By Noah Kaufman
Updated March 20, 2014
You clearly just don't understand their art
© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS

We’ve all gotten the Facebook invite. “Come see my show at [street you’ve never heard of] in Queens. It promises to be a powerful, yet hilarious self-examination of the humanity that exists inside each of us, but also inside me specifically. And I get to sing. PBR will be $2.” And you really have no choice but to go. She is your friend and you agreed to go five months ago when she started talking about it. Here are seven tips for making it to the end.

1. Pregame, pregame, pregame

The only words you’re going to need to say tonight are, “wow, you were great.” So drink just enough to keep those four words in your vocabulary.

2. Phone a friend

It might seem unfair to drag someone else with you, especially if they don’t know the star of the show, but not only will you have someone to talk to on the ride there, you will have a built in excuse to leave as soon as it’s over. “I’d love to hang out, but Jess has got a thing early in the morning.”

3. Show up at show time

It says the show starts at 8. That means the show starts at 8:45. If you try to be a good guest and get there early, you’ll be setting yourself up for 90 minutes of hangout time at a black box theater with questionable cell service.

4. Expect the expected

You read the invite. You know what this is all about it. Don’t talk yourself into believing this will be Book of Mormon meets Hamlet (although if anyone does put that on you should probably go see it). Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

5. Clap and laugh at appropriate times

This should be obvious, but 60 percent of audiences seem legitimately confused about how to behave. The whole night is going to be way less awkward for everyone if you lead them in the right direction.

6. Get your face time

The point of this exercise is to show your friend you support her. Don’t run away without telling her what a good job she did. Otherwise you just watched something for an hour and half that made you question the value of all liberal arts degrees for no reason.

7. Reciprocity

And finally we come to another important reason for your attendance. It turns out you’ve got a show coming up too and it would be soooo good to try to pack the place.