How To Start Your Own Online Open Mic
Why Start A Mic?
There are lots of reasons for a stand up comedian to start up their own open mic.
- You can develop new material
- Get feedback from other people
- Networking with other comics
- For socializing
- You hate the way most of the open mics are run. (Not just because you're bitter, but because you are right, dab nabbit!)
All of those reasons pale in comparison to the real reason you should be doing it - guaranteed stage time! If it's your mic you go up each week. No fuss, No muss. You're on. Starting a mic is a no brainier for a serious comic who wants to get better at their craft.
Follow These Steps
1. Define Your Vision
Pick a name for your mic. Be creative. Maybe you want your open mic to feature comics who tell horse jokes. Why not call it the Pony Up Open Mic? Or maybe just name it after yourself. It is your mic. That's probably easiest.
Pick a day and a time for your mic. It's probably wise to pick an under served slot, like Thursdays at 12 noon (NY). Or in the morning. Or late at night. Just be sure to pick a day and time that you'll be able to commit to every week.
2. Choose Your Platform
There are many places to have a video get together these days - Facebook, Instagram, The NSA. All online video streaming platforms have a bit of a learning curve, but anyone with basic computer skills can set one up. Here are some of the most popular as of the time of this post:
Google Meet - Free for up to 100 attendees for 60 minutes. All you need is a Gmail account and a dream.
Zoom.us - Zoom zoom zoom, zooma zooma zoom! Everybody knows Zoom.
Jitsi.org - Totally free and open source (whatever that means.) Lots of cool features that are definitely worth checking out.
3. Make A Sign Up Sheet
Just like a real life open mic, it's best to have a place for performers to sign up for the show. Fortunately there are online sign up sheets that are pretty easy to setup.
Slotted.co - This site makes signing up for your mic super easy. Barely an inconvenience.
Eventbrite.com - Easy to setup for free and paid online open mics.
Google Forms - Kinda geeky if you ask me but totally free and reliable.
4. Create A Home Page
You'll need a place for folks to learn not only about when your online open mic takes place, but also info on how to sign up, how much time each comic gets, the rules of conduct, etc. It's also a pretty good idea to setup an email address for people to contact you about the mic.
Facebook Page - Most people use Facebook. What makes you so special?
5. Promote Your Mic
Once you have everything in place submit your mic to JokeZoom.com's Online Comedy Open Mic Directory. Now sit back and watch the open mic'rs roll in!
No. That's not going to happen. You need to promote, promote, promote. Promote your mic on social media. Promote your mic to everyone in your email address book. Promote your mic by drunk dialing your friends late at night. NEVER STOP PROMOTING!
Obviously, there are lots of other things to consider. Should I ask for donations or even charge a fee? Should I record each show? Should I stream my shows on social media? How do I deal with comics who blow the light? Don't let these minor details slow you down.
Running an online comedy open mic takes work but if you do it right you'll be rewarded in ways you can't imagine.