Friday, May 08, 2020

Live Streaming Comedy

I just watched an experienced comedian struggling with the live streamed experience. It's a different environment & simply not the same as performing before a live audience. You just have to imagine they are there & are reacting. Streaming through a medium like Facebook means you not only can't hear the audience reaction, but there may be a non-trivial delay before the audience even sees your video and hears your joke, IIRC you need to allow 30 seconds, which means you can't rely on text "ha ha" comments arriving at the right time.

Another option is to perform in a virtual meeting using Zoom or one of its competitors. We've been running our Live Streamed Comedy open mic since day 3 of Covid-19 level 4 lock down & one of the things that has made it work for us is that we chose to use Zoom. We never even considered hearing the laughter in our platform selection criteria, but it was so lucky for us that we did. It makes it seem more like a face-to-face comedy show. If you don't want to have a fully open zoom room, you can also live stream the meeting to facebook.

I'm not sure, but I think if you only have the free version of zoom you can't livestream from it. I've had a brief look at some of Zoom's competitors and I couldn't see a free version that allows direct streaming to facebook although Google Hangouts seems to allow streaming to Youtube which might suffice.

As a true geek I've had a bash at capturing Zoom into OBS Studio, overlaying the Zoom feed and a locally captured video using green screens & streaming the output of that to Facebook. Yes, it worked, eventually but I was too consumed making the tech work to focus on my comedy.

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