As I mentioned in the previous post, “Thou Shallt Not Quit”, the key to getting through a tough perfomance is confidence. I have chosen to write about this topic again in more detail because I’m hoping that the more I THINK about it, the more confidence I’ll gain myself.
The ol’ boyfriend and I recently had a discussion about how I could take my abilities to the next level, and the biggest thing for me is my confidence. We established that I’m very comfortable on stage, but not necessarily confident. Especially when I am working through relatively new material that I’m not 100% sure is even funny.
It’s tough to deliver that material confidently when you’re not even confident in it yourself. “WHAT DO I DO THEN?!”, you ask. “Pretend?” Yes! Sure the material may be new, but no one else knows that and the idea is a JOKE so there will always be someone who will appreciate at least the premise. If you deliver your ideas with conviction and sell them like you believe in them, you may be surprised at how many people will buy into what you’re selling. The results are a huge growth potential to take things to the professional level. So be fearless! Like a menstruating woman doing yoga in white spandex!
And the MOST important thing to have confidence in: YOURSELF. Be confident with who you are as a person, what you do, and in your talent. I struggle with this because I’m not a “look-at-me-I’m-so-great” kind of person. But it’s time to get over that and get used to the fact that yes, I AM funny and I have funny things to tell you! Say it with me now! I AM a comedian! Can I get a witness!? ALLELUIA!
Not everyone wants to or is able to get up on stage. And some just shouldn’t. So when you meet new people, introduce yourself as you want to be known and say it like you mean it. Function Writing has a great article about this exact topic. “I’m (insert name here) and I work part-time as a data entry clerk and sometimes I do some stand up comedy but that doesn’t really pay at this point and what I really want to do is be a TV writer except I don’t think I’m good enough at writing yet”….. OR “Hey, I’m Vanessa Lever. I do stand up and sketch comedy and I’m just starting out in my voiceover career. All of which are pretty exciting, so be excited for me!” What!? You’re awesome, Vanessa Lever! “I know. But thank you.” And just to clarify, I don’t mean become an egotistical prick. OWN your extraordinary abilities and share them with the world.
As the great Julie Andrews says in The Sound of Music, “I have confidence the world can all be mine…I have confidence in me!” Now make like Julie Andrews and dance off into the streets to take what’s yours: LAUGHS. You work hard at it, so allow it to pay off for you.