Posts Tagged ‘new experiences’

I recently signed up to perform at an amateur comedy night. And bombed. Big time.

I don’t know what possessed me to do it – boredom with the usual routine, mid-life crisis or latent masochism – but the moment Vir Das’ company announced their HAMateur night open mike, I dashed off an email asking them to include me in their list of performers. Silly, right? Wait, it gets sillier. And then I actually went ahead with it!

Of course, I had my usual panic attack in the morning where I went, “Omigod! Omigod! Omigod! I can’t do this.” And my friend said, “Why?” “Can’t you see, I’m having a bad hair day!” And she went, “Oh, and I thought it’s because you suck at delivering jokes.”

Of course, ‘you suck at delivering jokes’ turns what was essentially a mild performance anxiety into a full blown self esteem issue, in order to overcome which she insisted that I had to perform as originally planned. I had to face my fears in order to feel good about myself. “So,” I said, “let me get this straight. I have to stand on stage, with a spotlight fixed on me, bombing in front of a room full of people…yeah, I can see how that’ll make me feel good about myself!”

You know, I have an issue with this whole facing your fears business. Why do we always have to face our fears in order to overcome them? They should have a pill or something, which when you pop, miraculously cures your mind of all fears. Wait a minute, they do – amphetamines.

This, in case you missed the point of the rant, subtle as it was with all the italicizing, was the content.

Oh, and I almost forgot about the opening joke: Isn’t it stupid how 4-5 swine deaths have the whole city running in a panic, covering their faces with masks. And yet, a million people have died of AIDS and they’re still not wearing condoms.

My phone beeped a message just now. It was someone texting me the very same joke! Damn, now I can see why I bombed.

Seriously, the content was fine. My delivery sucked. And that’s because I chose to gesticulate at the wrong time. As a result, I moved the mike away from my mouth and people missed the punch line.

 Still, I did what I have always dreaded – public speaking. The most difficult kind of public speaking. That ought to mean something, right? Wrong, it means nothing to me. I hate the fact that I bombed.

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