The main source of pleasure and pain in my own life, is women. Most of my relationships with women are both fleeting and intense, so any given night in a week, I have a new issue ailing my brain before I am supposed to tell jokes to a group of random people. Everybody has their own issues that can weigh them down before a set. It's turning that weird, sometimes-negative, off-stage energy into positive, balanced, on-stage energy that changes an amateur open-mic'er into a sporadically paid Feature comedian. In no way do I think I am qualified to give advice, so I am not about to write a "how-to" article. I can simply tell you my story. The story of how a young Holly Grove rapper changed the way a young Boys Town comedian approached the stage.
For a number of years, I thought that professional stage presence, for me, would come from a joint or a drink before my set. After a couple years of watching enough weed-laced sets on replay, I decided I needed a new pre-stage ritual that wouldn't drag my show energy down and cause me to giggle uncontrollably during my set. My new drug...was the cadence, delivery, and flow encapsulated in songs by the self-proclaimed "best rapper alive", Lil' Wayne. Lil Weezy. Weezy F. Baby, if you will.
Regardless of whether I'm listening to Kids These Days, The Weekend, or Mobb Deep while I'm writing my jokes, before I hit the stage, the only things going through my head are the first three or four bars of a song like Mr. Carter's "A Milli."
Not only does this get me so hyped up that I can't wait to hit the stage, but the slow, one-liner pacing of his flow helps me remember to slow my speech pattern down during my set. All of that makes me confident enough to deliver my act at my own speed, as comfortably as I can.
I am not saying this method works for everybody, but it certainly helped me out. I love comedy, and the art behind making myself better at it. In some strange way, the music of the shortest emcee in the game helped my art improve. So while I am definitely going through my set before I jump on stage, I am also dancing, getting in my zone, and repeating the line "I'm all about I, give the rest of the vowels back."
Special Guest Contributing Writer - Will Miles
Will is a comedian, actor, writer and producer killing it in NYC. If your in NY, Don't miss Two Black Dudes and an Open Microphone- Thursday!