Stand-up comedians feed off the energy of their audience, and visa versa. Recently, I performed for an audience of 1,500 and in the same week, an audience of 6. Different energy for sure. However, many comedians in these situations fall into the trap of underperforming for the single digit audience level. They figure, why should I expend my energy on such a small crowd.
I disagree, wholeheartedly. I’ll tell you why.
First of all, the 6 people paid to get in. Why do they deserve less than the folks in the big audience.
Second, you never know who is in that audience. Not that they are going to make you rich and famous, but they could have other gig opportunities. I did an outside party once that was truly a hell gig. Nothing good could have possibly come from it. However, I gave it my all because that is what they hired me for. Little did I know, the DJ at the party had some connections. Giving him my card led to a gig on a yacht owned by celebrity artist Peter Max. I had a memorable gig come from a forgettable one.
I always do my best while on stage. Why shouldn’t I. It’s not only for the people who got off their couch to come to the show, but for myself as well. I gain nothing from a sub-par performance. Doing my best every time makes me feel good and prepares me for those “big” shows.
As a wise person once said: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” I think it was Kelly Clarkson.