What I learned from doing Stand Up…a personal story

comedy Well, finally I did it.  I did Stand Up…and survived!  Back in January of this year, I decided to do something that would scare me, something that would well and truly take me out of my comfort zone.  And with some bizarre happenstance coupled with a good friend’s encouragement, I found myself entering the Funny Women Awards 2013 (link to Funny Women Awards page).  I have written about my initial experience earlier.  Here is  ‘What happened next…’    drum roll.

Why did I do it?  In part because this was the year that I wanted to stretch myself and do something I both hadn’t done before and which would not be easy!  But I also did it because for years I had had a dilemma going on inside my head.  On the one hand I had NO self-belief in my ability to be funny.  My life experience coupled with comments and statements from otherwise hugely supportive family and some friends was that ‘ I could tell a good story but I wasn’t funny’.  That was my belief. On the other hand though, I had physical evidence that people in my audiences and in my training and in my coaching, laughed (with me not at me – I hope!)  Regular feedback was that I was funny and entertaining.  Indeed three of my mentors have said at different points in my life, that underneath my professional, relaxed and engaging style there was a real funny side trying to get out.  So what to believe?

And this is so true of life isn’t it?  Sometimes we ignore the evidence that is going on in front of our very own eyes because a deep-rooted belief holds us back.

So I trod the comedy boards this month to see what was true – my belief of nearly a lifetime or the hard evidence of laughter from a crowd.  Gulp!  Sometimes we just need to be curious about our beliefs and be prepared to test them.  It needs a different focus and it isn’t always easy (I can testify to that) but it can be very liberating and fascinating.

Well, readers, they laughed!  And I survived.  And I learnt lots about script writing, comedy structure and shaping, editing and rehearsing. But the greatest thing I learned is that self-limiting beliefs can be challenged – and in so challenging them, new confidence and new opportunities open up.  Will I be doing it again? – well yes actually – check out the Forward Ladies Comedy Night & Wine Tasting Evening on July 11th, Chorlton, Manchester  and watch this space…

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2 Responses to What I learned from doing Stand Up…a personal story

  1. Roy May 17, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    Hi. Just read your post about giving stand-up a try. Well done you! I’m seriously considering the same thing. I’ve been working on some original material for a while and feel its good enough. I may go for the Open Mic nite route as a trial and see what reaction I get. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Catherine Sandland May 27, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

      Hi there Roy …and good for you!The open mic is a good route. I also ‘tried mine out’ a few times first – with a good friend, my hairdresser! and a friend who is a comedian. that helped me to edit edit edit and strip out to the bare bones. Adn then I practiced it so it was within five minutes. Even an hour to go and I was still stripping off couple of seconds! it was worth it though adn taught me loads about crafting and scripting as well as delivery. Let me know how you get on

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