Women wait for permission. We want to make sure it’s OK to take the next step and that everyone approves of us in out new venture, whether it’s writing, acting, directing, producing, improvising or making a poster. What if we overstepped our boundaries and even one person didn’t think we were ready to do what we want to do? THE WORLD WOULD EXPLODE! Oh wait. No. Nothing would happen, except we’d be closer to achieving our goals and making it easier for other women to follow in our footsteps.
So I am going to give you permission. Who am I to give you permission to do anything? No one, but who are you waiting for anyway?
You can do stand-up. It’s standing and talking. If you can’t stand and talk, I’m worried about you. Of course, there’s much more to being a great stand-up: timing, originality, stage presence, being funny. But you’re not a great stand-up; you’re not even a stand up. If you were, why would you be reading this?
Even seasoned sketch and improv comedians view stand-up as a scary risk. Here’s the thing about stand-up: it’s not risky. Why? Because you will fail (at first). You will bomb. It’s going to happen, so embrace it. Your stand-up heroes like Joan Rivers, Janeane Garofalo and Kathy Griffin have all bombed in their time, so you’re a lot closer to being like them if you get up there and bomb, then if you sit around and do nothing.
Now let me address what you’re really afraid of: it’s not bombing, is it? It’s owning. You’re afraid of going up there and killing it and having the audience in your hands. It’s a powerful feeling and what if you don’t deserve it? Luckily, that’s not really a thing. Do you hear me? It’s not a thing. You need to drop that hang up because it’s keeping you (and likely the several other women you’d influence) back.