As a novice comedian in the early days, I always felt like a fraud because I had never accomplished anything. I believe this is called imposter syndrome.
I was nervous and insecure; I felt like I was going to be called out for being a fraud and immediately kicked out from comedy forever.
But for whatever reason, in the early days, I would put my anxiety on hold and give a better than expected performance on the improv stage.
With improv, it was the first time my actions outpaced my thoughts and my internal monologue went silent. I was finally living, and not thinking about how to live.
In order to do this, I would inflate my ego more than what it really was. I lied to myself and told myself that I was born to do this.
That little fiction helped me get through the early days when I was the most vulnerable to dropping out forever.
I adhered to the mantra, “Fake it till you make it.” I summoned an excessive amount of courage – based more on bravado than substance – to accomplish something greater than I thought myself capable of at the time – hutzpah.
I conjured up a lot of hutzpah in those early days until I developed genuine confidence based on trust in myself and control over my gifts.
So to all my new people out there just starting off, conjure up the hutzpah to get you going (and keep you going) while you build a track record of shows, projects, and performances to build real, lasting and genuine confidence from.