By Helena Smith
Officially funny. Two words I thought I’d never hear in association with myself. Also, two words that my friends, no matter how many certificates I proudly present to them will let me believe.
Despite this, they couldn’t deny how good our comedy showcase actually was. Those extra-long Thursdays really did pay off. Though I’m worried saying that it makes it seem like the comedy lessons were a chore. Yes, I have to admit that at 5 pm on a Thursday, with three dead baby’s (I want to clarify now before I look completely mascaistic that’s a eugoahims for our ideas), 6 cups of coffee down and 3 deadlines for the following day, it didn’t seem that appealing.
But those thoughts instantly dissolved within five minutes of the lesson. Turns out being overtired means you are more willing to laugh at and say more weird shit. Or perhaps being exhausted meant we just laughed at things that weren’t funny?
Whatever the case, despite my feelings an hour before it was exactly the cure that I needed. Not only has comedy school taught me how to be funny (sort of) it has also reinstated the benefit of how switching off and using a different part of your brain for a bit can leave you feeling refreshed and ready to go.
However, all of these positive thoughts I had about our comedy lessons certainly didn’t make getting up on Sunday with the prospect of performing my ‘set’ in front of friends and family any easier. I went through all the usual stages of fear. Hot sweats, sobbing and bladder dysfunction.
Mr C in our last lesson told me I still needed to develop a deeper connection with my material (I had been focusing so hard on remembering my lines I sounded as if I was performing a monologue rather than a comedy set), and I’ll be honest I hadn’t practised as much as I should have to put this right.
So I woke up on Sunday kicking myself. Why, why, why! I was going let myself down, Mr C down and my friends were going to have paid £7.50 to watch me perform a monologue.
My last minute practice then naturally took place on the tube, frantically mumbling to myself whilst a mother shuffled her children away from my direction.
Luckily, the rehearsal went fine; I got an “it’s good” from Mr C. But I couldn’t help but feel deflated. Everyone knows ‘good’ means average and I try to do everything in my power to avoid any association with that word. But of course, I only had myself to blame. I decided at this point that however, it turned out it was still a fun experience, so I joined my friends and watched the first couple of acts before my big debut.
Now, I don’t know how many more times the universe needs to point out to me that overthinking is bad and relaxing and trusting yourself is good, but I hoping it will sink in soon. My performance as I was told, was my best to date. And though yes, those people probably said the same to others, I genuinely believe it was.
I felt myself physically relax into what I was saying and a natural flow kicked in. I didn’t forget one bit and was even able to ad lib a little. I was chuffed. I knew after I got my first laugh, that even if I didn’t get any more I had overcome another milestone that before SCA I would have never dreamt of achieving and that felt great.