They say the neon lights are bright on Broadwaaaaaay.
Last night I hit up one of the Motel series of open mics, Broadway Motel brought to you by John Morrison. These are a must-know for comics new to the city or new to stand-up. Some of the bleaker, less friendly mics will put hair on your chest, but these help you focus on your material and not your very existence.
Broadway Motel, hosted by Doug Adler and Cory Jarvis, is the cousin show to Ochi's Motel (below) and is proving to be pretty entertaining after its second week. It's an investment as far as mics go since it will always cost you $5 + one $5 item, (TOTAL = $10 without tip), but it has an enforced No Notes policy while watching ("If you don't know your material now, you'll never know it,") to maintain a supportive atmosphere, and you get the chance to win your money back with a drawing. They also encourage you to stay until the end by giving away quality, comedy-themed prizes (i.e. Lewis Black's "Anticipation" cd).
Last night was fun because the foreign element was a pair of French folks (my PEOPLE!), which made for colorful riffing. I got my angst out over Halle Berry's baby, and developed exactly why I'm not a fan of Target. Slowly but surely I will assemble a Spanking Patrol to keep the aisles clear. Interestingly enough, during another comic's set, he saw me in the front row and, kneeling down, took a moment to ask how I thought my performance went.
Me: It was fun.
Guy: It was "fine"?
Me: No, I said fun.
Guy: Oh fun. But was it fine?
Me: Yeah, it was good.
Guy: What could you have done better, and what can I do better during my set here?
Me: Umm...wait, what was the first part?
Guy: I asked how you thought you did.
Me: No, I know. I mean what was the first part of the second question...what could I have done better?
Guy: What could you have done better, and what can I do better right now?
Me: Umm...I don't know...
He abandoned the exchange and soon his time was up. I don't try to be clever or funny off stage during someone's performance unless I'm heckling Luke, and that's because he's smart enough to ignore me. If I'm in the front row, and I'm addressed (at a mic or at a show), I'll probably say yes to whatever you're talking about so you can roll right back into your material.
I'm all for crowd work if you're trying to think of your next bit or diffusing a distracting moment (loud air conditioner, waitress drops a tray of glasses), but if you come to a point where you don't know what to say, creating an impromptu two-person act just makes two people who don't know what to say.
Broadway Comedy Club
318 W. 53rd St
Tuesdays at 6:00PM, FREE
(comics pay $5 + 1 item)
Here's a review of Ochi's Motel on TheApiary.Org. And here's the story of why I'm particulary fond of that mic.
Comix (Ochi's Lounge)
353 W. 14th St (8th/9th aves)
Mondays at 6:30PM and 9:00PM, FREE
(comics pay $5 + 1 item)