You’re right. If you believe what you say, then you are right. “I could never do that” or “I don’t know how you get up on stage” or “I’m just not funny” are all your truth. You are 100% right. Say it again. Say it so many times that this is who you are. You are the watcher, the lurker and the observer. That’s who you believe you are. This is fine. I live with a person that has absolutely no interest in being on stage. Ever. She enjoys people watching. However, she has never said any of those things either. She knows what she wants and the stage isn’t one of them.
People say “I can’t” or “I never” not because they don’t want to, but because they are afraid. What they really want to say is “I wish I could do that, but I am afraid I will fail.” Is this fair? I know it’s true because it used to be my truth. I used to tell myself that I wasn’t talented. I believed that comedy was a hobby. I was a banker for 10 years. I was a closet comedian. I had to come out! I had no choice. For years I’d watch these comedians, actors and improvisers and think “Wow. I wish I could do that, but my calling is negative option arm mortgages in this unfailing and safe real estate market.” And then my net was taken from me. My safety job, my security of life, my easy way out was gone. I had ruined the economy. The universe didn’t give a shit about my plans. It said “What you are doing is wrong for you. You know that. Do something else.”
Life wasn’t cooperating with my truth. I’m so happy that happened because I stopped caring about failing. When you fail as miserably as I did (and still do), your cards are already on the table. Everyone knows you are washed up, broke and burnt. This was my chance to fail and fail and fail and fail because I was already a failure. So I thought.
I entered into the Florida’s Funniest Comedian competition in 2010 fully expecting to be denied since I hadn’t really done much stand up during my banking days. I got in. I did okay. It was fun. I was invited back to the Hard Rock to do another set. I’ve been back a handful of times since then to perform. I’m now an instructor there and in the West Palm Beach location.
I thought it might be a hoot to audition for Laughing Gas in 2010. I had taken a few improv classes off and on and figured “Who cares. It’ll be fun.” I got in, I played, I excelled. I created Sick Puppies and we just keep growing.
I stopped telling myself what I could and couldn’t do. My next venture is TV/FILM. I got an agent a few months ago to get back out to auditions. When I was in the mix 13 years ago, I didn’t book anything. I wasn’t sent on auditions. My narrative preceded me without having to say a word. Who knows what will happen, but my first 5 auditions have been a lot of fun.
There is no narrative. I don’t tell myself anything anymore. I just look at the opportunities available and see if any of them excite me. If they do, I jump. If they don’t, I don’t. I’m trying too many things to fail at all of them at once.
If you find improv to be interesting, but you’re telling yourself “I could never do that”, you’re wrong. You’re interested. Come join us. Have fun. That’s what this is all about. Figure out your real truth.