Saturday, 13 July 2013

Performing in Different Rooms - What is the difference?

Dear all,

This post is strictly comedians kind of material i think but its good for all to know this kind of information even if you're audience :)

I've often heard stand-up comedians say :

" Ughh...its the room..i don't know what went wrong."

You could be killing it in a certain room and then completely die in another. Does it make you a fantastic stand-up comedian one night and then a bad one on another. Well here is my take on it.

I mostly perform at Home club for Comedy Masala on tuesdays and then go back to perform at Home club for Kumar's Night on Thursdays. I could kill at Comedy Masala on a good day and then do decent at Kumar's Night. It's the same room! What is the difference then?

Thanks to the opportunities i have gotten to perform at different nights, i realize that most importantly the difference between a good stand-up comedian who consistently kills in different venues and one who is probably on a 50-50 chance is : Experience.

I know it sounds DUH - we know that! But why does it make a difference? The more stage time and experience you get in different kinds of build the following skills which are important for a stand-up comedian to really know..

1. The ability to find out within 2 jokes what kind of audiences you have in the room - some audiences don't like sex jokes..some don't like to hear "random stories of a table that made a difference to your life". What are they responding to? Do they like audience interaction more? You have to build a rapport with them before you start a set..that's what i have realized. Talk to them!

2. The ability to practice the art of "spontaneity". have done the jokes a million times..but how do you make them sound like you're doing it for the first time? I am guilty at this..i have before rushed my jokes cos I know them..the trick here is I might know them but THEY don't.

    Not all stand-up comedians are good at this art and i must say this is a difficult art to practice but it is nevertheless important to practice it. I have found gold material by blabbering on stage that i would have never otherwise found when i was cracking my head in my room. I have spoken to some professional stage up comedians who have given me the following advice or shared their experience
with me :

1 said : " I bring 50 percent of my joke on stage sometimes and find the other 50 percent while performing"

Another one said :  " If you are insulting the audience member for whatever reason during your act - be sure to balance the joke by complimenting them after." Keep it positive.

4. The more you do it the better you get. Don't ever say "NO' to stage time if its an open-mic.

I think its also important for the audience to know the difference between comedic actors and stand-up comedians. It's not the same. The lines have been blurred but don't be fooled. A stand-up comedian writes his or her own material and grows from experience and even if the professional ones have writers writing for them..they still have to alter the writing  to suit their style. Comedic actors are actors playing a role that is meant to be funny. They have a script and umpteen rehearsals and are not sharing their own lives with the audience. Stand-up comedians are baring their 'truth' or 'soul' to the audiences. They face the audiences and speak to them hence breaking the "fourth wall".

I am only 2 years into the stand-up comedy business and god bless its going well. These are just some of my own experiences i am sharing with you. Your experience could be different. Feel free to comment and share your experiences. :)

Have a great weekend!


Sharul Channa

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