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Bombing is not NEARLY as Fun as NOT Bombing

12 Mar

I am going to be SO SUCCESSFUL!

You may recall that this time last week I was ready to quit my job because my first foray into comedy at an open mic night went so well. Maybe I wasn’t ready to QUIT, but I  was ready to at least consider myself a “natural” stand-up comedian.

You guys, I am not a “natural” stand-up comedian. I am funny,  and I did do really well last week, but I can’t just jump on a stage and run through my material and nail it, and to think I COULD do that brings to mind the post I wrote about being a narcissist.  I am surprised I’m not a politician because I do hubris followed by contrite pretty damn well.

I had two friends come to see me, and why not because my god I’m so so good at this comedy thing. Honestly, they were the only two in the bar, the rest of the audience was made up of other comedians and employees of the bar. EASY PEASY. I can talk to them and be relaxed and just jump up there, kill it, then be showered with compliments, money, and offers of sexual favors afterwards.

You guys, I cannot talk to them, be relaxed, and just jump up there, kill it, then be showered with anything except the disapproving glares of other comedians and my friends. I rambled, I talked too fast, I skipped most of my material. I. Was. AWFUL. And  I knew it as it was happening, and yet I could not stop. I had to finish my set, and when I was given the sign that my time was up I literally said “THANK GOD I CAN GET OFF THIS STAGE NOW.” It was the exact opposite from my experience last week when I loved it and couldn’t wait to get back up on stage and do it again.

I learned that I need alone time before my set, I need to pull myself together and meditate and/or try deep breathing techniques. I need to concentrate. I need to talk slower. I need to punch my, um, punch lines.  There are a whole lot of things I need to do that I did not do last night. And it showed. And it felt horrible.

I was BUMMED at first. I SUCK AT THIS AND SHOULD NEVER DO IT AGAIN. OH well, comedy dream, we had a good run. Then, thanks to the other comedians who have become my friends, I was given the advice listed above, and told that first of all this happens to everybody and second of all, this was only my second time.

All I can do is learn and try again, and I will be trying again tonight actually. My family and friends are all so supportive. My sister sent me some clips of comedians talking about the first time they bombed. Patton Oswalt, one of my favorite comedians, tells the story of a time he bombed.

I don’t think this is the LAST time I will ever bomb, and I don’t put myself in the same category as Patton Oswalt (or the same as 99% of the other local comedians I’ve gotten to know) but this is something I have wanted to do, and I’m doing it.

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You Say Narcissist Like It’s a BAD Thing

25 Feb

This morning The Huffington Post called me a narcissist. They might not have called me out by name, but they might as well have. It’s like they have been following my blog and wanted to let me know exactly how they feel about me.

I know many of you will not click the link above and read the entire article, so allow me to condense it for you.  Narcissists don’t take to aging well. They (we) feel a disproportionate amount of sadness when we realize we are not receiving the same attention we once received in our youth. We may do things like get a lot of plastic surgery to try to convince people that we are actually still attractive, or we may try to garner attention by, say, trying something we have always wanted to try, like stand-up comedy or something. Okay, they don’t SAY that, but it is there, between the lines.

Per the article, these are the 5 surefire signs that I am a narcissist

  1. Believing that you’re better than others
  2. Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
  3. Exaggerating your achievements or talents
  4. Expecting constant praise and admiration
  5. Believing that you’re special and acting accordingly

What I find interesting, actually I find MANY things interesting about this article, is that there seems to be a very fine line between self-confidence and narcissism.   I teeter on the line between feeling like I deserve anything at all to feeling like I deserve everything. It’s crazy-making and something I work on constantly to obtain balance, but I didn’t know it made me a narcissist.

The second trait listed above really puzzles me because isn’t this what we are TAUGHT to do? Even my new-age hippie vision board is really just a bunch of pictures of things I fantasize about so that I can manifest my own destiny or some such bullshit (and yes, I have a vision board. I’m allowed to call it bullshit).

oscar

I am writing this tongue in cheek of course. I don’t think I am a true narcissist, but, and the article fails to mention this, each and every one of us has to have a bit of narcissism for our own self-preservation.  When this kind of thing is written in a flowery script with a pretty background, it’s inspirational. When it’s on the list of the traits of a narcissist, it’s scary.

I have never been one for labels or boxes, but I do believe that in the realm of psychology labels have their place. The thing about that article, and many like it, is it sort of spews all this information out then leaves it there for public consumption for all of us to diagnose ourselves. I try to stay away from WEB MD when I have a stomach ache so that I don’t end up convincing myself that I have a tumor.  I imagine I should probably stay away from articles like this one for the same reason.

I wonder, does the fact that I think this applies to me MAKE me a narcissist or would I be more of a narcissist if I read the article but saw none of myself  in it?

Enjoy this humorous video that totally applies to both this post and my life.

J. A. Allen

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