Unless you are the first comic of the night, DO NOT start your act with “How’s everybody doing?”
Once you’ve adjusted the mic stand, LEAVE IT ALONE. Constant fussing with it is annoying and destructive. Also, please do not drop the microphone. Repairs are expensive.
Stay WITHIN your time limit. When the signal light goes on you must quickly wrap it up. Remember, it is not a sin to go UNDERtime.
Read the audience. Determine their mood and tastes. Then adjust your material accordingly to achieve maximum laughs. If a crowd is not going for another performer’s “cork soaking” jokes, it may not laugh at yours either.
Keep the “inside jokes” to a minimum. Don’t exclude the audience by playing only to other comics.
NEVER, NEVER tell the audience they suck. It might be true, but it could be YOU.
The patrons paid to have fun. DON’T PISS THEM OFF! The object is to make them LAUGH. This is a COMEDY club that would like to stay in business.
If a bit continually fails, LOSE IT. Employ the “three strikes – it’s out” rule.
Try to give “good audience” to your fellow performers. Don’t chat loudly during someone’s set. Pay attention and offer positive, constructive evaluations. Be sensitive to the tender egos you will encounter.
Expect to be “bumped” now and then. Yes, even YOU may not make it onto the night’s list.
END ON A LAUGH.
If you have any ideas to help make open mic nights run more smoothly and more fairly, please share them with the Ass.Man. Thank you to all those who make it fun.
Carl Warmenhoven, Former Ass.Man.