You’ve come to the right place – The Sit Down Comedy Club is proud to offer new comedians a chance to get up and have a go at stand up comedy! We have a thriving Open Mic Circuit around South-East Queensland, known as one of the best in the country.
We’ve run Open Mic gigs for the entirety of SDCC's 30+ year history as a way of supporting up-and-coming acts; and take a lot of pride in our Open Mic program. We’ve even put together the SDCC OPEN MIC INFO PACK, which offers a full overview of the program itself, as well as information on your requirements as a participant and the consequences of non-adherence. Look, we get that it’s looooong; but it’s designed to give you ALL the information required to make the most out of working with SDCC in our Open Mic program – as a member of our community, we want you to know how you fit into it, so we can all be on the same page, and you can get the most out of the opportunity that the program presents!
You will be required to read the Info Pack before we let you perform in any of our shows, but until then, here's the basics of how it all works:
You need to have about 5 minutes of material prepared BEFORE YOU APPLY. Remember everyone is nervous the first time they jump up on stage, so put on your comedy shoes and have a go!
YOUR SET SHOULD BE ABOUT 5 MINUTES, but it is always better to do a great 3 minute set rather than a shoddy 5 minute set. Similarly, running over time is un-professional and disrespectful for others who are performing – if you would like to do a longer set, ask the person running the gig first if it’s okay.
New comedians should avoid unnecessarily offensive or dark material. Some subjects, for good reason are universally avoided by seasoned professionals and SHOULD NOT be included as part of your set. Violence against children, rape and/or domestic violence ARE NEVER FUNNY, and it is an error of judgement to include them or similarly offensive subjects in your routine. Audiences often laugh with embarrassment when taboo subjects are mentioned. Don’t mistake this for actual enjoyment. Inclusion of offensive material turns the audience off and puts a greater work-load on your punch-lines and the other performers on the bill. If your favourite professional comedians draw the line somewhere, then it will benefit you to consider why.
It is also good practice to avoid unnecessary swearing in your routine. Should you choose comedy as a career, then to perform any Corporate or TV work would require your material to be very funny and completely clean. Don’t swear heavily in your routine at the start of your career, as this will make it harder for you to avoid it in the future. We are interested in presenting funny shows, not offensive ones. If your subject matter becomes too offensive or if you say f*ck EXCESSIVELY or c**t AT ALL, we will have no place for you in our shows.
APPLYING FOR GIGS
We have a few rooms running around Brisbane and anyone can have a go. Pre-COVID, we used to have a ‘call the office at a certain time’ booking process, but due to changes implemented over the last two years, we now book spots via an online Expression of Interest (EOI) form.
The EOI form opens on the SDCC Brisbane Open Mic Facebook page every MONDAY at around 12PM AEST, and closes 48HRS later (WEDNESDAY), two (2) weeks in advance of the show/s being booked.
To enable your development as a comic it is best that you do a variety of gigs. Some rooms are “easier” than others, but it is important that you try as many rooms as possible. This will help you improve your comedy, as you will learn what material suits what audience. The best comedians are the ones that can adapt their material to suit their audience. If you only ever apply to perform in one particular room, you will find it hard to get consistent bookings (to be as fair to everyone as possible, we DO have rules in place where you can’t perform in the same venue in consecutive weeks!), so we suggest applying for as many of our different venues as you can each week!
PERFORMING IN THE GIGS
When/If you are contacted and offered a spot, you need to make a note of the date, location, and time of the gig in your diary. We will contact you again a few days before the gig to confirm your booking. If you don’t hear from us and know that you are on, CALL THE SDCC OFFICE ON 07 3369 4466 TO CONFIRM. Sometimes we may have incorrect contact details for you. It is your responsibility to confirm your spot.
For any reason you need to cancel a gig, please let us know as soon as possible so we can replace you. It is very difficult for us to organise a replacement if you call us at 5pm on the day you are meant to perform. We understand that sometimes things happen, and you can’t make it at the last minute, but if this happens, you need to send a message to us via the SDCC Instagram page. At least then we know you tried! FYI – people who regularly pull out at the last minute or no show are suspended from the open mic program!
On show night, you need to arrive at the venue AT LEAST 30 MINUTES BEFORE THE GIG and check in with the sound tech running the show. Too often people turn up late which is un-professional and can have the effect of throwing out the schedule of the whole show – similarly to above, if you know you’re going to be late, let us know!!! It is also important that you hang around to watch your fellow peers. You can learn a lot from others and also from the MCs.
If you feel that any of the above guidelines and/or content is not compatible with what you would like to achieve in comedy, then working with SDCC is probably not the correct fit for you – some of the other rooms and environments around the local scene may better suit your material and goals. Search ‘Brisbane Comedy’ on Facebook for leads on some of the other Open Mic opportunities around town.
If you have any issues or questions about any of the information listed above, we welcome the opportunity to talk about it with you. To contact SDCC in relation to our Open Mic program, feel free to email email@example.com or message the SDCC Brisbane Open Mic Facebook page.
Good luck and we hope to see you on the circuit soon!
SOME OTHER INFO THAT YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN!:
Each year, SDCC hosts the QLD heats & finals for Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Raw Comedy. Australia’s biggest amateur comedy competition, RAW Comedy searches for the best new talent around the nation. The Queensland State Winner heads down to Melbourne to compete in the National Final, with the National winner then heading off to Edinburgh to continue their comedy journey! It’s genuinely the best – make sure to keep an eye out for the registration details throughout the year!
Want some lessons on how to become a Stand Up Comedian? Check out Fiona McGary's Comedy Course!