I'll be in the bar downstairs.''
If anyone was at RiRa this past Wednesday you will know specifically what I am writing about. Lecture mode..3...2...1...
Erin Jackson once said to me, ''You can't bomb at an open mic.''
She's right. Open mics are vehicles to test jokes, work on their construction, prepare for big shows, develop joke order, segues, etc. It is an educational process.
However, as I have said before. You still have a responsibility to prepare and do the best job you possibly can with the material you've chosen. If you lose the audience and can't get them back, get off the stage. No one is going to care if you didn't do your time at an open mic. Usually the issue is people going long. Someone will make up the 3 minutes.
Never, turn on your audience. Never berate them as a group. You will screw yourself and the comic(s) that follow. I've said this before. I have been in situations where the audience will not laugh. They won't laugh at the most seasoned pro for whatever reason. Here's the thing, it is ALWAYS the comics fault. It is your job to make them laugh. If you don't, you didn't do your job. However you need to look at an open mic as an at-bat. You get up there, you swing. Sometimes you'll hit a home run, sometimes you'll strike out. Don't get mad at the pitcher; don't get mad at the fans. It's you. Next time up, swing as hard as you can again.
I am so fucking sick of comics who have to say, ''These are jokes people!'' after saying something the audience finds offensive. Like the audience is gonna say, ''Oh, these are jokes. I didn't realize. HAHAHAHAHAH!''
THE AUDIENCE DECIDES WHAT THEY WILL LAUGH AT!
You don't. You can try and guess. The more you guess correctly, the more frequent it will become. You earn the right to tell irreverent and/or edgy jokes by letting them know a) you are funny and b) you are likeable. They will then instinctively know you don't want to rape an Amish person because they can't use the phone to call the authorities.