How to Be a Comedian – Tip 13: Microphone Technique – Part 1

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 12: When the Audience is Laughing – Part 4, I shared several things comedians can do while the audience is laughing. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 13: Microphone Technique – Part 1, I’ll discuss the Do’s and Don’ts of using a microphone and stand.

How to Be a Comedian – Tip 13: Microphone Technique – Part 1

Having no experience with a microphone can be an ordeal for the beginner’s first few times on stage. At first the mike will seem like this awkward phallus with an annoying cord that’s always underfoot, but with a few tips and a little practice using it will become second nature. In fact, you’ll soon come to depend on it because controlling an audience is so much easier when you’re louder than they can ever be.

My suggestion is to use something to simulate a microphone while rehearsing so you can get comfortable holding something in your hands while performing. Reportedly, my students have employed large spoons, hairbrushes, and a stick with rope tied to it. You’ll know you have good microphone technique when it becomes virtually invisible to you and the audience.

Here are some basic Do’s and Don’ts for using a hand-mike on stage in a nightclub.

WHEN ENTERING THE STAGE . . .

Don’t leave the mike in the stand for your entire show.

Do take the mike out of the stand at the beginning of your show and place the stand at the back of the stage. The rule of thumb is: Hold the mike in your hand unless the bit requires your hands to be free; only then put it back on the stand.

IF THE MICROPHONE DOESN’T WORK . . .

Don’t pound the mike into your hand.

Do check to see if the ON button is turned to ON.

Don’t twist the jack at the bottom of the mike. The jack connecting the cord to the mike has prongs that can be bent by twisting, which will permanently damage the mike and the jack.

Do push the jack further into the bottom of the mike to make a better connection.

Don’t yank on the cord. You could very easily pull the wires loose in the cord or the jack that plugs into the wall.

Do test the jack at the end of the cord that plugs into the wall or side of the stage.

In my next blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 14: Microphone Technique – Part 2 I’ll offer even more Do’s and Don’ts.

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