I get annoyed when acts at open mic nights don't have the courtesy to support the rest of the bill by smiling or engaging with whoever's on stage.
It doesn't take much to be supportive. It helps the whole night zip by with energy, instead of creating a ponderous, wading-through-treacle-like evening, which doesn't help anyone. For me, it's basic etiquette, and while some comics always connect with what's happening and want to be entertained, others are selfish and not prepared to help anyone but themselves.
This was the case tonight, when I did a short spot at a show that's actually one of the nicer New Material nights in London. It didn't help that the gig took place in the worse of the two rooms it runs in (a space that would be a strong contender in any Least Focused Room on the Planet competitions) and that the usual MC wasn’t there to keep a tight ship. While I spent the first half trying to be encouraging, the view from the stage when I got up there resembled a doctors’ waiting room in the midst of a depression epidemic, and the fault didn't solely lay with me; there were a few friendly faces, but I really had to seek them out. I just don’t get it; everyone there knew how dispiriting it is to play to a disinterested audience, yet a fair few couldn’t muster up a happy face.
Maybe I’m being too sensitive, but it’s a shame so many acts on the open-mic scene don’t give back what they want to get; and now I’ll climb down from my soapbox.