Getting Started Part 2


I finally got to a part 2.  Yeah. Just some thoughts for people trying to or just starting to do stand-up comedy. They may be a part 3 if this one makes a 100 million at the box office.

The easiest way to get gigs is to go to gigs.

Showing up meeting the promoter, hanging around getting to know other stand-ups.
The conveyor belt of comedy being what it is, there always be a bunch of new people starting around the same time as you do. You’ll stick together with these people because you’ll see each other all the time at the shitty gigs for new people (You’ll see me there too.) Having a group makes it easier especially if you shy (like me).

Introduce yourself.

Not just to the promoter, or other comedies. I mean the audience. I see new acts do this all the time.

You may know who you are but the crowd doesn’t. I have seen people tear into stuff that might work if the crowd knew a bit more about the person. Imagine watching a sitcom where all the gags are based just knowing the history of the characters. (Pretty much every sitcom after season 3.)

Repeat, Repeat and Repeat.

I hear this all time from newer acts. About doing “new” sets all the time. After doing their material for a month or something.  Unless you’re doing improv it’s completely ok to do the same material. Once it working of course. Comedy is a craft. It’s about doing it over and over again. Figuring out what is funny, how to say it, pauses etc. Focus on building a solid five minute. Then seven minutes and so on.

Set Goals.

Your main goal is to get better of course but set little ones along the way to motivate yourself. Some of the mine when I started out:
To do 100 gigs in my first year. I knew the only way to get better was by doing gigs so I set myself the target of a 100. I made it to 83 in my first year.
To gig in another country. I did this fairly early on by doing one in Northern Ireland. Yeah I know it’s kinda cheating since it’s only up the road but it is another country you Fenian bastard.

Here a list of places you can go when starting off:

Battle of the Axe.  The ha’penny bridge inn, 42 Wellington quay temple bar.
Tuesday & Thursday from 9.30 pm. Contact: 
There is a least a 3-month waiting list to get on. Mention your new and can bring a crowd of people it might help speed it up.

Cherry Comedy. Whelan’s Bar, Dublin. Monday nights from 9.00 pm.
Contact: via the Facebook page. The lads are pretty sound about getting new people on but of course, there is a waiting list.

Jesters. The Front Door, 15 Dame Street. Wednesday night from 8.00 pm.
Contact: via the Facebook page or sign up on the night. Jester is a bit different. You can sign up in advance or on the night (Space is limited do) and you have to stay for the whole show. Everyone gets 5 minutes but the audience is mostly made up of other stand-ups.

There are a few more places. Contact me on Twitter on @SlumberingJ if you want to know them.

Catch me September 13 at The International Bar, Wicklow Street, Co. Dublin.
For the Irish Comedian of the Year Competition. From 9.00 pm.




Beckett List


Rob Beckett: Mouth of the South.
The Olympia Theatre.
Sunday, February 5th.

I’m sure you have seen Rob Beckett on various T.V. shows. “8 out of 10 cats”, “Mock the Week” & “Prisoner Cell Block H”.  His funny enough on these shows and I thought might as well go see him. If for nothing else I can write a blog about it. (This blog is now costing me money, thanks.)

I went to the box office an hour before the show to pick up my pre-booked tickets. As I was getting them, in walked Rob Beckett. He was asking the box office staff how to get into the venue and ask me was I buying tickets to his show.

I said, “there are loads left, selling them at half price.” We both laughed and he offered me V.I.P tickets to show. I also hung out with him after the show and he brought me on as his support act for the rest of the tour. We also fell in love and bought our first dog together and called him whopper (In-joke between us).

Well, that might happen if I had said anything. I stood there like a dweeb star struck over someone who’s not famous enough to be on “I’m a celebrity get me out of here.” God know what would happen if I ever meet Will Smith. I probably combust.

The show was in the Olympia theatre. For as long as I can remember every time you buy a ticket you get charged an extra one euro to go to the restoration fund for the Olympia.
I have been going here years and the place still looks exactly the same. I assume this one euro extra fee is going to the mangers whores account.


Thanks to the 1 euro donation per ticket we manage to paint the wall in the corner. Also, I a bought a new BMW.

The support act was Karl Spain. An Irish comedian who’s been on the go for years. I have been lucky enough to see and support Karl over the years. He started by doing a bit of crowd work. It didn’t really seem to go that well.  Karl finished with a story. Sadly it’s story he told on T.V. a few times over the years (The one about being a kid in the bathtub and his sister’s friends pulling his mickey). He finished with a whimper but onto the headline act.

Rob comes out and straight away a whole row of people stood up and walked out. (they were going to the toilet but come on, could that not be done during Karl?.) Rob went straight into crowd work. I’m not sure if it was the venue or the crowd. But chatting to the audience was not working tonight and Rob did a lot of it. When he got to this material there so much chatting and moving from the audience the gig was more like a Laughter Lounge show.

For Those that don’t know. The Laughter Lounge is the like the Irish version of the Jongleurs comedy club. If you don’t know either of them is basically a rowdy comedy night in a big room that’s let Stag/Hen parties in. Filled with non-comedy fans just looking for a night out.

Which not what you want after you pay thirty euro to watch a show. Things got worse in the second half. A drunk loud dickhead who was near us just shouted out “Dentist” at Rob. Because Rob has big teeth this person thought it would be funny to say Dentist to Rob and nothing else.  I think this show’s the level of intelligence this person has.

I can blame some of the shortcomings of the gig on the lack of atmosphere and audience behaviour but some of it rest on Mr Beckett shoulders also. There was too much crowd interaction that went nowhere and his material was good but not great.

All in all a three out of five-star show.

If you disagree or were that dickhead who shouted “Dentist” please contact me
@SlumberingJ on twitter.

Catch me live when I MC the Battle of the Axe on March 9. The ha’penny bar, Dublin from 9 pm.