I gave stand up comedy a good try for about a year and had a blast doing it. I met some awesome people, had tons of laughs and learned some awesome lessons.
Most people told me I had huge balls to go up on stage (which made me wonder what they say to women comics). It doesn't seem that way to me but I learned a couple of great lessons by trying something creative out.
- If you're gonna do it, really do it. I took classes at the San Francisco Comedy College and went up at least once or twice a week. Now that's not a bunch, but I definitely put the effort in. It's real easy to justify "failure" if you don't really invest in it.
- If you're gonna do it, you will succeed. Nothing's better than being on stage killing a crowd. It can be as small as one joke going really well and you're hooked.
- If you're gonna do it, you will fail. One of the greatest lessons I learned doing stand up was how to deal with failure. Comedy has the unique dynamic of giving you immediate feedback on whether you're killing or not and it's sure hard to deal with silence, a great lesson.
- If you're gonna do it, you'll meet different people. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have met most of the cats I met doing comedy in my regular life. That's a blessing, embrace it and you're sure to broaden your perspective.
I also learned a few things about comics.
- We're neurotic. At least the good ones are.
- We love the spotlight. Even the bad ones.
- We're resilient. It's a frickin' grind but many of us keep at it.
- We're not very realistic. There are tons of us and we all (in the back of our minds) think there's an outside chance we'll make it.
- We all love my jokes. Not really, but I couldn't help myself.
I don't think stand up comedy is for everyone, but I do think creative endeavors of some sort are. It will challenge you in ways that you can't even imagine.
That's why I tried it.