gender, goals, stand up comedy, thoughts

Modern Day Heroes: My Evening Performing Stand Up

There are moments in your life when you can look at a situation you’ve found yourself in from a helicopter’s perspective, you get the rare pleasure of having 20/20 vision without the hindsight.

Last night was one of those moments.

Standup comedy is something that scares me. I’m terrified of it. There’s something about just you and the mic, nothing else. No crazy costumes or wigs, no other people to help make a scene funny for you. Just you and your own thoughts. You. The real you.

Stand up comedy is one of the most revealing art forms I have ever taken part in. You are giving a window into your brain to perfect strangers, a window that reveals how your brain works, how your synapsis connect. You have a bad night up there, people might think your synapsis are wired wrong.

There’s intimacy with an audience during stand up. An intimacy that you need to be comfortable with the minute you step on that stage. Almost like two actors meeting for the first time and then having a sex scene to do twenty minutes later, or in stand ups case, as long as it takes for your name to be said.

Why would anyone do it? The question has been asked time and time again, and I still don’t feel like there’s a clear answer.

I know the reason I tried it last night. I tried it BECAUSE it terrifies me.

Doing things that scare you can make you feel instantly alive, that’s what it feels like for me anyway. I have to do them every so often just to know that I’m still here and taking part in the world.

Last night, I took part in a world that inspired me to the point of not being able to sleep until 2AM this morning.

Every month, the wonderful Vermont Comedy Club, has a night featuring all female comedians entitled, “The Girl Crush Comedy Showcase”. This month there was an open call on their Facebook site, the theme being “Tell 3 to 5 minutes of vagina jokes”. The night was then called “The Crass Ceiling”.

That urge to feel part of the world kicked in again and I threw my name in the hat. I ended up being one of fifteen women to perform.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I can honestly say, that I have never been so proud, honored and inspired to be a woman after last night.

Fifteen comedians took that stage and fifteen comedians owned it.

It’s true what they say, that stand up is the new form of prophets spouting truths. Last night, this was the case.

We live in a society where women are told to vanish physically, mentally and verbally. We are told that speaking about our bodies is unladylike. We even told that being funny is unladylike. We are told we need to look a certain way, act a certain way to be considered worthy by society. While men, can say, do and be whatever they choose without a moment’s thought.

Last night, I saw fourteen of the most courageous, inspiring women I have ever had the pleasure of coming in contact with.

Courage doesn’t have to include facing a bullet or a picket line. Courage can be as simple as stepping up onto a dark stage alone, opening that window into the inner workings of your brain to perfect strangers and saying,

“I will not be silent.”

The view from the helicopter was incredible last night. As I left my body and was able to look around the room, I had great hope for the future, something that’s been lacking recently. I had great hope for my daughter’s future and a whole new set of modern day heroes to worship.

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