I feel like I can do almost anything (except find regular time to write a blog apparently) after having been thrown out of the nest and forced to learn to fly.
I did my first 45 minute set the other day and I not only survived it, I conquered that puppy. It is not lost on me for a second that I have probably been ready in terms of material to do a set that long for a while, but never had the chutzpah (balls) to make it happen. Thanks to my man Kevin Garnier for playing the role of mama bird and telling me that I was headlining his awesome club before I could protest.
Now that it’s behind me I am full of this hunger for more. That’s the thing about accomplishing a goal; it feels really spectacular in the moment and then the bar is instantly raised and it’s time to go back to work. I proved to myself that I can stand in front of a crowd for nearly an hour and speak openly about being gay, growing up poor, and working at a school while being allergic to children. So now I have to prove to myself that I can do it on TV. When that happens I’ll come up with a brand new goal for myself and keep upping the ante until I’m dead.
What have you been afraid to do? Are there places in your life you want to be, goals that you want to accomplish that seem just on the other side of an impenetrable but transparent wall? What is keeping you from your success?
I don’t have a magic answer that will fit everyone’s situation. This isn’t that kind of blog. What I do know is that usually the thing standing in the way of my successes is me – my fear, my laziness, my laziness, my lack of proofreading, my distractions, etc. I’m so proud that I pushed through all of that this past weekend, prepped my ass off, and gave the audience a performance that they could enjoy and I could use as a new baseline for determining success.
When I first started comedy I could not imagine telling a whole 5 minute set. It was simply too long. Who had that much to say? It was kind of like learning to drive and hitting 30mph for the first time. Holy shit, slow down son! But now here we are, breaking speed limits and delivering long sets with material to spare. With proper training and practice, normal resets itself and our expectations change. I expect to walk into a club and be on my A game now. For however long the mic is in front of me, I’m bringing heat. I’ll end the cliché parade there, but the point remains – with each new accomplishment I grow in confidence and expectation. I won’t get satisfied, because I am only as good as my next 45 minutes.