Stand-up comedy is a wild artform! It is community based and collaborative.

Everyone should get to experience the feeling of writing a great joke, telling it on stage and having an audience clap and cheer for their efforts.

Open mics are central to the world of stand-up comedy.  A true open mic is where anyone who wants to speak gets the opportunity to express themselves. Did you know in major cities like New York and Los Angeles some comedians will perform at 3-4 open mics across town in a single night? Other open mics in high density areas can last upwards of 5-6 hours…so a comedy mic show is similar to a night of karaoke. As you may imagine a 6 hour open mic may get a little bit tedious for both audience members, the venue and comedians.

Recently VB Creates hosted a unique open mic in Calgary and tackled it with some human centered design questions she stole from her product development friends.

How can we

  • How can we make the mic open for anyone and everyone who wants to talk?
  • How can we ensure the emotional comfort of paying audience members when we don’t have direct control over the content of the show?
  • How can we preserve the branding of the venue without bubble wrapping freedom of expression?
  • How can we champion our own values: silliness and kindness— to speakers who have may have experienced hardship?

VB Creates solution was to put extra effort in to the open mic model and create a comedy gameshow brunch titled “Eggs in the City

Anyone who wanted to sign up and do comedy could come down and joke about anything they liked. Just like a regular old comedy open mic (Which we love).

No rules for jokes, the only rule was that the comedians needed to spin a wheel and comply to what the wheel landed on.

The wheel had prizes! But the wheel also had Penalties! You could win free breakfast OR you might have to perform wearing a goofy hat.

As a female entrepreneur, VB Creates is not the biggest fan of sexist material, but sexist material just doesn’t hit quite as hard when a bully is wearing a very silly hat. There’s no problem that can’t be solved with clever visual design.

This kept the show light and fun, everyone was on their thinking toes and all the performers – whether new or seasoned- got some big laughs from the crowd by using their comedic skills to react to the fun curveballs the wheel was throwing.

Think this formula might work great at a venue-based business you own? Or maybe you would like to help boost CONFIDENCE and PUBLIC SPEAKING ability in your own corporate team using this idea? Email to start planning!