By Forrest Clancy
Stand Up Comfort Zone
Sunday night was probably my favourite night of the whole course so far.
About 20 of us performed 5 minutes of stand up in front of a real audience, at a real comedy club. But we have been getting ready for this. First off, for the lat six weeks we’ve been attending comedy night classes. Each week we reel off our jokes, we see which ones get laughs, and we bin those that do not. But on top of these rehearsals, we’ve been pitching ideas to a crowd of 50 every week since September. By this point in the course, it’s not so nerve wracking to pitch to each other.
Sunday night was, without a doubt, the most nervous I have felt the entire year. Two hours beforehand, I was at the bar sinking pints like they were water. 10 minutes before I went on stage I was bent over my knees in the back row hyperventilating. Tom was hugging me and promising that I was going to be ok. Marta was laughing at me, offering me beer.
I didn’t need beer. What I needed was for the entire ordeal to be over. I was far out of my comfort zone. So far that I hadn’t even told my friends or family where I was. I was too scared for anyone I knew to see this.
And so I prayed for it to be over. 5 minutes before my call, I was backstage forgetting my lines, and then 5 seconds after I got on stage, the whole set just came rushing back to me. Turns out all I needed was for the damn thing to begin.
The ‘comfort zone’ is the best learn that I have taken from the course this year. It’s impossible to remain outside of it 100% of the time. But stepping in and out in reps is working for me so far. You step out, you fail, it feels horrible. You come back in, you process it, and you step out again to learn some more. Each time, you feel yourself getting stronger.
It’s pretty cool. It’s pretty reassuring.
I could be tempted- maybe- to perform again. If you are reading and you might feel the same way, here is my card. Call me.
The copy scores 89.3 in the Flesch Reading Ease test