6 Things to Remind Yourself Before Your First Open Mic - Pep Talk

If you're looking to muster up some courage for your first stand-up comedy open mic then you've come to the right place. Here's our top six tiny little pep-talks we like giving to ourselves before we step onstage. If any of them resonate with you, include them in your pre-show pep-talk!

  1. All you want to get out of this set is ONE joke that works. It's unlikely that your entire set is gonna work especially at an open mic. Instead try to get a single joke to work because jokes are recyclable! Start building your sets joke by joke, bit by bit.

  2. What you're about to do is extremely brave. Almost all people are terrified of speaking in public, so realize that what you are about to do takes guts. And more than that, you're not just sharing facts and charts, you're sharing something that's meant to be judged by others. So now you're showing vulnerability too! Not to mention getting someone to laugh on cue is not easy! Basically, you've chosen a herculean task that almost nobody tries doing because of how scary and impossible it is, and you're trying it. Kudos to you.

  3. It's not just about you! The audience and environment plays as much of a role in how successful your set is as your own performance. If the crowd is light and not paying attention, it won't really matter how great your jokes are. So try to manage your expectations a little bit at an open mic. All you want is a chuckle!

  4. Give your joke a fighting chance! When you step on stage it's common to get cold feet and "couch" your jokes (not telling them with confidence). The thing is, you've spent a lot of time and energy crafting these dang things and in order to give them a fighting chance you have to tell them the way like you imagined them.

  5. Don't be afraid to take your time. A common mistake for beginning comics is to rush through their sets and jokes. It makes sense. If you're doing the scary thing of sharing something you've created and trying to get people to laugh, it's only natural to want to get off stage right away! But part of giving your jokes a fighting chance, is allowing them to breath. Give yourself permission to sit in the space after you deliver a punchline before moving onto your next joke.

  6. Everybody bombs! This is cliché, so we won't spend much time on it but yes everybody bombs. Chris Rock bombed, Mariah Bamford bombed, Mitch Hedberg bombed, you will bomb, I will bomb, we will bomb. So try not to worry about bombing so much. If it comes, embrace it. It means you're one of us.