Open mic night

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 02/23/07 01:01 PM

One of the local coffee houses has an open-mic night every couple of weeks. The ususal suspects are the tortured youth guitar players/poets. I was thinking of doing a spot (20 minute parlour act - comedy magic) on one of these nights but wanted to get any feed from those of you who have ventured into this arena. Pros/cons/whatever???

Thanks.
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Postby Guest » 02/23/07 01:29 PM

Personally, I'd do maybe 10 minutes. I think 20 might be a bit long.
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Postby Guest » 02/23/07 01:33 PM

Some of these venues specify musicians or poetry only, and some are open to comics or whatever.
There may times you have only a few people watching, but it can be a good place to try material, in front of real people, whose attention you have to win.
Years ago, when I started performing again, I was glad I picked some small, out to the way coffee houses, as they used to say, "to be lousy in", before venturing on to better things and places.
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Postby Guest » 02/23/07 01:36 PM

I've got tremendous respect for those who perform at open mikes. That takes cajones I haven't yet grown. I had a friend who would go to a local laundramat/bar that has an open mike to try out his comedy material. Its tough work. Please let us know your experiences. 10 min tops. Attention spans at these forums are limited.
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Postby Guest » 02/23/07 02:18 PM

Thanks guys. After talking with the entertainment director who runs the open mic nights, it sounds like 10 minutes is about the max they want. Looks like I'll do my opener and closer back to back.
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Postby Guest » 02/23/07 02:45 PM

For the record, I used to do open mic night at a local coffeehouse here in Orlando and I loved it.
It's a great place to test material and you can be very spontaneous. I'm not a scripter. I've never scripted a presentation. I like to know where I'm going and then improv as far as lines and such so I can play with the audience.

Just wanted to encourage you. It's a lot of fun!
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Postby Guest » 02/23/07 07:55 PM

Thanks again Guys. Yes Travis, it sounds like a lot of fun and a great place to polish some material. No more than 2 minutes away too. Can't beat that to get to a live audience.
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Postby Pete Biro » 02/23/07 08:25 PM

Go for 7 minutes...
Stay tooned.
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Postby Guest » 02/26/07 08:43 AM

Forgive me if I am jumping to conclusions about your performing experience. Performers without much stage experience often find it difficult to accurately measure the length of their performance. Be sure to run through your act with a stop watch several times to be sure you are keeping it under ten minutes. Being in front of an audience can also cause you to either speed up or slow down, so try to record your act (with a video camera if possible) so that you can review both your performance and the time. Running overtime is an easily avoided Cardinal Sin.

Mark
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Postby Brian Marks » 02/26/07 11:35 AM

Forgive me if I am jumping to conclusions about your performing experience. Performers without "much stage experience often find it difficult to accurately measure the length of their performance. Be sure to run through your act with a stop watch several times to be sure you are keeping it under ten minutes. Being in front of an audience can also cause you to either speed up or slow down, so try to record your act (with a video camera if possible) so that you can review both your performance and the time. Running overtime is an easily avoided Cardinal Sin."

I second this point.

If your new to this, start at 10 or less. as you get experience get as much as you can get. Open mikes are excellent for magic as no one ever does that.
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Postby Guest » 02/26/07 11:52 AM

Thanks for the advice guys. I feel very confident with the time element. Just want to polish a couple of things I've been working on over the last couple of months. The nice thing about this particular venue is that you can do a few minutes then get another shot an hour or so later and do a few minutes of another routine. Thanks again for all the advice. BTW, you are correct that they don't see much magic at these events. The entertainment director was thrilled to have some other genre other than depressed guitar players. ;)
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Postby Guest » 02/28/07 12:45 PM

you could do what i do if i am working an odd length slot.( say tables during a lunch time stint ) I have my mobile phone set on vibrate in my trouser pocket. When the times up, the alarm goes off.
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Postby Guest » 03/19/07 04:54 AM

Also be sure to pick your effects carefully. Be visual, but be careful with angles. Most of these places will have folk sitting on both your sides.
And in some cases, even practicaly behind you.
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