the positives of bombing
Last week I wrote about why it’s important to stop beating yourself up, which led to a piece on why it’s important to stop shaming other people. Once you let go of that self-criticism and shaming, you can see things from a much clearer, healthier, positive perspective.
This past Friday night I did a musical improv show and didn’t have a great set. It was, arguably, one of those “should I even be doing comedy?” types of sets. Things were just weird from the start. The show format, itself, was not something I was used to, the setup was unusual, and the acts were all vastly different with seemingly no theme running through them.
But doing a show like that, which felt like a small bomb, was something that needed to happen at this point in my life and career. As hard as it was to navigate the happenings of the night, I realized that instead of focusing on all the things that went wrong, I could choose to focus on the more positive aspects of the night, which reinforced a longstanding truth: I am a “make the best of the situation” type of person.
There were a lot of things about Friday night that felt off: the setup, the format, the costuming, etc., but the people I performed with helped make the best of the situation, which is a huge reason why I love improv: it being such a supportive team sport experience. Also, I got to have a new experience in attempting to do musical improv alongside a saxophone accompanist.
When you focus on the positives of a situation, you see them more clearly. Things are never perfect, but the most enlightening realizations often come from places of imperfection.
I realized that my friend Andrew and I really play well together when it comes to performing musical improv. I learned that although it may have been a bit wonky, we accomplished a pretty cool thing by performing alongside a saxophonist. I realized that although I didn’t really know the other two people who played with us, by saying ‘yes,’ I was able to make the most out of a situation that, at times, felt a bit skiddish and was also able to form new relationships in the process.
When you let go of your need to control things and of your fears, magic can happen. Reflecting back on our set, I’d say only 20% of it was magic. That’s not anywhere near the majority, obviously, but I have faith that we can get there. And when that switch flips to 80% magic, I honestly cannot wait to see what a set like that looks like.
Thank you so much for reading, and, as always, if you have any pressing questions or if you want to discuss something further with me, feel free to subscribe below or reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so grateful you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really challenging questions and even better feedback from a community all over the world. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! I’m here for you, and I love hearing from you, too! You’re the best, and you have everything you need inside of you! Please believe it! Starve your ego, feed your soul - and follow your heart!
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