Stand-up comedy isn’t for me. There, I said it. I think it’s probably healthy that I can admit this. We’ve had eight weeks of the course now and it’s pretty clear that this isn’t a path for me. It’s still a good exercise for me to do – my aims for the course were mostly personal and I can still achieve those. I don’t really have much choice; I know of six people who have booked tickets to see me at the showcase on April 2nd, so there’s no backing out now. That’s probably a good thing, because otherwise I might not have gone through with it.

I’m getting increasingly anxious about the gig, which is fast approaching. It’s probably not helped by the fact that I’m starting to get bored of, and perhaps even starting to dislike, what I’m doing. I’ve become stuck in a situation where I’m writing in a format (i.e. for stand-up) that I’m not particularly comfortable or happy with, and I’m finding myself being led away from where I wanted to be, instead being locked in a pursuit of the approval of others. I’m not even sure I find what I’m writing *funny* any more. I’m also not happy with the quality, and finding it hard to get motivated to work on something for which my interest is steadily on the wane.

I have other ideas. There’s an idea for a monologue I really want to write and maybe turn into a piece of audio – something deeply personal; a new and more interesting challenge. Something comic, despite being about death, loss, memories etc. This has been on my mind a lot recently – these themes are like my closest cousins – and I think I might even be starting to resent the fact that the stand-up course is holding me back from having a go at this for another month at least.

Is it natural to have this self-doubt and reluctance to finish anything off? I often find myself wanting to start new (and therefore more exciting) things than finishing off what I’ve already started, especially if the current project seems far too much like hard work rather than being fun. I think the course has done me a lot of good – the games and exercises in particular have been of great value to someone like me who is very shy; they’re helping me to combat that nervousness and sometimes I even reach a point where I’m no longer so afraid of looking silly in front of people (one of the many wonderful things about being an uncle has been playing with my nephew and thereby eroding some of these inhibitions about looking silly, both in public and in my own house). If anything, I now value this part of the course more than the bits about writing techniques etc. Also, I think the course has taught me to be more ambitious and to try to be true to myself and what I want to do, which is perhaps why I dislike how I feel now; as though I’m being forced into a corner against my will, due to the expectations/conventions of what a traditional stand-up set should be.

This all sounds very negative and introspective. Maybe it’s a result of the anxiety and pressure I feel about the rapidly-approaching Big Night. Despite this, I’m glad I’ve done the course (it’s a good course and I think James Cook is a very good tutor), and if nothing else it has hopefully helped me overcome some of my personal fears, as well as at least showing me what it is that I *don’t* want to do, or what I’m definitely *not* best at. Now I just need to find out what the thing I’m best at might be..

Advertisements