By Becky Brice
Standing up in front of an audience is a lot of people’s idea of pure hell. I should know – I’m president of that club. I’ve got better as I’ve got older by preparing my butt off so once I get up there I’m able to spout it off like a script, but still I’m far from comfortable with the idea. My voice goes funny, my hands shake, I mean it really is a full body experience. Keeping that in mind, I doubt anyone who knows me would expect me to sign up to a 6-week comedy school culminating in a stand-up performance, and yet here we are. I’ve suddenly found myself on the list of people willing to put their dignity on the line for a couple of laughs. It wasn’t an easy decision to come to of course. There was a lot of toing and froing from ‘YOLO’ to ‘nope, nope, nope, no way’, but after talking it through with Petra we shook hands and agree to go through the humiliation together. So I have an equally terrified friend to help me through, but that’s not going to save me when I’m up there, alone, most likely shaking like a leaf. Not only will there be eyes burning into me, but there will be the extra pressure of trying to make people laugh, and at precisely the right time. I’ve seen my fair share of interviews with comics talking about the stomach dropping, soul-destroying moment when jokes sink and the sound of tumbleweed engulfs them, it’s not exactly a career for the weak. So this is me jumping head first into this year. Whether I succeed or not I guess is not the point. The point is that I am trying, and who doesn’t love a trier?As preparation for my moment in the spotlight I’ve decided to list some things that could go wrong. ‘Won’t this just make me more nervous?’ I hear you cry, well maybe, who knows, let’s see.
- – I fall over when getting up on stage
- – I lose my voice
- – I forget my lines
- – I violently sneeze over the front row of the audience
- – The audience boos me off stage
- – It descends into a full-on riot with people throwing rotten fruit
- – People start leaving halfway through
- – Not one single person cracks a smileIt turns out this little exercise wasn’t such a bad idea. Seeing all these horrific scenarios written in front of me has clarified how great I have it. Of course if I fall over as I walk on stage or people threw things at me, my entire face would turn a vibrant shade of red and I’d cringe at the memory for a long time after, but life would go on, I’d still be on the course that’s going to make me into a superstar, and who knows, I could use the stumble to get my first couple of laughs. Either way, if you end up in the audience, please, be nice.