I found one of my old phones the other day, and I fired it up to see if it had any photos or anything on it that I had forgotten to move over to my computer. I ended up going into the Notes section and finding a ton of set lists and joke ideas from when I started a couple years ago.
I know that I was probably trying as hard as I could, and that there's a pretty good chance that I'll look back on the stuff I'm doing on stage now someday and hate it, too. But man oh man, my early stuff is bad. It's so bad, haha. I don't even want to share any of it on here, it's awful.
But on the positive side, I can see how much I've grown as a comic over the last couple of years. I can use these old notes and sets to beat myself up, or I can use them as motivation to keep going, because one way or another, the work is slowly paying off. I think comedians should use old sets, tapes, and jokes as their form of "progress pics". Like when you're trying to lose weight.
When someone works hard and gets themselves into better shape, they don't look back on the "before" photos and get upset, they use them to show everyone where they started. It's motivational. As a comedian, that's what I should be doing with these old jokes. These are my "before" jokes. It's hard, though. And I think that's because the only way to really improve as a comic is to be your own biggest critic. And if you're being honest and critical of your work, the "before" jokes are horrendous, but you'll find fault in the "now" jokes, too. Someone that loses 100 lbs can look at their "now" photo and be proud of it. They may not look like The Rock yet, but they're getting there. For some reason, that's a lot harder to do when you look at your art....
"I may not be Bill Burr yet, but I'm getting there" isn't something most honest comedians can say with a straight face.
Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that when I started, I thought I was good, but I sucked. And now, I still suck, but I suck less then I did 2 years ago. I'm slowly getting better. Only like, 9, 956 hours to go!
Thanks for reading.