What It Takes

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There is an interview with a local headliner that really stood out for me, and gave me the enlightenment that I have sorely needed.

I know the local headliner, he is a good guy, Christian and has a unique sense of humour.  I won’t mention his name, because I’m not sure if he would want it done in my blog or not.  Although, he is the only local headliner that follows my twitter page for comedy/this blog, so maybe there is something genuine to his level of interest and wanting me to succeed.

I asked him something along the lines of whether or not family ever supported his comedy, and if it made a difference to him either starting or grinding through it when comedy got to be a struggle.  This is what he said (with some direct quotes and some paraphrasing):

Have there been times I’ve wanted to quit comedy?  Oh, sure!  About 200.  But then you’ll go home and have an idea and think hey, this is a good joke.  I’d like to try it on stage.  Now I’m at the point where I don’t think I could ever quit because my mind will keep working and turning out new jokes

That made me realize something.  For me to succeed, I don’t need to be a better comic than the headliners.  I don’t even need to match the work ethic of any local open mic comic that is rising through the ranks.  No, the only thing I need to focus on is this.

Instead of trying to outwork comedians who aren’t in a position to help me get where I need to be, instead of worrying about being better than comics who could care less about me, the only person I need to outwork is myself.  YOU need to outwork YOU.

Don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t some Liberal-based b.s. or some revelation I found from reading The Secret (never read it, couldn’t be bothered.  There are enough secrets lessons in the Bible to learn from)  I have now realized that you need to outwork yourself from the day before.  Set a standard, a minimum standard at the very least for a work ethic to get better.

The other takeaway from his interview was pretty powerful.  As long as you’re still standing, still alive, you still have fight left in you.  You still have the ability to create and expand your horizons to go where others thought was impossible.  I also learned that it’s okay to spread your wings and go outside of the province to try new things (ie: my California trip in 2017 doing comedy in L.A. and Oakland).  Regardless of where you go, if you dare to put in the work daily and try to maintain that standard each morning you wake up, then you’ll be alright.

You outworking you isn’t meant as a mantra for the hustle.  Not at all.  This is with regard to creating material to use on stage, and nothing more than that.  As long as you are still here, you still have a horse in the race, so to speak.  From that logic, it allows others the opportunity to ‘bet” on you.  Most may not believe, lots are much better, but in a horse race, even horse the racing form deems to be the “worst” will still get bet on by somebody, because in life, there’s always that chance.

Life isn’t played out on paper.  For if it was, then we wouldn’t need faith, that stubborn resolve that resides from within, that moral compass to set us on the right path, not just the path that seems right.

That local headliner mentioned when he is down and writes a new joke, he thinks “I’d like to try that on stage.”  I would like to try.  Five simple words that at times have paralyzed me, stunted my growth and held me back.  If you would like to try, there is always somebody, someplace, somewhere, that will let you try.  What you do with that opportunity, well, that’s up to you.


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