Date Like a Comic – Episode 2 – Know The Room
Hey friends! Thanks for checking out my column ‘Date Like A Comic’.
If you haven’t already, check out the first article ‘Episode 1’ which helps illustrate how comedians win over a crowd of strangers, and how you can apply some of these techniques that should set you above the other dudes at the bar.
Becoming an overnight success in the comedy world can take a decade or more of hard work, rejection and crippling self-doubt.
We often spend years trying to ‘cut the fat’ out of the joke, and we fail more times than we succeed.
Then when all hope is lost, blinded by the spotlight, after tweaking the joke, flipping the premise, switching the punchline, we hear a group of girls laugh from the back of the room.
It might as well be a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall.
That same rush of adrenaline I’ve felt on stage I feel when introducing myself to a woman at a bar and hit it off with her.
Point being, there are ways to communicate your motives without coming across creepy, needy or desperate.
Like the guy at a bar, a comedian has but a few precious seconds to win over the audience.
Whether we’re talking comedy or dating, it’s a hard game, because success relies on effective communication.
I can’t tell you that everything you do moving forward will result in perfectly crafted conversations with the most beautiful and personable women.
What I can tell you is that with the act of repetition, and as you gain confidence in yourself, you will certainly raise the percentages that you will present THE BEST VERSION of yourself and who knows, at the very least, make a girl laugh.
Know The Room
In the comedy world, there is a definitive advantage to performing in a room that you’ve ‘worked out in’. When I say ‘room’ it is the place you are performing.
The world is your stage. Some ‘stages’ will have a higher chance of success than others. Good luck doing standup on the subway platform. Good luck hitting on a woman who is late for work.
Anything can happen at any given time, but we are talking about high percentage options that will put you in the best scenarios to succeed.
As a comic, I might be alone on stage, but there’s a familiarity that comes with understanding the nuances of the room.
The audience puts a lot of trust in the performer’s hand. Likewise, with dating, women want a man who can deliver with whatever he is offering.
Ever go to a new gym and you look like a lost child at the mall because you can’t find the kettlebells? You need to know where those kettlebells are!
Don’t just ‘be’ at a bar. Know the layout. Find out where the energy of the room is, and be in the mix.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve performed standup at alternative venues, (bars, weed shops, breweries). There are a million distractions that can derail the set.
There will always be a turbo sized Margaritaville blender that goes off during a punchline. ALWAYS.
If standup isn’t hard enough, now we have to compete with a power tool magically pulverizing chunks of ice into a frozen heaven of Pina Colada.
Trust me, you too will try to chat with a lady at a bar and be overcome by the sound of a chainsaw ripping through permafrost.
Use it in conversation, “Imagine hiding your drinking problem at work if you only enjoy frozen drinks. You won’t last long as a high school teacher.”
There’s a bar I regularly perform at that has a wall mounted phone. A vestige of the past, I guess. I don’t think anyone is ordering margaritas via rotary phone.
If they are though, I want to drink with that guy. Regardless, this phone rings from time to time. Last time it rang during my standup set, and it completely distracted the audience.
I nixed the material I was doing, as I had been heckled by a land line, and I said, “Sorry for the interruption folks, just my Dad calling to see how my Business Degree is panning out.”
Shit like this happens to every comedian who has ever performed. I’m no wittier than the next guy, I’ve just had phones ring during my set before, so I’ve learned how to skirt the issue.
The more time and energy you spend being grounded in your surroundings, the more you will feel like an integral part of the experience, feeling more comfortable in your own skin.
Use the room to your advantage. I’m not advocating you study the blue print layout of the space, but get to know the bartender by his/her first name.
Building a familiarity with the venue will help you build a natural trustworthiness.
I’d rather chat up the guy who is friends with the staff than the guy who sits alone at the back booth of the bar.
I’ll let him enjoy watching the instagram story of the girl I’m actually talking to.
If you see this guy alone at the back booth, (he’s at every bar) please shoot him a link to this article, and slide him a cold Margaritaville margarita.
By building a friendship with the waiter or bartender, you are creating the environment that offers you the best odds of success.
I’m not advocating a year long investment, just a decent tip when buying your first drink, ask for their name and thank them for the beverage.
In my early dating days I would go to night clubs, and would get so discouraged by my lack of success in meeting quality human beings.
What I learned is that I was stripping away all the qualities that make me who I am. These venues were too loud for wit, and I suck at dancing.
Also, I can’t afford bottle service. “Why are we here again, Tanner?”
I’d have better odds buying that dang Margaritaville machine and giving away frosty solo cups overflowing with the bliss of fruity liquor and crushed ice.
I promise Margaritaville is not sponsoring this article, although I’m craving one now.
Be The Mayor
The important takeaway is to remember that the environment you surround yourself in is a tool that can help you with meeting women. Swim downstream.
Go to venues that you feel comfortable at. Be wanted. Be familiar. You don’t need to be a regular at a venue to build the characteristics that say that you are.
We are all wandering souls looking to connect with each other. The ego, this self narrating voice in our head, works way too hard to keep us protected.
It convinces us to not chat up the cute bartender, or the Bachelorette party.
In trying to protect us from rejection, the ego is forcing a bland existence.
Be the guy who says whatever pops into his head, and owns it.
This is your town. Margaritas on you tonight.
If you’d like to follow my journey as a road comic, talking about my dating life and interviewing other comedian’s about theirs, have a listen to my podcast, The Sex Actually Podcast. It’s free and there are some great tips on how to Date Like A Comic. See you all soon!