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Improv Comedy Club Near Me – Washington, DC Stand-up Comedy Guide Washington, DC’s stand-up comedy scene is especially welcoming to hobbyists, beginners, and those who don’t tell jokes for a living (at least not yet). Here’s how you can join in on the fun.
Washington has an unfair reputation for type-A, khaki-wearing humorlessness, but our city has a thriving stand-up comedy scene. In addition to big-name artists who started their careers here, including Martin Lawrence, Patton Oswalt, Wanda Sykes, and Dave Chappelle, Washington DC is also home to a large number of amateur and aspiring cartoonists. , performing at open mics throughout the region. There are also some hardcore prospects striving to become the next big thing. Enjoy a dual identity: a consultant by day, a stand-up performer by night, a government employee in need of a creative outlet, a lawyer looking for a place to blow off steam for just five minutes at a time. There are some happy hobbyists out there.
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That’s right. In my life outside of working 24 hours a day, I’m kind of a stand-up. I’ve told jokes in front of honest to well-meaning people and literally rooms of two people, mostly about the pressing issues of our time, like his January 6th and Nepo’s baby. It skyrocketed. It bombed. What’s important is that I’ve made people laugh, not just the people I’ve brought with me. So what I’m here to tell you is that if you’ve ever thought about trying your hand at stand-up, or checking out the scene as an audience member, you absolutely should. is.
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D.C. hosts an insane number of comedy shows every night, many of which are open to first-time performers and free for everyone. “If you type ‘comedy’ into Eventbrite, you’re going to have a panic attack,” says Joe Pappalardo. Joe Pappalardo is a comic and former producer of Catfish Comedy who takes the mic at Adams Morgan’s Shenanigans every Tuesday and Thursday.
Not sure what your first steps should be? From where to go to how to play, our guide has you covered.
Forced to flee Lebanon’s civil war in her early years, Laura witnesses the breakdown of her marriage, the loss of her corporate communications job, and her home country facing one crisis after another. Her suffering caused her to enter the world of comedy. “I thought, ‘If I can’t change it, why should I laugh?'” she says. She said, “She wanted to perform pieces about important themes, such as displacement, war, and loss. But make it interesting.”
Currently residing in Northwest DC, Laura performs and produces comedy shows such as the talk show and single Mixer called “Is Cupid Stupid?” And she has her signature show, “Funny Arabs,” which features Arab-American comedians. Laura hopes viewers will learn something “beyond the surface” through what she calls “traumady”, which uses humor to process pain. I don’t just want someone to go home laughing and feeling good. I want someone to see things from a different perspective. The best comedy helps you see the world differently. ”
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By day, Pam Arulke is a former FCC executive and attorney for the NCTA (Internet and Television Association). At night, Arlington residents become cartoons. “When you laugh out loud like that, it’s like a drug,” she says. “It’s absorbing and exhilarating. You get to be a different person for a little while.”
Al-Ruk brings his 50-something perspective to open mics and shows dominated by millennials and his Gen Z voices. She often joked about having “the only untalented kid in Arlington.” One of her first gags she wrote was about her not receiving a date photo while on a date. You will need to have the film developed. ”
Although Arulke loves the challenge of writing jokes, he is also happy to continue comedy as a part-time hobby. “If I did it every night, I don’t think I would enjoy it,” she says. “Because it becomes more like work.”
Elizabeth Booker Huston, a public health attorney at the FDA, previously worked as a model and as an actor, wearing the “big, sweaty costumes” of her movie characters to a PBS event.
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. She had always wanted to be a comedian, but even after she lost her life at the Nerd Night Comedy Show in Washington, D.C., it seemed like a “pipe dream” to her.
Then the pandemic hit. While stuck at home in Silver Spring, she joined TikTok. She appeared on the show after a satirical video she made about the collapse of conservatives over Lil Nas X went viral.
. Lewis Black sent me a free DM. Margaret Cho followed her lead. Since then, Houston has become a regular on DC’s Comedy Clubhouse. Meanwhile, with her two TikTok accounts she has 676,900 followers and with sponsored posts she can earn anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000.
“I’m a comedian,” Houston says. “I’m a mom too. For me, it’s much easier to sit in my pajamas in my bedroom, create a funny video in less than five minutes, post it, and make it go viral.”
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Mara Feiner knew she wanted to try stand-up when she saw her first show at DC Improv, but later performed her first set at Arlington’s Bar Bao and was so nervous that she screamed “head-scratching” on stage. “The whole thing turned white,” he said, and he lost his memory. what happened. Except for one thing: “I remember there was laughter.”
Since then, Feiner, who lives in Crystal City, has continued her work from open mics to paid shows. She performs almost every night and produces her own open mic at Mattie & Eddie’s in Pentagon City. She jokes about her deep voice (“My looks say, ‘Where’s daddy?’ But my voice says, ‘I’m daddy'”) and thanks to her comedy He said that his voice actually became deeper. “I speak louder and with more confidence,” she says. “That was true off stage as well.”
Four years after her fateful first performance, Feiner took to the main stage at DC Improv in early April. According to her, it was “a full-circle moment for me.”
To score a spot at most open mics, all you have to do is sign up for that event’s email listserv. Registration sheets will be sent out approximately one week prior to a particular show. Other microphones require you to sign up directly to get your desired spot.
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If you want to stay up-to-date on when and where you’re seeing or performing comedy, and/or want people to follow your comedy, this social media platform will keep you updated on all the latest information about shows and comics. This is where you can get it. , upcoming events and more.
Comic call (kind of like a roll call, isn’t it cute?) usually takes place 15 minutes before her show starts. If you miss this, you could end up at the bottom of the lineup. It’s also rude to leave immediately after the conversation is over. Stay there until the end of the night, meet others and study.
The city’s top comedy club runs an open mic once a month featuring 15 (up to 20) comics and receives hundreds of inquiries each month. Please send us samples of your best materials. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back right away (or at all).
Spaghetti on the Beach is his DC’s most welcoming open mic for stand-up newbies. Co-creator and host Angel Penn shares her top tips for onstage.
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Most microphones take 5 minutes. At the fourth minute, the host will shine a very bright light into your eyes. This is the equivalent of the rising music played by Oscar winners to end their acceptance speeches. Even if you’re bombing, just nod and wrap up your story. “People will say, ‘I want to go home laughing!'” Penn says. “And it’s like, ‘We don’t care. Get off the stage.’
Make sure she tells jokes for 5 minutes. According to Penn, premature endings create chaos and force show producers to “rush to the stage in a panic.”
No need to worry about memorizing the content. It’s perfectly healthy to check your phone’s notes and scribbled bullet points. “Everyone understands this is just practice, so it’s okay to have a little support,” Penn says. If you want to keep it low-key, you can “put your phone on a chair next to the water” and read while you drink, he added. Another trick? Please write on your hand. “[People] put their hands on their faces to scratch their eyebrows, but they’re actually checking their notes,” Penn says.
While notes can be a godsend, they can also be a crutch. “Sometimes when I try to remember what I’m going to say, I end up speaking more naturally and spontaneously,” says Penn, who surprises herself and her audience.
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Try moving around. Try attaching it to a microphone stand. There are no rules! Only what suits you. “Basically, you can do whatever you feel comfortable with,” says Penn. “But you should try them all.”
Penn calls this a “strange but true” rule of stand-up, and although he doesn’t know its origins, he suspects it stems from the fact that shorts are considered unprofessional. There is. Comedians have to “distance themselves from the audience,” he explains, and wearing shorts “makes it look like they’re out for fun.”
This is exactly how things are done. “So many people get it wrong and just pass the mic over, which makes me feel awkward,” Penn says. “I always put the microphone back on the stand at the same time as I tell the last joke.”
I wore shorts to perform at Penn’s show and people still laughed at my jokes. . . But would they have laughed more if I had worn jeans?
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Carry a notebook or