I’ve been doing standup and improv almost thirteen years now. Before that I was doing theater from the time I was in middle school all through college and that was mostly comedic roles.
Just a few months ago I finally decided that I’m funny.
Before that it felt like every performance was a test to determine whether I was funny or not. Some nights I’d go home convinced I was hilarious. Other nights it felt like I was wasting my time on something I would never be good at.
Now I finally have enough data to conclude that yes, overall, I am funny.
Some audience members may not like me, sure.
And some of my jokes do better than others, even though they’re all hilarious to me.
But one lackluster show does not mean that I’m not funny.
I get paid to be funny. Thousands of people have laughed at my jokes, if not millions. I’m not good at estimating.
It’s no longer a question of whether I’m good at comedy. I’ve clearly improved greatly since when I started and I can make a wide variety of people laugh.
Now the question is whether I want to do comedy, which I suspect will always be yes.
Now the question is how can I improve. How can I get better at writing and performing. How can I find more audiences that like my style of humor.
Those questions are much more fun than trying to figure out if I’m funny or not.
Before I started comedy I never used to watch other comedians and think, “That looks easy. I could do that.” I’ve heard many other people say that before they realized how challenging and how much of a grind it can be.
A few nights ago I watched Joe List performing at our local club. No offense to Joe List, but while I was watching I did think, “I could do that.” I don’t have a full hour of material yet, but I’m working on it.