I did a stand-up comedy open mic night for the first time ever tonight. It’s been a long time coming. For years in my former life I used to give talks about business systems and people would say “have you ever thought of being a stand-up comedian?” The same thing happens at the talks that I give on self-esteem and body image. The reason that I’ve resisted up to this point is my fear that I am only “situationally funny”, not just stand-up-and-be-funny. Also, if I’m talking about business systems or self-esteem and people don’t think I’m funny, I’m still an expert at business systems and self-esteem. If I’m doing stand up and I’m not funny then I’m just not funny – I can’t exactly pivot to how to create a prospect follow-up system or how to love your body more in three steps.
But I did it. I jumped off a cliff.
I’m a collector and teller of stories – my own and other people’s. I like to think that my stories are endlessly fascinating and that everyone wants to hear them. That’s not necessarily the case but I like to think it is. I used to think that I was a “one-upper”, someone who always had to tell a story to one-up what someone else had said. It turns out that’s not the case, I just really like telling stories and so when someone tells me a story that reminds me of one of mine I’m off. It’s not always a good thing – while people think I’m funny I can dominate a conversation without ever realizing it and I can come off as a one-upper.
So the coolest thing about tonight was that those people had come to that place to hear funny stories. I didn’t have any concern in the back of my head that I was talking too much or telling too many stories or that someone might perceive me as a one-upper or whatever. My whole job was to tell stories as well as I could and hope that people thought they were funny. I told the story of my desperately unfortunate maiden last name, and the one about the time my mom sold me for air-conditioners (You can find that one here…)
And people laughed. I had experienced comics tell me that I could have a career in stand-up and several people suggested that I do the “Funniest Person in Austin” competition. It’s possible that I was that good, it’s possible that they were being nice because it was my first time. I don’t even care. I had so much fun – I was an entertainer and the crowd was entertained and nothing makes me happier than that – whether I’m dancing, giving a talk on self-esteem, or – as it turns out- doing stand-up comedy. So I’m going to look for more and more opportunities to do and be that in my life. I’ll be happy and I’ll make a difference. Woo Hoo!!!
What are you doing to pursue joy?