5 Common Open Mic Mistakes


By Steven Padilla

1. Not Staying In The Light

All of the attention is meant to be focused on you.  That’s why you went on stage in the first place.  Stay center stage, where the light is.  If the entire stage is lit, feel free to roam.  Very simply stated, stay in the light.

2. Going Over Your Time Limit

Maybe considered more annoying than a mistake, going over your time is still a mistake.  Even though most everyone does it, try your best not to do it.  Sometimes it is done on purpose to try and stretch what you can get away with, and sometimes it is done purely on accident.  Either way, respect the time limit the open mic has given you.  How many times have you been the last person to go up at 1:55 in the morning because 45 people took one extra minute on stage?  Staying within your time limit helps the flow of the show.

3. Go On Stage Without A Purpose

The stage is where to go to work on your craft.  Consider it a comedy workout.  Get stronger every time you walk on the stage.  This can mean many things.  If you always go on stage with your notes, try to do it a few times without.  If you never do any crowd work, try it a few times.  Try going on stage without jokes and improv everything you say.  You may come away with a new joke idea.  Whatever your weakness is, work on it and turn it into your strength.  Walk on stage with a purpose!

4. Not Watching What You Say

Only you can control what you say when you are on that stage.  Number 4 is not referring to your jokes.  Other things you say on stage can add to or take away from what you are trying to do.  “That was funny, I don’t care who you are”.  If it was funny, the audience would have laughed.  “Wow, that stage light is bright”.  Everyone knows it is bright, because it is suppose to be.  “How’s everybody doing tonight”?  Leave that question up to the host.

5. Not Talking Into The  Mic

This is the single most important mistake people make when they are on stage.  You have to speak into the mic. Make sure you project your voice and articulate.  You may have just told the funniest joke in the history of mankind. If the audience can not hear you or understand you it will not matter.  This may seem like common sense, but it happens quite often!



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