Alone on a Stage

Before moving to France, I was prompted by Groupon to face a fear of mine – Improv. Acting without a script?! Ack! I can’t do it. But with classes being offered right around the corner for a discount, how could I resist? So I took the class, and am probably better for it. I’d even do it again!

But this year the offer popped up again, and instead of taking improv (it would have been the same “intro to improv”, not the next level) I chose stand up comedy. I’d been told I should try it, although I realize there’s a difference between being clever for a moment and being clever for 5 minutes. Well I’d figure out how to start doing it right. Both improv and stand up couldn’t do anything bad for my goals as an actress. Learning to think on my feet, be comfortable on stage, write comedy, deal with an audience, calm nerves…. it goes on and on.

So I completed 6 weeks of stand up comedy class at M.i.’s Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica, and ended it on February 28 with a showcase alongside 12 of my classmates.

The class was enjoyable, my classmates a delight. I loved listening to their stories and laughing at their jokes (jokes? Would they be called jokes? I don’t know). Several of us made noticeable progress throughout the class (and some were just naturals). One of my classmates took video (of everyone but her and half of another woman’s set) and just posted it online. I reuploaded mine to my own channel, but you can check out the rest of them HERE once you’re done watching mine. I also included a link to them in the video description.

I was extremely nervous going out on stage. It really was the first time I’d ever been on a stage alone in front of an audience. At least that I remember. It’s an odd feeling. But this is where I think meditation has helped me. I stayed in the moment, and didn’t let fear overtake me. Sure, my brain froze up a couple of times, but I was prepared for it.

These moments in life are really great. The moments where you challenge yourself, and do things that scare you. Because the more you do it, the less they’ll scare you. It gets easier, and you get better at it. It’s wonderful to conquer fear. It’s wonderful to do new things. It’s wonderful to get out of your comfort zone. This is how we grow. This is how we experience life and say Thank You to God for the range of possibilities that He’s given to us. He gave us so much – health, intelligence, humour, the whole world to explore, so many people to meet. He didn’t give us fear. So to go out and defeat fear is to feel more alive and experience the world as He wants us to! I love it. I always have difficulty choosing a translation, but this one is good:

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

What are you afraid of? How can you challenge yourself to overcome your fear?

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