Coming this April, I will be doing something that scares me to death and it’s right up there with jumping from a perfectly good airplane. Facing a charging silver back gorilla wouldn't be as scary. Yes, it will be for my fellow family of bloggers, but the idea of standing in front of people with the spotlight solely on me is slightly unnerving. Stand up comedy? What the heck am I thinking?
I have taught EMT and Paramedic classes. I teach framing on a semi-regular basis. You ask me to talk on transgender issues, I will talk you ear off. I have even lead worship on a church retreat. But to do stand up comedy and be intentionally funny is mind blowing.
I crave attention, but fear rejection. I am naturally sarcastic and witty, but to be funny with prepared material is a bit daunting. When I write, I can sit at the computer or the blank page before me as long as I need until the right formula or combination of words is formed.
What am I thinking to agree to this? Was I momentarily delusional thinking that I could make this work? Do I have the right mixture of elements to produce the right outcome?
I charge ahead with this idea and prepare material and repeat each step over and over and over in my head. I work through the countless permutations of the same joke. I write notes in my journal, crossing out, rewriting and taking a nearly logical methodology to the whole thing. I can obsess over one joke for hours – reworking, rethinking, recalculating. I review all the variables; will everyone think it is funny? Will they even understand the joke? Do I need to be more animated or will words be sufficient. Can I remember the routine wi. . . . . . Squirrel!
Sorry. Where was I? Oh yes And the most important question, will I look like a fool? It's one thing to sit behind a computer and write and be open with one's self, but to do it in front of seemingly live people, I'm ready for it?
These questions and many more flood my being and my days.
The other details start to add on to the already growing pile of worries. Do I use note cards? Do I trust my failing aged memory? (insert big fat no on that one) What order do I put the jokes? Will the end product be lessened if they do not flow together?
UGH! Why do I always over analysis every endeavor?
I’ve tested a few of the jokes on close friends and gotten positive results. Some lines have shown a need to refine the final product. The delivery of many more of the lines will need further study, practice and experimentation. Though the final product can be obtained, the quality leaves much to be desired.
The good news is I still have several weeks to work out the kinks and I know I will be able to count on a few good friends and their infectious laughter to act as a catalyst in the crowd. I’m sure all the questions and concerns will be worked out in due time. All the experimenting I will do between now and then will also prove useful to help conquering the fear. I must stay the course and I will remember this the rest of my life. I know that if nothing else is accomplished, I have checked stand up comedy off of my bucket list. (Now to see the mountain gorillas)