I know to many this sounds like an old motto. But, old mottos have their place and many have truth in them, if only we would listen and learn from them. It IS true..you can learn from your mistakes.
We try a line or a new joke in our routine and it flops. It doesn’t work and doesn’t go anywhere. Do you throw up you’re hands and blame it on a “bad audience”, or do you try to work with the line and see if you can phrase it differently. It could be in your use of the line and, if inserted elsewhere in the routine, could be a big hit. I would say try the line in three different shows to see if you can get a response, on the offshoot that the audience you first played wasn’t in tune with the joke. If is STILL didn’t get a response, then it’s time to learn from it, and experiment by moving it about within the routine. Also be prepared to eliminate it entirely if it doesn’t work.
Also learn how to book yourself so you don’t over-book. Stretching yourself too closely, trying to cram in as many shows in a day can also be a mistake. You can’t give the first audience your full attention because you are worrying about making it to the second show! Learn to either give yourself enough time or learn to cut a show loose, to not book it.
They say “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. Learn from your mistakes and move forward. Don’t be crippled by past errors or misjudgements.
To contact Mark Wade: firstname.lastname@example.org