The nervous lot, controlling the shivers in the body and the fear of bombing, but all set to take that big step into the world of comedy. That’s what comedy open mic are mostly about.
It does take a lot to be the next funny guy on the block, for comedy is a serious business. You may be a fun person, but it takes some serious effort to be funny.
And that platform is offered to you by open mics -usually referred to as the hub of comedy, you get to hear new material by established and budding comedians.
If we talk about the open mic circuit, it’s an exciting concept.
Not only does it bring in the new guys, but as well keep the old ones going. These are pretty much significant in the progress of a genre, as it not only helps fledgling comedians test the waters but allow seasoned ones too to try their hand at fresh gags. Why? Because you can expect honest feedback here!
There are no two thoughts about it that the stand-up explosion has extended the comedy art form beyond the metro cities of India. There are still a wide variety of viewpoints yet to be heard, waiting in anticipation for their turn, with a need for a platform and audience.
Also, a sad part that cannot be ignored about open mics is, people tend to respond to famous comedians better than the comedy in general. Dark humour is still frowned upon.
Open mics are a struggle if you want to gain popularity. A desire for more stage time often leads to comedians themselves organizing open mics. Besides, the audiences who willingly attend open mics is fewer than one can imagine. That’s not it, a stark gender imbalance can be seen with most male comedians grabbing the spotlight.
The intention of open mics is simply to offer a great laugh and ensure that everyone has fun.
The audiences hope to see good quality content, and it implies that artists have to up their comedy game when on stage.
A number of open mics happen around the metro cities in spite the fact that attracting audiences is a tough cookie. However, it is a great thing for the budding comics, because the more the open mics, the better the growth of comedy scene in India. It is the platform to experiment and test their matter that comics crave for, and open mics offer just that.
How are open mics organized?
In cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai or Delhi, organizing the comedy nights happen easily if you have friends, acquaintances with café owners. Cafés turn out to be a great place for open mic sessions, as they offer casual ambiance and comfy sitting space. Moreover, the informal sitting allows comics to interact with audience on a personal level, ensuring a better and honest feedback. We are seeing that the quality of the content at the open mics is ever-improving, with better comedians having access to easy guidance.
After crossing the hurdle of spotting a café, selling tickets becomes a challenge. Every organiser uses different methods: selling tickets through websites like Book My Show or Event Singh, go for event creation on social media, do paid promotions, requesting the performers to share creatives on their social media handles, to list a few. These are some of the methods which help attract audiences.
In addition to that, a few presenters make use of WhatsApp. They create groups with people who frequently attend their events and keep alerting the fans about upcoming events.
Finding a sustainable model is another hurdle upcoming comics have to cross. It’s a fact that open mics rarely offer opportunities for organizers and comedians to earn money. Which is why, the debates regarding a model that can sustain comics has always been thriving. No solution has been encountered.
Comedy circuit sees another issue, and that is of a consistent venue. Most presenters haven’t had a place successfully for even 6 months. It zeroes down to the issue of sustenance as there is no money to be made from ticket sales.
Support for open mics
Organizing comedy shows mustn’t come to a halt, they should keep holding open mics till we collectively manage to convince the consumers of entertainment that watching comedy can also be a fun source and you may fall in love at first laugh!