The Improv Life: Pushing Through the BS When the Show Must Go On
I’m a positive dude, and I really don’t talk about the negative stuff of comedy unless I’m really angry and need to vent, or if the moment calls for it, like last year when BIPOC comedians were talking about their shitty experiences at primarily white led theaters.
But there is a lot of bullshit in comedy, and how you handle it will determine your happiness in this field.
You’ll try to put a show together, and it seems as if everything is against you in having a good show.
People will flake, drop out, abandon you, make unreasonable demands, not carry their share of a project, disrespect you and your name, waste your time and leave yourself asking, “Why the hell am I doing this?”
And this is just at my amateur level; I can only imagine how it is in Hollywood when real money is involved.
But somehow, someway, I push ahead and put on a show. Win, lose, or draw, the show must go on. And I think that mantra is what’s kept me from failing to deliver a show.
Once you advertise a show, that’s a pretty big point of no return. The word is out there. People will schedule their lives around coming to your show. People are investing their time in you now, and you have to give them a show worth their investment.
That promise of putting on a show has been one of the biggest motivators for me to push through all the bullshit and deliver a program worth people’s time.
I’m telling you: something about “the show must go on” theater producer attitude gives you the strength, resilience, and flexibility you need to rise above challenges and put on a God damned good show.
I mean it’s business as well – you will lose money on a space if you don’t put on a show. But it’s also an artistic challenge to rally your team and resources to put on a good show that genuinely entertains people and provides them with a good time.
Trust me, seeing a happy audience during the show and after is plenty validation for going against the odds and delivering a great show.
See you tomorrow,
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