Comedians invited to come out of the closet

CLOSET comedians will have their chance to try out their best lines in front of real audiences at the Byron Bay Services Club, Byron Bay, on Monday February 16 and March 2 as part of Raw Comedy, an Australia-wide competition.

Raw Comedy is Australia's best-known open mic comedy competition with gigs in every capital city and major regional centres.

Heat winners will then go on to semi-finals and state finals, with the eventual winner going up against other state winners at the national grand final at the 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival on April 19.

The champion wins a trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

All you need to do is deliver five minutes of original comedy material on stage.

Master of Ceremonies for the Byron Bay heats, Mandy Nolan, said the secret to success was to be yourself on stage.

“And don't try to be funny,” she said.

“Learning to be yourself on stage is a skill.

“New comedians think they should be like someone else and if you try to hard and need people to laugh, the audience ends up feeling sorry for you.

“Pity and humour don't go well together.

“Be detached and don't worry about the outcome, then you will do well.”

Ms Nolan said that building trust between yourself and the audience was vital.

“If your performance dies, then admit it,” she said.

“Saying 'Oh my God, I have no idea what I am doing', then the audience will laugh.

“Because as soon as you admit it, they trust you again.

“It's part of being yourself.

“Your audience wants to trust that you know what you appear like on stage, sound like and when they know that you know what is happening on stage they will relax and laugh.”

To enter go to

Tickets cost $15 and are available at the door or phone 66843443.

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