How to Perform at a Comedy Show for the First Time

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The prospect of performing at a comedy show for the first time can fill you with a variety of emotions. Excitement, fear, joy, trepidation — all are possibilities. Whether you feel confident or nervous, it’s important to make sure you are prepared for your first performance. Here are five steps you should follow on how to perform at a comedy show for the first time.

Work On Your Material

If you want to perform at a comedy show, you presumably already have some ideas for the jokes you want to tell. Spend some time writing and reworking your routine. Generally, it takes some time to perfect a joke. Sometimes the difference between a great joke and an awful one is just a single word.


Stand-up is a form of public speaking. Public speaking can be intimidating. Practicing beforehand can help a lot to reduce discomfort. You want, at the very least, to have your routine down pat. You don’t necessarily need to memorize every word — in fact, it’s often better to have a looser, more improvisational approach — but you do need to have the essential elements fixed in your brain.

Record Yourself

As you are reworking your routine, be sure to record the audio or video of your routine. Listening back will often reveal whether or not a particular joke is likely to land properly. Recording yourself is essential to getting the timing right for jokes, which can be the difference between a joke that flops completely and one that brings down the house.

Perform In Front of Friends

Performing your routine in front of friends or family will serve as a useful trial run of the actual performance. An audience of friends isn’t the same as an audience of strangers, but it is closer to the real thing than practicing alone in front of your mirror. Your friends can give you valuable feedback on both individual jokes and your overall performance.

Go Out and Give It Your All

Fortune favors the bold. Half-measures don’t pay off. Don’t allow doubts or worries to hold you back from going all in. If you are going to do something, do it all the way. So, before going on stage, psych yourself up a little. Pump up your energy by telling yourself you got this — that you know you can do it. Belief is the first and most essential ingredient of success.

Doing well the first time you do something is always desirable. While it might not be the end of the world if your first performance goes poorly — many stand-up comics who went on to huge success have experienced precisely that — you would obviously prefer a happy outcome. Follow the five steps described above to maximize your chances of success.

Want to perform at one of our shows? Get in touch with us today.


Post by Eddie Case, exclusively for, All rights reserved.
Comedyville is a Comedy Club located in Downtown Montreal.

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