The past two performances, involving me in a small speakeasy dungeon that helped little for my burgeoning claustrophobia, and the other in a themed comedy night about “love” where I spilled out a new joke at the beginning and was not helped by the competitiveness of winning £100, made me realise a fundamental flaw in my mental machinery.
I have low self-esteem.
There, I said it, I hate writing these where I sound like I’m looking for pity, and in reality it’s exactly what it sounds like. I’m actually yearning for a group of people to raise me up and say, “Don’t worry about your self-esteem, everyone has that, what we want is for you to continue trying, please, we want to see more.”
Cos, in my head, everyone else gets that.
I usually have phenomenally wonderful ideas about activities to partake in, including creating tiny little webisodes, radio podcasts that involve scripted events, even a sitcom within a sitcom, a photographic makeover involving friends together posing as the Avengers, or just a stand-up routine featuring me ironing a shirt to Queen’s “We are the champions”.
And inherently, I never do them as I think I’ll be crap.
Before I used comedy as a small step in self-therapy, getting out of my shell to do something spectacular that I believed I cold never do, and now with 15 minutes under the belt and a lot of experience with small tiny rooms of willing guinea-pigs eager to hear the ear-candy I spout from my verbal blow-hole I find comedy less theraputic and more of a job.
Which I don’t mind, getting paid to make people laugh is amazing…if I got paid.
It take something special now for me to get out of my shell, find a niche target that involves something other than trying to “tell jokes”, but I realise my support to go forth and experiment comes only from one source here in London…myself. Me, I, alone.
Don’t know how it will be in South Africa, la familia isn’t too concerned with how to entertain people and I’m fearful of becoming the younger reject that depends on them for food and shelter. But my instincts say that if I gamble on trying to do comedy there, I will have to REALLY work hard just to avoid the sight of me on the couch writing notes and the first reaction to hear would be, “When are you getting a job?”
Meeting two people I hadn’t seen for a while did help me out quite a lot. First, the lovely Sara, with her amazing partner in crime that looks different I see him, Alfred. She’s the purveyor of hard work, studying Greek and Latin at university while at the same time also entering the stand-up circuit with both verve and tenacity, and herself supporting stand-up so much she has a blog with recorded interviews and reviews, which you can find here, www.comedyblogedy.com
And Steve Allen, one of the sexiest voices on radio. Why he doesn’t have more work and we have to keep listening to Z-list celebrities churning out their babble on L’Oreal adverts is beyond me. His podcast about the news is, to be frank, spectacular, you have to listen. It’s so professionally well-edited and funny that I’m equally surprised iTunes hasn’t sent a team of engineers to his house to edit his recordings hourly, having breaks inbetween for tea and Jeremy Kyle. His amazing talent can be heard here, www.somenews.co.uk
My point is, is that even with writing a blog-post now in this current state, being brave to hear the ridicule and scorn from my peers about “oh Nelson, stop looking for sympathy.” well yes, yes I am, but I don’t need sympathy, I need a deadline. I need to be told to produce something different and then it will be scrutinised, reviewed and dissected for me to understand what both people want and what I wish to give, regardless of how sad and weak I feel most days.
So, I’ll pick myself up from the hole I’ve dug in slowly, carry on trying my absolute best, and one day remind the people that helped me out that there’s free milk and cookies in the French chalet I’m gifting them with (future fame assured).
FYI, this blog-post is emotionally sponsored by Mr Steve N Allen, www.mrstevenallen.co.uk