Saturday, May 18, 2013

Comedy and the art of Fear Maintenance

Someone after my show today told me they love comedy, but weren't brave enough to try it.

"Neither am I," I thought.

I have a myriad of fears related to comedy and writing. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • That I don’t have enough talent.
  • That I won't be universally loved. 
  • That I'll be "funny for a girl."
  • That the pay off won’t be worth the time and effort I put in.
  • That the constant travel will make me lonely and detached and social media (which I'm failing at, see my last blog) will become my main outlet to meaningful relationships.
  • That people will steal my material.
  • That I’ll accidentally think of things other people are already doing and it’ll look like I’m the one stealing material.  
  • That the frequency of flying will increase my chances of dying in a plane crash. (Although I hear in the case of most plane crashes the cabin depressurizes and you just fall asleep. In that case, I'd actually achieve two of my life goals: sky diving and dying in my sleep.)
  • That I won't be able to think of a perfect punchline. 
  • That I'll think of the perfect punchline at 3am, convince myself I'll remember it in the morning, go back to sleep, and then wake up having forgotten it.
  • That I'll bomb when the guy I like is in the audience.
  • That I'll bomb when anyone I know is in the audience.
  • That I'll fail entirely. Whatever that even means.  
I've heard people give huge spiels about how they got over their fears and live free of any hesitation or trepidation. (Always remember that as Christians, all our struggles must be past tense. We're not allowed to have any current least not if we're reading our Bibles and having TWTL on a daily basis. Apparently.) So I must be doing something wrong if I'm still afraid and I'm doing the very thing I'm afraid of. Wait, does that even make sense?

I continue doing comedy, not because I'm terribly gifted, but because I love it. I love it even when I'm not the one doing it. I love watching comedy, reading comedy, reading about comedy (yes, those are two different things), talking about the philosophy behind comedy, and being around funny people. Writing and performing comedy seemed the logical next step in my obsession with laughter. I'm privileged to get to do it on any level, and still can't believe some of the opportunities I've been given through my "out of control hobby."

Success looks different for everyone. (And yes, I'm aware that's probably what people say when they're failing.) I figure as long as I'm having fun and people are laughing, I must be succeeding. So, my fears and I will continue on with this incredibly random, sometimes sleep depriving journey. With that, I'm going to bed.

If you're reading this, it means I mustered up the courage to press the "Publish" button.

So, am I the only one who struggles with fear in what they're already doing? Bueller? Bueller?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nope, I'm a painter...I used to say a wannabe painter, but have braved the title, painter, because I infact do paint and love it. Keep it up! We all need to!