My favorite thing about open mics is how many men are so ready and willing to help me out! They take one look at me and think this gender freak is vaguely girl-shaped, surely this is someone who needs my help.
It can be intimidating going to an open mic and being the only girl-shaped person there. It might be overwhelming when you’re mobbed after your set with the advice of men who’ve never made you laugh on purpose. But take my advice: take their advice.
Here are the three best pieces of advice men have given me at open mics, not only for free but especially when I didn’t ask:
Don’t worry about being single. You’ll find someone eventually.
This was genius comedy advice. After performing a set inspired by a past breakup, I had the good fortune of running into this wise soul at the bar. But he wasn’t done with his kernels of comedy wisdom, yet. When I gently informed him that I had been joking and that I was, in fact, totally fine, he got very passionate and further advised, “No need to be a bitch, I was just trying to help. Geeze!” This advice genuinely helped me to stop worrying. No matter my faults and mistakes, no matter if I bomb, at least I’m not that guy. Phew!
Was…was that pegging joke…you know, were you serious about that?
Less like straightforward advice and more of a roundabout way of asking me to strap it on, I got this one at the second open mic I ever did. Nothing makes a new gal feel more welcome than the intense, drooling scrutiny of a man-type stranger, am I right, ladies?
I sure hope more men proposition me every time I try to make a joke instead of, like, respecting basic social boundaries and at least introducing themselves first. How else will I privately agonize over whether my set is too titillating for a Tuesday night?
You’ll get the hang of it eventually, Brenda.
This represents one of the most common nuggets of wisdom I’ve gotten, including calling me by the wrong name (even though we’d been introduced a year ago).
So what if Brenda is a different local comic who looks nothing like me and does a completely different kind of comedy? Support is support! I mean, yeah, this dude might have been outside vaping during my entire set, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe in me. Or in Brenda!! Plus, if this isn’t women supporting other women, what IS?!
I don’t want to misconstrue my open mic experience. There have been tons and tons of men who have never given me the above kinds of advice. And there have been even more who have never spoken to me at all!
This is why I cherish every moment I’ve received unsolicited advice from men at open mics. Imagine where I’d be today without all those totally welcoming, and never presumptive or overly personal, interactions. Half my material is written with these helpful dudes in mind. Thanks, gentlemen!