Not sure if you’re still around but the first time I got on stage I wanted to run so bad. I meant to do my first set in front of a weak 10-person bar crowd, instead I got a wall-to-wall 75-person comedy crowd who were hanging on my every word.
I was supposed to do 3 minutes, got cut to 2 because of a problem with the headliner (wanted more time). I did one long joke and got a good laugh. Felt great.
Since, I’ve hosted and done several guest spots at a prominent comedy club in Baltimore, MD, and done a variety of guest/feature spots in a wide variety of clubs/bar/banquet halls/country clubs/wherever I can get time. I’ve done several 300+ crowds and killed. It is the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had. I hope to someday know what that feels like in front of 10,000.
Its been almost a year and a half and I’m happy where I’m at. I kill one week, get scattered laughs the next, kill the next, and bomb the next. All part of the trade.
The pre-stage anxiety is important, it lets you know you still care enough to worry.
Side-note: If you want to get into it, start writing. I wrote for a year and a half before I ever did two minutes on a stage. It didn’t do very much for my first experience (anybody can write two somewhat decent minutes), but a week later when I was ready to really get out there and hit open mics it was really nice to have the material to play with.