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Hey Mr. Comedy Guy,
I think I am pretty funny. I would like to try my hand at stand up comedy. Where can I go as a beginner?
-Richard "I know I am funnier than you" Joaks
Thank you for this week's question Dick, this is a nice segue into the world of Comedy Showcases and Open Mics. I am glad to answer your question as it is asked of me often. First, let's define the difference between these two types of shows because even though they are often done at the same time, they really are different.
A comedy open mic means that anyone who has a mind to, can come to the venue, register about an hour or so in advance (it is usually on a first-come, first-served basis), then go up on stage and do about five minutes of material.
A comedy showcase is a bit more selective. Yes, there are still many newbie and wannabe comics, as this is a perfect training environment and proving ground for things like timing, stage presence and character development, but the comics that perform generally have some experience under their belt and were invited back to perform.
So, if you want to perform for your friends and family, here is my advice:
Do you want to watch? What about attending these shows as an audience member? If you love the audition shows on "America's Got Talent" and "So You Think You Can Dance," and like picking the next great star, then you are perfect spectator for these shows.
Just so your expectations are inline with the experience, here is what you can expect:
Where can you find these venues? Glad you asked! Our Sacramento Comedy Clubs & Venues page and Sacramento Comedy Calendar of Events give you most of the information you need. If we have missed any, please let us know so we can add them. Showcases and Open Mics are invaluable to rounding out a vibrant comedy environment, so please support them!
If you would like to experience an open mic with a group, there is an Sacramento Comedy Meetup Group outing to the Showcase/Open Mic at Laughs Unlimited (one of the oldest established comedy rooms in the US!) this Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 8:00 PM. Please join us Tuesday.
Keep those questions coming!
Until next week,
The Comedy Guy