Being embarrassed on stage seems like it would be the worst feeling. Having no one around to save you as you are bombing does not seem like a great way to make a living.
But from my study of standup comedians over the past few months, it has led me to see that that is the reality. Most comedians (at least the ones who make it) start off working 7 nights a week and doing open mike nights a few times per night because they crave the opportunity to get on stage.
Yet many times they miss the mark on getting laughs. They may hit every once in a while but some jokes (or most from what I’ve seen) do not work at all. And they have to feel the wrath known as silence.
Ever told a story that you expected laughter after and then you got crickets? That is detrimental to the evening but imagine that happening in a room designed to focus on you with a hundred set of eyes. That’s Exorcist-style fear.
And even though I know that this fear is not the worst thing that can happen to me (dismemberment is usually at the top of all of these lists along with being buried alive or drowning or hearing a children’s choir), I do realize that this is a huge fear of mine. I do not want to feel that awkward moment because those are experiences that will remain with you for the rest of your life.
And now that I know one of my worst fears, I’m ready to tackle it by just plunging head first into it and taking the risk with a joke or thought I deem worthy of saying and seeing where it gets me. I hope it ends up going well but I’ll be fine because it is worth saying.
What’s your worst fear? And what can you do to help get over it?