Today is the beginning of week three of this school assembly tour. One of the metric’s for figuring out how well you are doing is laughs per minute (LPM). My first show of the tour and first time doing the whole show for an audience I got 1.57 LPM’s. That’s an OK number, as this show has a lot of content in it, and isn’t a “just for fun” show.
I listened back to my last show on friday and it had 105 laughs in 45 minutes, giving me 2.3 LPM’s. that’s a huge improvement over the the first show. I added about 50% more laughs to the show!
If you don’t know how to calculate LPM’s, it’s super easy. Record your show, then listen back to it and count the laughs. I used a counter app on my iPhone. Then dived the laughs by the length of your show.
The question I always get asked is what qualifies as a laugh? That’s really up to you to decide.
Another metric is reactions per minute. In that you could count applause, or people going, “wow”. The thing I wouldn’t count are call and response, so anytime you ask the audience to do something and they do it.
Last night I reviewed the video of the first show of this tour and calculated my laughs per minute. I came in at 1.57 laughs per minute or about three laughs every too minutes. Normally my goal is about 3.5 LPM’s, however this show has more content than my standard magic and comedy show.
I think my short term goal is going to be two Laughs Per Minute, but ideally getting this close to three LPM’s.
If you’re a comedy magician and don’t know your laughs per minute, you need to know them. I’m always amazed by how many comedy acts I talk to and when I ask what their LPM’s are, they either don’t know or say a crazy number like 10. To put it in perspective a stand up comic is in the ballpark of 4-6 LPM’s, maybe as high as 8. You need to know the actual number that you’re getting. Once you know this, it allows you to improve.
The way to figure out your LPM’s is to record your show and count the laughs. Then divide the length of your show in minutes by the number of laughs and you get your LPM’s.
Another metric is “reactions per minute”, so this is more than just a laugh. It could be applause, the audience going whoa or whatever. Having a metric allows you to set a goal.