Breaking the rules.

“Let’s face it, I’m at that age where the only way I can lose weight is to either cut my hair or shave my legs.” — Deana O’Hara

If you are looking for a what not to say to an audience of mostly men, I can give you a list.

There are three things men cannot easily recover from.




The rules for this particular night were simple, keep it PG. I played by the rules and stumbled upon an unwritten understanding that women shall not tell the truth in front of men. Out of 7 comic only 2 of us were female and neither of us made the finals.

There is a difference between killing on stage and dying.

I died Saturday and I’m okay with that.

My set isn’t for men, it’s for women. The judges were male and they did not like me.

While a more experienced speaker will look at their audience and adjust accordingly, I chose to  stay the course and be myself. Was that the right call? Not if I wanted to win. Fortunately, I didn’t go there to win a contest. I went there to defeat fear. In staying the course I beat the voice in my head that insists that if I continue being myself, I’ll be alone. Misplaced safety nets are detrimental to my well-being.

Just as a child cannot receive self-esteem by being given A’s for effort alone, neither can I. Confidence comes only as an after effect of facing down my fears and doing the unthinkable.

Being fully me sometimes comes with a price, like losing a contest. And yet the joy my inner woman shows every time I allow her to be heard is priceless.

9 thoughts on “Breaking the rules.

  1. There are times that you MUST step into your fear zone in order to get control of it. I like what you said about not going there to win. You went to battle your fear zone and you did a great job. If you ever decide to do a gig on pets, let me know. I have several stories you can use! 1. God answers prayer for a prodigal dog; 2. Eyes in the wall; 3. The cat in the sack; The snake party…


    • Thanks Rena. That means a lot. And yes, I’d love to hear your stories. I bet they are hilarious. I will add though – there was this one joke I told that I will NEVER tell from the stage again. It took people places they probably should not go, even if the women DID relate. LOL


  2. Wow, Deana! Congrats. You are owning your voice. I respect that. I’m in the process of attempting to find another layer of finding and owning my own voice. You’re a role model! 🙂


    • Wow. Thank you Joan. One of the most difficult tasks for me right now is putting to rest the ingenue mask I developed as protection. Even though my old tapes tell me I do and she’s fighting me tooth and nail to hang on, she’s slowly being replaced with authenticity. It’s a process I can only learn from other women. Good luck with your new layers, I bet you like what you find. So glad we are friends.


    • Thank you. You’ve caught me several years into the journey. Calculated risks. I just find one thing that scares me and I do it. Sounds far more simple in writing than it does in application. I started very small, trust me. And still shook my way through it. 🙂


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