Work & Process

Stand-Up 101: The Adventure Begins

Deciding to practice what we preach and embrace a growth mindset, Paul and I signed up for a stand-up comedy writing class. If you've seen Paul perform, you know he's a pretty funny guy already and you might be wondering how this challenges him in a growthful way. Well, I'll let you in on a little secret - most of his comedy up until now has resulted from an improvisational moment. Either the one that's happening right then or one that happened in the past which then became a regular part of his routine. Scripting jokes and preparing sets pushes him into uncharted territory, but an area that has beckoned him for awhile.

On the other hand, writing and preparing (or over-preparing in most cases) come naturally for me. My challenge lies in finding and drawing out funny moments in my writing. And even more daunting will be the actual stage delivery of that material. The last one definitely draws out that nervous butterfly-in-the-belly feeling. In those moments, I try to remember Tara Mohr's description of the two Hebrew words for fear in her book Playing Big. Most of us think of fear in terms of pachad which is the over-reactive, irrational feeling that stems from things that could happen. Think worst case scenarios running through your mind. The other word yirah describes the feeling that floods us as we step out of our comfort zone into a larger space than we are used to inhabiting. Those are the butterflies that carry us to growth. Needless to say, yirah captures perfectly the feeling I experienced as the instructor started talking about the end of class student showcase within the first 15 minutes of class. The voice in my head asked "Is that showcase optional?"

Take-aways: Because just like with juggling, experiences like this class provide us with a great opportunity to reflect on our own learning so each week I thought I would share any new self-awareness I've gained (or at least been reminded of) & other take-aways.

 Time to work on our first homework assignment. I'll be back next week with an update.

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