Let professional open mic host Eric Silver be your comedy spirit manimal. Photo by Joe Stanton.
We all know the scene, either from real life or some of our favorite shows (like in Louie): a dark, sparsely occupied room of people sitting, looking up at the stage as an emcee introduces a name you’re sure no one (including the host) has previously heard of. A lone figure stands before the mic, visibly uncomfortable, and the next few minutes are as suspenseful as entertainment can get: will it be awesome or cringeworthy? I wish I could say open mics are totally not like that, but their rep is pretty well-earned.
But they’re a key part of starting any comedy career. Think of open mics like Rocky training in the harsh Russian winter during Rocky IV: if you can do your material to a totally unresponsive crowd without being fazed, you’ve got the eye of the tiger (Survivor’s, not Katy Perry’s). I’ve been hosting my own open mic, Dear God That’s Stone Cold’s Music! for about two years now, and I’ve been doing stand-up for a couple more years that that. I’ve also gone to open mics to support my friends just getting started, and seen how great and how… not-so-great the talent can be. After yesterday’s part 1 of our series that showed you how to get up the nerve to try it, here are some tips from an actual open mic host on how to crush it once you’re on stage. (more…)
The microphone is more scared of you than you are of it. Test your open mic chops but check these tips first.
Jerry Seinfeld once made a joke about how people fear public speaking more than death: “This means to the average person,” he says, “if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” But what does he know? People tell you all the time how funny you are! You should do stand-up comedy! But before you go plotting your own Netflix special, you need to hone your craft at some open mic nights, because, as you’ll soon learn, the act of being funny and the art of being funny aren’t exactly the same thing. Open mics are a necessary step on the road to finding your comedic voice, developing a network of funny friends and refining your material.
This is where I can help. I had long nursed a burning desire to be on the stage, sort of like Lauryn Hill in Sister Act 2, just waiting for a Vegas showgirl turned inner-city parochial school teacher to come give me my big chance. I knew I wanted to try stand-up, but wasn’t sure where to start. A year later, I’m no expert comedian, but I can tell you what I know about getting up there for the first time. So, if you want to be somebody, if you want to go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention. Here are five tips to help get from big-time comedy aspirations to awkward, blinded-by-the-stage-lights reality. (more…)
The Magic Flight box comes … highly … recommended.
Back in the day, when you talked about “vaporizers,” the only thing that came to mind were the huge New Age-looking pyramid contraptions that squatted on the tabletops of recent college dropouts. Now, you can’t skulk out for a late-night pint of Cherry Garcia anywhere in Brooklyn without passing a few fellow travelers taking drags off sleek handheld vaping wizard wands. What’s in those pipes? Is word getting around about the supposed “health and stealth” benefits of vaping? Or does everyone want to get famous winning prestigious cloud competitions?
Fascinating as this analysis could be — and regardless of what’s inside the pipes — let’s ask the really important question: Does vaping save money? (more…)
Hopefully they’re reading this. via Nazareth College’s Flickr
Student loans are often portrayed as the albatross around our generation’s collective neck. National student loan debt skyrocketed just as the economic crisis hit, making for a perfect student loan shitstorm. As a financial advisor specializing in young professionals, almost all my clients have student loan debt, but what many don’t know about student loans is that there are so many options for paying (or not paying) them. They’re one of the most flexible types of debt available if you understand your options. (more…)
A little party never hurt nobody, but not bringing anything may get you hurt.
Welcome to part 2 of our How to Be Better at Parties series. Yesterday we took you through a detailed tour of how not to suck at throwing a party; but today hits to the real crucial topic of bad NYC etiquette that spreads across our borough like crappy 10 year old Brooklyn jokes still spread across the normcore internet. Like yesterday’s guide, you might find some of these tips laughable — congrats to you! You are a functional human being who can interpret social cues. But you know you have friends you want to send this post too, the ones who show up empty handed, the ones who think hijacking your party playlist with their personal sludge rock mixtape is a good idea, the ones who vomit anywhere, ever. Send this to them with hopes of better party etiquette to come. (more…)
Follow these tips and you’ll have your party guests jumping for joy. Photo by Sarah Bibi Gainer.
Like getting into a crowded subway car, you’d think throwing a party would be something New Yorkers could handle on their own by now. Yet, much like how you have to yell at that clueless bro to MOVE THE EFF INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE CAR, too often you find yourself at a Brooklyn party that’s about as well thought out as as Budweiser millennial marketing campaign. This is New York City and we have high standards for parties: one false move and your event will be the cause of exodus, as displeased partygoers slip out the door on the hunt for a place that isn’t just six people sitting around a coffee table playing Cards Against Humanity. So here in the age of intense FOMO fear, Brokelyn provides this public service, your basic primer of How to Throw a Party. If some of these tips are excruciatingly obvious to you, great — send it to your less-capable friends as a gentle nudge to get their party game on top of a fleek.
User-friendly (and panda-friendly) rental service. via Kitsplit
Back in the day, we told you all about how you could produce your own show. Mind you this was a whopping eight months ago, so practically the Stone Age. Indies producers across the board agreed that it would cost you a fair bit of money to produce any kind of something unless you had a friend who could lend you production equipment. Well, brokesters, fear no more: your series dreams can finally get back on track, thanks to this nifty new e-service called Kitsplit that lets you rent production equipment from like-minded creatives affordably, so you’re not blowing your entire production budget on gear. (more…)
Zach, amused by the landlord who won’t give you your money back
Unless you ‘move’ like Jagger (i.e. hire movers, do a few lines of coke and take a limo to your new apartment), changing your living situation is the WORST. No, let’s have none of that “out with the old, in with the new” optimism: everything about moving truly sucks, not the least of which involves actually paying for your new place when you still have a big chunk of money caught up in the old one.
You can still get your beach-day kicks this winter, a train ride away. All photos by Vince Catalanotto
The holidays are over, and gone with them are all the opportunities for free food and drink. As a plentiful December recedes, the reality of a New York winter starts to set in. Shake off the claustrophobia and satisfy that craving for some open sky by heading out to Rockaway Beach. And bring your South Brooklyn and Rockaways Beer Book (now 20% off), because Whit’s End, Sayra’s and Playland Motel are open, and the beach will be all yours. (more…)
It’s winter, so get out to Prospect Park with a garbage can lid and have some damn fun. via Flickr user Atomische * Tom Giebel
Before we get started here, we first have to ask you a question: Why and when exactly have you become so terrified of the snow? Is the reason we all freak out at the mere mention of snow because of last year? Just because it was a bad winter last year doesn’t mean that we need to cower in fear at the very idea that Brooklyn might be covered in the wintry powder. Don’t stay inside all winter and whimper whenever it snows outside; make that stuff work for you, before it becomes horrible grey slush, anyway. It’s not only suburbanites that got to enjoy a good day of sledding while growing up; even lifelong Brooklynites like this very author hit the slopes up.
So go on, get your very own Rosebud, or just use a garbage can lid, whatever. We’ll see you at the park. We remember what it’s like to be kids, and so should you. Forget for a moment the fact that snow in Brooklyn has about a 30 minute shelf-life before it comes a slushy horrible mess that’s covered in dog piss. Embrace your inner kid (or take an actual kid with you) and actually have some damn fun at Brooklyn’s best sledding spots. (more…)