In 2018, I went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with my parents for a vacation. I knew of an open mic the day I arrived, after a 7 hour journey, and 1. was feeling way too lazy/tired to go, 2. it was pouring rain, which gave me an excuse just to stay in and 3. I would only get THREE minutes of stage time. I thought what’s the point, why go through all that trouble to go to an open mic for 3 minutes? It’s probably not even going to be a good mic!
Then I remembered the story of my friend Michael Somerville, who had just gotten back into town after a tour, and had a little bar show he had been booked on. He wanted more than anything to cancel on the show, but he then thought to himself “no, I am a comedian, and getting on stage is what I do.” So he did.
That night, the new booker for Letterman happened to be in the audience. Michael then went on to do 4 sets on Letterman.
It was remembering Michael’s commitment to his craft (and what a GREAT comedian he is as a result) that gave me that motivational boost to go to the mic, and little did I think a similar story would happen to me, but that open mic at a comedy club (The Crackhouse Comedy Club) led to me being seen by the owner’s wife, and given a guest spot on the weekend show featuring an international headliner. After my set, this guy came up to me and introduced himself – he was one of the producers for Comedy Central Asia this year, and would love to get me on the show. And that is how an open mic, in the pouring rain, led me to making my Comedy Central debut later that year.
Oh, and some other fun benefits that came out of it – I was invited to come back to the Comedy Club as headliner the next time I was in town. To date, I have headlined at the Crackhouse (what a great name ha) twice. And the headliner that night? He has also booked me on a couple of shows he produces, in both London and Singapore.
I know it’s very easy as comedians to bail on things – we are afterall our own boss. And it’s also easy to not give a shit at an open mic, or bar show. But this experience has taught me to stick to my commitment to my craft, and always bring my A game (not necessarily A material, as I have to work on new material, but I can at least bring an A attitude), because 1. that’s how we get better but 2. You just never know what amazing thing might come out of what you do.