Jerry Seinfeld once said, "Find the torture you're comfortable with". He was describing how he feels about stand up to Howard Stern. I love that quote.
Comedy can be torture. I'm certainly not speaking for every comedian out there, but I think most of the comics I know would agree with me. It can be great, but it can be soul crushing, too. Going out night after night, telling jokes to 5 people that don't care what you have to say. Stressing over writing new material, constantly second guessing your jokes, bombing....
But for many of us, stand up is the torture we're comfortable with. I know that sums up exactly how I feel about it. I look at getting on stage the same way I do exercising. Most of the time, I don't really feel like doing it. Sure, there are days where I'm feeling motivated and I run an extra km, or I can't wait to get in front of a crowd. But there are definitely just as many days where I have no interest in doing it at all. It feels like torture. Its just a torture I like.
Y'know that feeling you get after you work out? That world beating, accomplished feeling? That's how I feel after I get on stage. It doesn't matter if I do well or if I completely eat my balls and bomb, I feel so much better than I know I would if I had just stayed home that night. There's something about comedy and just trying to get a little bit better that makes me feel really good. It's addictive. Last night, I was feeling lazy, and I didn't really want to go out. A big part of me just wanted to chill on the couch and play video games. Instead, I forced myself to get off my ass, and I hit up two shows to work on the new jokes I've been playing with for a while. Neither set went super well, but I came home feeling proud of myself for not being lazy. I tortured myself.
Maybe that sounds stupid, comparing comedy to torture. I just can't think of a better way to explain it. As soon as I heard that quote, I loved it. Find that thing, that torture that you're comfortable with, and embrace it. It'll force you to challenge yourself, and the feeling that comes with pushing yourself through something uncomfortable is just about the best feeling there it.
This blog is torture some days.
Thanks for reading.