“Are you one of the comics?” I was asked last Tuesday at my second-ever gig. It was at First Laughs in Cambridge.
Well, you could call it my first gig. It was my first real one. One where I booked it myself. One where I was alone with no friends (either as comics or in the audience). I was putting myself out there.
And our good old friend Imposter Syndrome paid a visit.
“Yes, I’m one of the comics.”
I’m 51, and I can still feel like an imposter.
I’ve made so many videos about imposter syndrome in the past, and every time, it resonates with people. They will leave comments or sometimes email me to say they feel this, too. It’s as if we are kindred spirits with an affliction. But I think everyone has this. Or, at least, they should.
I’m a strong believer that if you don’t feel like a fraud once in a while, you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. You’ve become complacent. You’ve gotten soft. You’ve unpacked your bags and settled into your comfort zone.
We all do this from time to time. We wake up and realise we are in a rut. Or that life has lost its magic, and we need to do something to bring it back.
We have to embrace uncertainty.
To quote Gary John Bishop from his book “Unf*ck Yourself”, “Uncertainty is where new happens.” I read that book last night. It’s pretty good.
Yeah, we need to venture out into uncertainty sometimes.
But that doesn’t make it easy.
It’s so much easier to say and put that quote on Instagram than it actually is to actually do it.
Do the things that terrify you. Standing in front of a group of people (there were 30 at this gig, 250 at the last one) and telling jokes you hope they agree are funny… terrifies me. What better reason to do it?
The gig went well. A few people came up after and told me how much they enjoyed it.
I kept focusing on a joke I left out— I totally skipped it. Accidentally. But no one would have noticed. It was one of my favourites.
When I released my first app, and no one downloaded it, I was disappointed. But I knew I was a beginner. It was either quit or accept that I sucked at it so I could improve. I did.
It was the same when the first videos I did weren’t watched by anyone. I persisted.
And it will be the same with this. I loved people saying nice things to me. I have a lot to improve on.
But it was awesome. What a rush!
My next gig is this Thursday.
I absolutely love this.