A lot of young comedians seem to believe there is a stigma attached to going up 1st on a show. I've heard everything about the 1st spot from being the "weakest link" to "taking a bullet". Truth is, it's a spot and it should be treated as such an opportunity.
As a producer of a weekly show I can honestly say the 1st spot is generally reserved for a younger comedian to prove him/herself or for a more established act to shake the room up right away (this of course, barring any circumstance where a comedian needs to leave early). Good producing requires you to consider every spot and to trust the performer to do their job. The momentum of a show is only as good as it's lineup and if your lineup is incomplete the show will suffer.
Some producers will purposely put a comic up 1st to get their spot out of the way. That is bad producing. If you care about the show, then you will consider each performer's act and know where to place them. If the energy of the room has not been established up top, that falls on the MC, in which case even more motivation for the 1st comic to "own" that spot.
Sure, the middle/close of a show is more desirable. But if your act is funny and your jokes are proven then there are no excuses. You are the comedian. You are a reflection of yourself, ultimately, and NOT a reflection of the entire show (that's the producer).
The next time you are upset about being asked to go up 1st consider the thousands of other comedians who would love to have that spot.
Labels: about standup
Permalink | 3/10/2010