on some material and get some tips from more experienced comdedians.
The Comics Lounge – 26 Errol Street, North Melbourne 3051.
3. You need to do the gig – these seem obvious but trust me people fuck this up:
- turn up at the start of the night - The organiser won’t be happy if you turn up late and may give your spot to someone else, especially if you are called early and not there. Don’t be a princess more people want spots than they have spots. You have to be reliable and pleasant to get future spots.
- do your allocated time - it will probably be 5 or 6 minutes. There will be a light or something similar flashed by the organiser when you have a minute to go. Make sure you don’t linger on stage after your alloted time so that the MC has to interrupt and drag you off – this is poor form in comedy circles. I suggest at least a run through or two before you do your first set so that you can time it. 5 or 6 mins actually goes pretty quickly and if you haven’t timed it before you may go for more like 8 minutes or until they drag you off. I wrist watch with a stopwatch can be helpful to keep track of time.
4. Get connected / network – Network with other performers at the shows and workshops. Add them on facebook. Join facebook groups such as Melbourne Comedy Rooms Hub http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/285368744865301/ to keep updated about new rooms or spots that come up.
5. Refer to points 1 to 4 and email / facebook me if you have any questions, need a hand or a wingman for you first gig.