Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 11th, 2014 The Stand-Up Show Day

December 11th, 2014 The Stand-Up Show Day

It didn't seem to matter; my past experience and the reassurance from friends about how I would be fine at the comedy show, didn't stop me from nearly making myself physically ill today. It was absolutely crazy how much I was stressing over it all. And this is supposed to be one of the pathways toward personal happiness? Really? 

It was a horrible day to have a 2015 planning meeting for our radio station. But we did, and there I was, trying my best to pay attention, but completely preoccupied with the idea of standing in front of an audience delivering stand-up material, tonight. A colleague requested I open the meeting with a little "preview performance" of tonight's set. I declined in a firm way. "It's not the same. I don't do that. It's not joke-jokes. I tell stories, I develop a connection with the audience--it's not a style suitable for a few one liners before a meeting." My response wasn't what was expected--and that's okay. I was on edge.

By late afternoon, I started feeling sick. I knew it was nerves. I didn't feel like eating, either. I sent a text to Life Coach Gerri, explaining, basically, how I was void of a food plan this evening and although I was hungry, I didn't think I could eat. She encouraged me to get a snack somewhere, so I immediately turned into a convenience store for some raw almonds, cheese and water. It worked perfectly. I didn't think about food the rest of the evening.

I slacked on my accountability water pics for twitter before, during and after the show tonight, but rest assured, I was constantly drinking water from a tall glass full of ice. I estimated between 3 and 4 additional cups of water, easy. 

Once I arrived at the venue, I took some deep breaths and started to relax a little. I felt my natural instincts trying to take over--so I did my best to allow that. Gerri suggested I find some time for some quick meditations to calm down and center--and it was spot on advice. I did just that--and it helped. By the time the show started, I was still nervous--but in a much better place, mentally.

My performance had three stages, really--as described to me by one of the audience members afterward, "It was cool watching you go from obviously nervous, to okay, to totally in your groove." Yeah, it worked. I wasn't sure if it would. But it did. I still had it. The feeling of confidence and reassurance was indescribable. Even though the material was nearly all brand new and never before tested in front of an audience, it worked. I had some big bits, some killer tags--and an audience that was extremely attentive, allowing a wonderful relationship to develop in the 35 minutes of my set.

I had second thoughts going in. I told a friend, "I did this all wrong. If I wanted to do this again, I should have found an open mic at a club somewhere, where I could do a five minute set. Not schedule an entire show where I'm the headliner, basically." My friend said--"Look, you're not a dipping the toe in the water kind of guy. You're a jump in, kind of guy. It's okay and you'll be great."

The night turned out fabulous. It didn't go as planned as far as food and exercise was concerned. The after show mingling and driving a couple of friends home afterward put the clock super late on me. My plan of doing a celebratory 5K after didn't happen. My dinner didn't happen until almost midnight--which was really too late to eat, but I managed to have something light as you'll see in the Tweets. But in all, I can't complain. As far as the exercise goes, Fitbit gave me a calorie burn of nearly 400 calories for my "measured activity" for the day. I guess all that nervous pacing really added up.

My Tweets Today:
















Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting the results of your show and the details! Am in a hurry this AM but had to take the time to ck how last night went for you!!! YOU DID IT!! Many seasoned performers still have the jitters and nausea before a performance so you are in good company. Thumbs up !!!!
    N~

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! It felt amazing! You're so right. I heard it said once, if you ever stop getting a little nervous--that's when you need to worry!
      Thank you for taking the time to comment on your way out! Always appreciating your support!

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  2. Congratulations Sean, way to go! I was nervous just thinking about being on stage. You did it! Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thank you, LTR! I really couldn't believe the degree I took it to...it was approaching seriously sick... Very happy I was able to calm. Have a great weekend, too!!

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  3. Congratulations!! The first time is always the hardest - for anything!

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    1. Neca, isn't that the truth! It's funny, I so wanted it to be over prior to starting, then--once I got into the groove, I really didn't want it to end. Still felt relief afterward.

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  4. Congratulations Sean! You were in my thoughts yesterday. Glad you got so much out of it as well as the audience. Sounds like a super fun night once the nerves had gone to sleep. :)

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    1. Thank you, Leah! Thank you for the thoughts, too! I couldn't have asked for a better conclusion to this deal.

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  5. You are the epitome of what every coach wishes for in a client. You set the goal, take action, deal with the challenges and come out a winner every time. This time, a funny one!

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    1. You're simply the best, Gerri. Thank you. Your calm approach and balanced advice really helped me get centered and focused. That's what a great coach does! Thank you very much!

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  6. Kudos, Sean, for facing your fears head-on, and kudos to Geri for her good advice and peaceful presence. It's an interesting question you pose, about whether something that causes so much stress is really a path to happiness. It seems to have worked out well for you, or at least it did last night!

    Back when I was a young lass, I wanted to be a folk music performer. I had many friends that actually WERE performers, who assured me that I had the talent. But the idea of actually getting up on stage made me physically sick. Years later, I discovered that even many professional musicians and actors have to overcome anxiety, even after they've "arrived."

    My daughter went to school as a theater major, and also received high praise. But even though we currently live within blocks of major television and movie studios, and even though she has lots of friends "in the business," the idea of auditioning, of constantly having to prove herself, was just too stressful, and she chose to be in arts management instead.

    I think all of us always wonder if we chose the right path.

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    1. Becky, Thank you for sharing this. I truly believe it's imperative to exercise and nourish those talents inside us. These things ultimately bring us joy...once we get past the initial anxiety over trying in the first place. It would have been so easy to just cancel the show--but I just couldn't, right approach or not, it was on and happening. I couldn't be happier about how it all turned out.
      It is a delicate game to look back and wonder if the right path was chosen. Ultimately, I think we end up right where we need to be... And even if we didn't take the path we initially was hoping to take, perhaps, now that we're into our lives and what we're doing, who says we can't go back and do it on our terms. It's never too late!
      Have you performed lately? Totally serious, Becky. Why not?
      For me, it's different now. I'm not after money, fame or any of that stuff. I just needed an outlet for that part of me, once again. It felt good. Another show is already in the planning stages!
      I sincerely appreciate your support!

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  7. Congrats Sean! I had good vibes going your way that night!

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  8. Sorry I missed your night on stage, Sean! Congrats on doing what you wanted to do and hitting it out of the park! You are a brave man!
    And in all, your food looked pretty damn spot on!

    Rosie

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    1. Thank you, Rosie! It was a very good night! The food--oh my, I truly enjoy what I choose to eat!!

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