Comedian Elvis Anderson, performing at Miami Improv last night, said he relies on tricks of the trade to keep his jitters at bay.
"You really can't see much up there (on stage) because the lights are so bright," Anderson said. "So in a sense, there is a major disconnect between you and the audience because you can't really see them, but you can hear them laugh -- and you can definitely hear silence."
Anderson was one of 13 local comedians who took the stage last night for Miami Improv's New Faces of Comedy, where fresh meat tries out their best jokes on a crowd that, Anderson said, is a bit more thick-skinned than most.
"Miami is a more cynical city than most cities," he said. "And you can probably be a little more offensive and aggressive here than in the Bible Belt or in the Midwest."
Anderson said he had to make sure he had a posse in tow to perform (a minimum of 10 tag-alongs) and that there is no such thing as safety in numbers with this 305 crowd.
Fellow stand-up comic Mike Mercadel joked he still uses drastic measures to ensure he draws a few chuckles from the audience.
"I just threaten them with violence," he quipped.