Tried an open mic in a new club tonight. "Laughs" in Kirkland (on the East Side... where the white people are). I've heard this is a tough room and I heard right. The space itself is nice but in typical open mic fashion there were a lot more comics than audience... and the audience weren't ready to laugh. I was #7 on the list.
A handful of the people that went before me did not get one laugh. Ouch. I realized the audience would be a tough nut to crack so I decided to use my same set from Laff Hole. Open with Bumbershoot, then Nicole Ritchie, Toby, a new one I call Owen Wilson (this was the only switch, I traded it for Bidet, it went all right), and Cheesecake Factory. My set actually did well. I find it's good to start with strong material the first time you go into a room. Get the bookers on your side.
The rest of the night was hit and miss with some good comedians and some dead sets. I actually like these dead rooms because I feel like they're an endurance test for comedians. Doing a set to an appreciative audience feels really good, but it's hard to learn from it. When you can get laughs from a tough crowd you KNOW you've earned it. If you don't get a peep, it's time to go back to the drawing board and rework it. I love Laff Hole and Lo-Ball, but I gotta keep hitting Laughs, Mainstage, and Kona Kitchen (haven't been there yet but I hear it's the toughest room in Seattle) if I'm going to become a better comedian.
Lesson: Do tough rooms, the measure of a good comedian.
Backup lesson: Hit 'em first with your best shot. Get 'em on your side. THEN test the new stuff.