I almost didn’t get on stage. It didn’t matter to me that everyone got 60 seconds to practice what we’d learned that week and that we were all equals. I took one at everyone else and decided – yet again – I wasn’t enough.
I hate it when I do that. Whenever I give fear a foothold it strangles me.
The rolling cinema of gloom that can be my brain had me crashing and burning before I even got out of my chair to get in line.
Your premise is wrong.
No one will get the set up.
No one will laugh.
I don’t know where she came from. But this voice rose up inside of me and told my inner brat to shut up already. I got in line and was immediately hugged by the other scared out of their mind newcomers to comedy but were gonna do it anyway. I had nothing to gain by trying and nothing to lose by failing.
My turn came and I totally did it wrong. Seriously I did. My brain added something I’d once told in Sunday Shool that wasn’t mine before it found it’s way to the pieces of the joke that were mine. And I forgot to stop after I ran that premise and went right into the rest of the bit.
I went over by about two minutes.
I got called out on the joke that isn’t mine. I almost died when that happened but the guy said the greatest thing after that. “the next time you get onstage, record yourself. Your punch lime is good, I never saw it coming.”
He said next time and funny!
Okay I’ll be honest, all I heard was hack at first, it took a few hours for the rest to kick in and be received.
When my roommate got back she told me the rest if the truth. In the three years she’s watched me on stage learning how to tell jokes, this was the most confident she’s ever seen me. My stage fright is gone. She filmed me. She said she can’t wait for me to hear the laughter for myself.
I might have done three things wrong but I did the most important thing right. I refused to let fear win.
I’m seeing fruit. What a blessing. That is encouragement enough to keep trying.
The photo is of me and a funny woman I met while in Nashville. She goes by Small Fire and she is amazingly funny. Look her up.
That’s my small victory story for today. Would you be willing to share with me a fear you are facing down? That way I can cheer for you as well.