Spotlight on open mic nights
So you want to share your innermost thoughts with a room full of appreciative strangers, with the added bonus of payment and the chance of a dynamic post-show sexual encounter? Well then, stand-up comedy could be the job for you, provided you’re prepared to begin without the payment, appreciation and all but the least discerning groupies.
Nearly every successful comedian starts their career with an open mic spot and Glasgow and Edinburgh offer some of the most hospitable tryout nights for rookies.
Stand-up and former List employee Siân Bevan, who recently performed a couple of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, reckons Red Raw, the open mic night at the Stand comedy clubs in Edinburgh on Mondays and Glasgow on Tuesdays, ‘are very friendly and it doesn’t matter at all if you don’t do well, because they’ll let you have 15 attempts’.
Other Edinburgh venues, which welcome new acts, include Heresy at the Jekyll and Hyde pub on Thursdays and Black Bo’s on Tuesday.
In Glasgow there’s the State Bar on Saturday nights, though they generally prefer acts to have a handful of gigs under their belts.
For those wishing to learn mic technique and hone their stagecraft, try the oldest stand-up workshop in Britain, run by Viv Gee in association with Strathclyde University and costing £75 (£50 concessions) for a 20-hour course. (Jay Richardson)