Year one of stand up comedy is in the books for me. Growing up, I always wanted to do comedy. In fact I recently found a book of jokes my dad gave to me in 2002 with an inscription that says “Dear Kathleen, Here is a first for your comedy acting career! Always keep laughing!” The book is a horrible book of jokes. It was given to me in 2002, was published in the eighties, but is jokes from the 1940’s. But no matter how bad it is, it’s a little reminder that I’m finally doing what I’ve always had my heart set out to do.
I’ve been asked a lot recently why I would want to do stand-up comedy, and that’s honestly a hard question for me to answer. It’s perplexing at times for me to even understand why I like putting myself on a stage, for groups of people to judge me, but I find myself doing it anyway. I’m a fairly introverted person, until I get comfortable around people, yet talking about my life and cracking jokes onstage is where I am most comfortable. Friends and family constantly ask if I get nervous or scared, and for me I don’t. Well, except for my first set at the Comedy Studio. Telling jokes is the tops. That’s the only way I can really describe it. Yet, here I am one year in constantly comparing myself to other people, asking myself why I’m not doing more, and ripping apart jokes that I should be proud of.
Meanwhile, I’m not looking at all the great things that have happened to me because of this past year. All because of comedy. I’ve lost several pounds. I’ve met some of the most sincere and honest people around. I’ve had the chance to do sets at several awesome local spots like The Comedy Studio, Laugh Boston, Improv Boston and Unscene Comedy at The Iron Furnace. I’ve written lots of jokes (some not good). I’ve stopped using the term “guys” constantly as a filler word in my set. I’ve co-produced a show. I think my family finally believe it when I tell them I’m happy. The list could go on!
But here I am looking at what others are doing, people who probably have been doing comedy longer than me, saying that I haven’t done enough or that I’m not good enough. Here’s the thing, there will always be someone better, harder working, funnier, hotter, or more connected than you are. That’s just how things work, and that’s okay. If the last year has taught me anything, it’s the importance of focusing on yourself and not thinking of comedy as a competition. Maybe I’m the only one that was doing this? But I doubt it. For me year two will be getting back on track to why I started doing comedy. To always keep laughing.