Laugh, try an open mic at Live at 215

Let me start off by saying that I am not a stand-up comic — not even close. Some people say I am, but nothing could be further from the truth.

It’s been a while since I’ve gone to an open mic and tried out some material. The last time was in August 2013.

The first time I did any stand-up comedy was in late 2012. It was at the old Loony Bin on 21st and Woodlawn.

It was nerve-racking. The adrenaline was pumping. I was sweating. Then I bombed in front of maybe 20 people.

However, knowing the worst that could happen were people not laughing, I decided to go again the next week.

They laughed at the first joke out of the gate. It was exhilarating. There was only about 30 people watching, but they laughed before I failed to receive one on my next joke.

It was something I half-heartedly pursued in Chicago that following summer. I took an internship at The Comedy Bar – Chicago (co-owned by Jim Belushi), performed a few times at open mics around the city, and watched experienced stand-up comics refine their acts before making it to bigger gigs in New York and Los Angeles.

Some of the comics I watched have their own Comedy Central Specials, appeared in Adam Devine’s House Party and Chelsea Lately or are writers for Tosh.0, Sanford & Son and many other television shows.

This journey started off with one little open mic at the old Loony Bin. It was a risk, but I’m happy I took it.

Fortunately for fans of stand-up comedy, the Loony Bin is open at a new location with a new name.

Live at 215 Performance Theater hosts comedy shows (mainly stand-up) from Thursday to Sunday and is located at 215 N. St. Francis, in the downtown area.

They’ve brought back open mic nights for people wishing to try out some of their material. They serve food and drinks while allowing people to watch their friends succeed and fail.

Nothing was more fun for my friends than to watch me do stand-up and completely fail, but you aren’t able to tell if they are laughing with you or sarcastically at you, so it works out for both parties.

It’s 21 to enter the club, but for the “Funniest in Wichita” competition, it’s 18 to enter and a perfect opportunity for a laugh. On night’s the club doesn’t sell out, they allow 18-year-olds to enter.

I suggest to everyone that they try stand-up at an open mic. One laugh can give you the confidence to never be nervous about public speaking again.

For more information, go to