The first 30 seconds

More advice from the grizzled vet comics who hang out at the bar at Stand Up NY. They're kinda like those old muppets who sat in the balcony. Anyway...

* Don't sit down for five years. When you sit down you send a message to the audience. You lower the energy. You have to bring something from a much deeper place.

* You have to set a tone of funny in the first 30 seconds. Then you can get darker (or whatever). But those first 30 seconds determine how the audience sees you.

* Persona goes a long way. When people buy your persona, they open up to you. (Persona explained at Wikipedia: "A 'second self' created by the author and through whom the narrative is related...[it] literally means mask.")

* The toughest thing for a beginning comic to learn is how to read the room.

* Write, write, write.

* Don't blame the crowd. It's always your fault. If they don't laugh, it's because you did something wrong.

* Don't listen when other comics say a room is dead. It was dead for them, that's all. A great comic can walk into the sleepiest room and still get 'em going.

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