Friends Don't Let Friends Come to Open Mics | Tarreyn Land: Friends Don't Let Friends Come to Open Mics

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friends Don't Let Friends Come to Open Mics

Standup Comedy Open Mic nights can be pretty sketch. 
(No Pun Intended.)

There are no rules on who's allowed to go, or what they're allowed to say. 
Basically if your drunk uncle Mort wanted to show up and do a 3 minute set about removing his toupee - he could. 
(That would actually be better than some of the things I've seen. Tell him to come next week.)

There's usually an hour to stand around waiting beforehand, and a 2 drink minimum that nobody has trouble meeting. 
(Elaine Stritch once said: "You're nervous, you have some drinks, you're not nervous anymore." - Girlfriend had a point.)

Vulgarity rings from the rafters and the room is propagated with every douchey guy who's friends have told him how funny he is when telling a story smashed at a party. 
People stand on stage flipping through their notebooks and muttering into the microphone.
Audience members tend to drink and heckle and shout. 
People are offensive and ill-mannered. 
Both the men in the crowd & male comedians sometimes seem to think they can disrespect me just because I'm a woman.  
(Which I can brush off - Beyoncé taught me I run the world.)
The food (if offered) is usually sub-par. (And they never give you enough salsa!)

At open mic nights, I am the minority.
Out of about 30 stand ups, I am often one of only 2-3 women. 
Out of about 30 stand ups, I am often one of only 2-3 people there with any long-term professional performing experience. 
Out of about 30 stand ups, I am definitely the only one who puts thought into what outfit to wear. 
Out of about 30 stand ups, I am often one of only 2-3 people who does a "clean" set. 
(Don't get me wrong, I use a handful of four-letter words, but I am Emily Fucking Post compared to my peers.)

Often, the other comedians ignore me. 
They have their boys club. They have their old-timer club. They have their we've-been-doing-this-longer-therefore-you-are-a-loser-to-us club.
They rarely talk to me and even more rarely tell me I've done a good job. At a recent showcase, I had some of the other comics be intentionally and unapologetically rude to me for "crashing" their gig. 
(To the few of you dudes who are the exception to this, thank you for bein rad.)
The club owners are often brash and bossy. 
The crowds are often as crude as the "comedians." 

This last week, I invited some friends to an open mic. 
A big group of patient, loyal, wonderful friends showed up, and I even let my parents come see me do standup for the first time. 

To all of you wonderful people who showed up - Thank You. And I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for the offensive jokes, the painful sets of people forgetting all of their material, the cost of drinks.
I'm sorry that you had to wait for 20 comics to go before it was my turn.
You are all wonderful, and because of how much I appreciate you, I promise to never make you to come to an Open Mic again. 
Friends don't let friends come to Open Mics. 
I'm sorry. 
But I'm also not sorry.

Open Mic Nights are rough. 
Open Mic Nights are one of the best things I've ever done in my life.

I've built a much thicker skin. (I think.)
I've become a better comedian. (I hope.)
I've gained a confidence that comes from within, and a belief in myself & my material that is not from external sources.
I've gotten laughs.
I've made myself proud.
I've become more disciplined. 

Despite every negative experience, I've developed an even deeper love of comedy than ever before. I am more motivated to get better and better with every set. It's true what they say, comedy is an addiction. 

There are countless different kinds of laughs you can get from an audience. 
The goal is to get those meaty, juicy laughs. The ones where everyone is on the same page, the comic is enjoying themselves, and the audience is right there with them. THAT is the comedian's high. That's the crack. It's what we're all after. 
And it's why, despite all varying factors, I will keep going back for more. And I can't wait. 

To anyone who's interested, here is a recent set of mine:

Thanks for letting me share about my experience with you! 


  1. i am so glad that you are loving what you are doing. and thank you for sharing your set! you are funny! i would for sure come to see you if i lived in your city.

    1. Thank you SO much, Lauren! I'm so happy you enjoyed it! I will try to post more sets in the future! Thanks again! XO

  2. Doing what you love is SO important!
    and you are hilllarious! I loved the video!

    1. Thank You Hallie!! That means a lot! Thank you thank you! XO

  3. AWESOME. I'm going back on 8/21 for another round myself.

    Good job!