That Night I Was Going To "Retire"

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Last night I got the chance to perform at Chicago's oldest and most famous comedy club, Zanies. And I'm kind of ashamed to admit this, but yesterday was actually my first time ever stepping foot in Zanies.

But when I first walked into the iconic club on Wells street I could instantly see why so many comedians from all over the country call this place one of their favorites. There's a certain feel to it that just can't be replicated. It's an intimate little setting with limited seating and the walls are absolutely filled with autographed photos of every great comedian to ever live. For a newbie like myself, it was both overwhelming and exciting to be in a room that has launched so many of the careers of my idols.

I usually get really nervous before a show, but last night was different. Before going on stage I had made the decision that it was probably going to be my last time doing stand-up for a while. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I'm just not sure I'm cut out for the life of a comic. To be completely honest I'm just not tough enough, and I also think I'm maybe just not fun enough either. Good comedians are out every single night, doing numerous shows and open mics, staying out until the wee hours of the morning.

And then there's me. Going out even a few nights a week seems like such a stretch. The homebody/introvert inside me hates it.

But then I have a fun night at Zanies like last night and I get addicted to it all over again.

I'm usually nervous how the audience will react to my jokes, or what the other comics will think of me, but because I had already told myself last night was going to be the end of standup for a while, I had the most odd sense of confidence before I went on stage. I say odd only because I had never felt more comfortable in my life. I liked my jokes and that was all that mattered. It was really weird feeling. But it was also pretty great.

I've been given some good advice from comedians I admire and one of the things that has always stuck with me is that above anything else, you have to be confident with your jokes- especially the ones the are a little more risky, because if the audience thinks you're nervous about telling them, it makes them nervous to laugh. So even if I wasn't confident, I sure as hell pretended I was.

And so I'm back to square one it seems. Last night was supposed to be the end but it feels like the beginning all over again.

Or maybe it's not. I obviously have no idea. If anyone would like to give me a little direction in life I would really appreciate it right about now. In the meantime I'll just keep taking photos outside of comedy clubs like the little Nebraska tourist that I am. Hell, if nothing else happens in my comedic life at least I can say I got a chance to perform at Zanies.

Lost Girl

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  1. sometimes, things happen at the perfect time. sounds like this was one of those perfect times.

  2. Go with your gut; if you have time do it and if not, you'll miss it. Then you'll have your answer :)

  3. Hap, I totally feel like "lost girl" too. Hopefully we both find our way soon!

  4. I'm not a comedian by any means but I'm feeling at a crossroads lately too. I just want to know what's going to happen in the next five years!

  5. I agree you should go with your gut, if it makes you happy keep going if it doesnt go after a new goal.. either way you're going to be great!

  6. It sounds to me like you should absolutely keep going!! i mean taylor, i think things happen to you because you're just good at what you do. sure persistence helps but I think you perform a few times a week and you're still rocking it. you have to admit that! I think this blog is a great outlet of your creativity and is a bit of what I think you are like when you do stand up. I can't imagine you stopping this. also is my comment long enough? good.

  7. I think you must be great at it to keep booking these gigs but go with your gut. Even if you have to do it at your pace once a week, once you love it I think its worth it.

  8. Agree with Helene...Btw isn't it a typical actor/comedian nightmare that they are one stage and the people don't laugh? If so than you probably got hooked already :)

  9. You need to keep it up! You are amazing at it, and you do such a great job at making all of us laugh through our screens, that in person I am sure you do even more amazing things. Keep it up girl, if it's truly what you love.

  10. You can't give up now. You are so new to this comedy game and look how far you've come in such a short amount of time!

  11. Ah but that's life. Everyone feels that way. I registered to start school in September .. and now I'm all nervous and second guessing myself. Is it really something I want to do!? Do I really want to commit to all of the work and studying and what if I fail?! What then!?
    Wow.. this turned into a ME thing. lol
    Bottom line- you're not alone. AND your career choice is by far the coolest I've seen thus far!

  12. I have no clue what you should do, but I live by the mantra, when its not fun anymore, you should stop.

  13. Don't retire! You're just getting going : )