Recently I watched Anthony Jeselnik’s stand up comedy special on Netflix. In it he works really slow and really takes his time.
I had also recently watched David Hira’s Penguin Live Lecture and on it he talks about using pauses.
Last night on stage I decided to experiment and really take my time. I went at a what felt like a snails pace on stage, in real time it wasn’t nearly that slow.
It really took me out of my comfort zone, but well worth it. I got a lot more applause in the show and better laughs. For me, it’s mentally really hard to pause and wait for a laugh that may not be coming. Waiting for applause is easier, but the waiting for the laugh stresses me out onstage. Waiting is the better choice than just plowing through it and stepping on it.
Unfortunately bad gigs make it hard to do good gigs as they give you bad habits. Things like stepping on a laugh when you are really just trying to get through a rough gig. I think that I need to work bad gigs like they are good gigs and just do everything the way I normally would and almost treat them like rehearsal, and not like trying bail water out of a sinking ship. If I know it’s the gig (and not me), like a horrible set up, or whatever, then just treat it like a rehearsal.