If you've often been told you have a great sense of humor and you enjoy making funny comments throughout the day, you might be interested in taking this skill to the stage. It might take a little time before you're signed to a pay-per-view special, so why not start where virtually every other aspiring comedian began? Hitting a local comedy club on open mic night and performing a few minutes is terrifying -- there's no way to get around this emotion -- but it's also the best way to see if you're cut out for comedy. Before you grab the microphone for the first time, here are three important tips to help make your act a winner.

Be Original And Genuine

One of the central keys to crafting a comedy act that people will enjoy is to be original. No one's looking for an amateur to copy a well-recognized performer. Although every aspiring comedian has influences, try to determine your unique voice. Being genuine behind the microphone is something people will notice and gravitate toward. If you're carrying a big-time persona onto the stage that doesn't seem realistic, you're risking coming off as being a little cheesy or unbelievable. Be yourself -- you don't have to take the common approach of using curse words or acting ticked off, for example, if these traits aren't in the nature of your personality.

Invite Friends And Family Members

It's a lonely feeling standing on the stage and looking out toward a sea of strangers, but having a few familiar faces in the crowd can quickly reduce your anxiety. Plus, you know these people are attending to support you and that they'll laugh at even your weakest jokes, which might prompt others in the club to chuckle, too. Don't forget the fact that comedy clubs are businesses that rely on cover charges and drink sales -- if you show up with a crowd that spends money all evening, the club owner might remember you and invite you back.

Be Prepared To Fail

Ask 10 comics about their first open mic night and the vast majority of them will tell you that they bombed. Trying anything the first time puts you at risk of failing, but if you know that this first attempt is a learning experience, you're already on the right track. Try to remember which jokes didn't go over well and refine them before you hit the stage again. While it's important to find your own voice, don't be afraid to learn from those performing before and after you. The right timing can often be just as important as a funny punchline.

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