Open Mic List: I Built an Android App for Comedians
If you’re reading this, hopefully you’re a stand-up comedian who wants to get funnier at least in part by performing more frequently. That’s the intended audience of this post: comedians who want to be better at comedy.
Whether you agree with me or not, it’s my personal belief that you should only refer to yourself as a comedian when you’re on stage. Otherwise, you’re just talking about being a comedian. You can talk about the shows you’ve played, or wanted to play, or couldn’t play, but none of that makes you a comedian. I’m a comedian when I’m making people laugh (or at least trying). The second I’m talking about making people laugh instead, I’m just some asshole. The same is true of you.
I’m not going to bullshit you and claim that I’m some kind of expert at stand-up. I’ve been performing for a long time, but that doesn’t mean anything. I really can’t fucking believe it, but I’ve been a stand-up comedian for twelve years now. I started in Los Angeles when I was fifteen years old, a high school sophomore. I’m twenty seven now. What mattered to me most in my first two years was getting on stage every night, ideally twice or three times per night. That’s hard to do in LA; you need the right motivation to drive that much for free. I didn’t give a shit about school, my home life was broken, and my friends played sports or joined bands. I just wanted to make fun of all of that horseshit, so I needed as many stages as I could find.
This was during the pre-social internet, around 1999. Finding open mic’s at fifteen was difficult. I found a few messageboards here, a blog there, and scrapped together a nightly schedule of free performances that carried me all over the city most nights of the week. I would print out the list of open mics and keep it in my car, so where ever I happened to be in the city, I could find the closest open mic. If I left my open mic list at home, or if that list wasn’t up to date, I didn’t get to be a comedian that night. I got to talk about comedy, same as any night, but I didn’t get to be a comedian.
Here’s why I’m actually telling you all of this:
It’s 2012. I’ve got a phone with the entire motherfucking internet on it, and with I intend to be a stand-up comedian.
I made Open Mic List, a free smartphone app for comedians.
It’s easy — open the app, find the nearest stage, be a comedian.
Currently, the app is only available for Android devices, but there will be an iOS version released in the next few weeks or sooner. Hang in there, iPhone-folks. You’re used to lining up for cool shit anyway.
Here are a few screenshots:
First, pick whichever day today is.
Then, you’ll immediately see a list (or map) of all open mics near you, right now.
Get all the details for every open mic, including amount of stage time, cost, sign up instructions, and GPS navigation!
As of today, the app features Los Angeles and San Francisco open mics. More will be added very, very soon — next on the list are Boston, New York City, and Chicago. After that, the world!
- ‘Check-in’ to open mics and leave your review, optionally connecting your Facebook or Twitter accounts.
- Baked-in Yelp reviews, so you’re not just taking my word for it.
- ‘Nearby Tweets’ lets you see who’s saying what at that venue before you get there.
- ‘News’ updates (like this one) directly from Max.
You can download the Android version of Open Mic List below. I’m making this app free, so please give it a 5-star review in return.
Happy joking, everyone.