Here is a rundown of my shows in New York:
4/24- My first set was five minutes long at New York Comedy Club. I did a show at NYCC last year and decided to hit their open mic while I was in town. I had a good set and really enjoyed the "feedback" portion of the open mic. This is where the other comedians can critique or give suggestions for each comedian's sets. All the other comedians were extremely complimentary and someone suggested a really funny tagline for one of my jokes.
Later that night, I did six minutes at Perch Cafe in Brooklyn. I went with my good friend Will Carey (a great Baltimore comedian who moved to New York last year). This open mic was a lot of fun. This is the only time I have ever seen music and comedy work well together. There were some really talented folk musicians and comedians, so it was fun to watch as well as perform.
4/25- I did two sets on Monday night. The first was at Stand up New York. This open mic was a colossal waste of time. The club is a decent space and the owner Gabe seems like a nice guy. Unfortunately, there were ten comedians and zero audience members. Apparently, that is normal for this venue's open mic. I have no idea why anyone would show up to this club three hours before doors open to sign up early and pay money for stage time.
That is my biggest beef with the New York Open Mic scene. In researching, about three-quarters of the open mics charge comedians for stage time. Bringer shows are one thing but cash for stage time is different. Open mics charge anywhere from $5-$15 for five minutes of stage time. That is really all you are paying for too... the use of that club's microphone. There is usually no audience and little to gain. Unless you enjoy performing in front of an audience of twelve jaded comedians, I do not recommend most of these "pay to play" mics.
My last show at New York was at the historic Carolines on Broadway. This was a big moment for me. Every comedian I love and respect (including Louis C.K., Dave Chappelle, George Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld and countless others) have performed on that stage. I'm proud that I got to do the same for six minutes and change on Monday. Despite going first on the bill in front of a tight crowd, I had a good set. I really wanted to knock it out of the park and didn't quite do that, but I still did pretty well. I was invited back to Carolines this summer and was also offered a spot on another showcase at Eastville Comedy Club from someone at the show.
Overall this was a good experience and quite a bit of fun. Special thanks to my friends Will Carey, Mark Hendricks, Sam Angell, Tom Decker, Josh Mccarthy, John Cramer, Caryn Heller and New York's newest New Yorker Ben Rosen for hanging out and showing me around the city.