25.03.2010 20:11 - 2010 German Comedy Tour
So, what was it like then?
Well, all in all, a typical open mike experience. Open mic audiences tend to be variable, depending on the time and the date. The overall policy at Berlin Open Mic nights is to register as a performer at the door on the night. Some venues have a limit an the amount of performers. Others don't, and, for example, at Scheinbar, I ended up on the bill with 15 other acts. This means your stage-time gets cut. Anyway, without further ado, a brief summary.
Tuesday - Warmup at FCIK 3, Bonn
Not a total success, due to lack of audience. By my set, we were down to less audience than comedians. However, on reviewing the performance, I felt that I'd made the best of a bad job.
Friday - Scheinbar
Scheinbar is a small bar with a stage that is almost as big as the auditorium (if you can call it an auditorium - I reckon our living room was about the same size). The Scheinbar is somewhat scruffy, but has a decent PA and lighting. If any of you have seen the film "Männersache", then this is where all the stand-up sections were apparently filmed. This means that the Scheinbar has become very, very popular. As I've said, I was on with 15 other acts - not just comedy, but magic, juggling and singer-songwriters. It was very, very cramped backstage and almost impossible to move for guitars. It was also very hot. Toilets are behind the dressing room - one plus, meaning they are easy to reach - but are shared with the public, who have to squeeze past waiting acts. Having said that, the crowd were good, with a large group from NRW. Scheinbar runs for most of the week, making it possible for you to perform from Wednesday to Saturday. Crowds vary wildly. The place was packed out on Friday. I felt I had a good set, although I was tired from the journey.
Saturday - Comedy Gone Wild
This was the English show at Kookaburra Comedy Club. Kookaburra feels more professional than the Scheinbar. It has a better dressing room, with a private toilet, for a start. It also has a much larger auditorium, and the possibility of getting something to eat at reasonable prices. "Comedy Gone Wild" is normally presented by Summer Banks, although Dave Cassel was presenting when I was there, which was a bit of luck, as I've performed several times with Dave. The audience, unfortunately, was small, probably due to the late hour, although very responsive. Club owner Sanjay Shihora congratulated me on my set. Sanjay saw my second-ever stand-up performance and it's safe to say I've come a long way since then. CGW seems to have a number of regulars, although it seems quite easy to get a spot.
Sunday - Kookaburra Offene Bühne
In contrast to the previous night, the German-language Open Mike night starts a lot earlier, and is very competitive, with experienced performers like Horst Blue and Cloozy turning up. Then again, both of them were at the Scheinbar too. Again, there is a first-come, first-served rule for performers. The audience is big, but less receptive than the Scheinbar crowd. The evening was compered by Burkhard Bäring, whom I met previously down in Trier. A reasonable performance, technically better than my Scheinbar one, but with less reception.
Monday - Back Home and Kunst Gegen Bares
KGB takes place at the Severinsberg Theater in Cologne, and is the only show in town with a Berlin-style policy of allowing anyone who asks to perform. I was second onstage. KGB also has absolutely no microphone or PA of any kind, so it is down to the performer to project. I don't know whether it was the good-natured banter with the show's presenters - Gerd Buurmann and Maria-Luise Winkendick - or the fact that I had to project to be heard, but I felt this performance went over better than any performances the previous week.
So there you have it, then. Further details to be posted in the links section of this website, if you wish to find the venues yourself.