(This blog pretty much consists of comedy theory and strategies I'm applying on stage. So if that stuff doesn't interest you, save yourself the 90 seconds or so)
As I type this, it's about 10:00 in the morning on Friday. I'm sitting here inhaling cups of hot water with lemon and honey, because I'm still having problems with my voice, and I have a long weekend of shows coming up. But I'm not complaining.
Well, I guess I am, but...
Last night, I hosted a show, and I had to deal with a heckler. I ended up getting in a bit of a confrontation with him, but he left, and the show improved drastically afterwards. I don't know if I handled it the right way or not, but after the show was over I looked back on it as a learning experience. That's the same mentality I'm trying to have every time I get on stage now. I always try to look back on not only how my set went, but on how I tried to improve as well.
For example, Wednesday I was on stage for 45 minutes (which is still new to me), and while I think my set went fine, I definitely saw a lot of places to improve. One of my big revelations was realizing that I try to go into crowd work in the middle of a long joke sometimes, and then after I'm done with the audience, I can't remember where I was in the bit I was telling, and I end up forgetting big parts of the joke I was in the middle of. So for the next few shows, I'm going to really focus on finishing whatever joke I'm telling before trying crowd work. That way I won't forget any of my punchlines or tags, and then I can start into my next joke cleanly after I talk to the audience. I chalk it up to a learning experience.
Even when I just hit open mics now and do 5 minute spots, I try not to go up there and just go through the motions anymore. I always try to have a plan, and something I want to work on. A new joke, or a new tag, or a new act out to go with an old joke. There's an old adage in comedy that says "You should be trying something new every time you get on stage". And it literally can be one new word or tiny tweak on a joke, at least you're trying to get better and grow as a comedian. Those small steps can really add up. And it helps keep you from getting bored of your act, because you're always tweaking and playing with it.
That's my opinion, anyway. You don't have/shouldn't listen to me. I walked a member of the audience last night. I don't know what I'm doing.
Have a great weekend!