Learning to fail, a little

While I don’t typically do topical humor, I do try to have something different in every show I do. I believe my audience deserves more than seeing the same set every time. Sometimes I’ll add new material, and sometimes I’ll revive something I haven’t done in a long time, and sometimes I’ll do both.  I planned to add some completely new bits, a few new lines to some existing bits, and a few bits that are still under construction to the Comedy Heights show at Twiggs last night. Of course, I also planned to incorporate some of my signature pieces.

I have a confession to make – I wasn’t as prepared for the show as I should have been. I’ve been pretty consumed with our kitchen renovation and I didn’t rehearse the new material that I was working on. I say that not as an excuse, but rather as an explanation for my lack of time management.

So the bad news is that I got on stage and kind of blanked on some of the new stuff.  The good news is that I was able to immediately fall back on some tried-and-true bits that filled my time pretty seamlessly. My husband and friends in the audience that have seen me perform before saw some hesitation in my delivery, but I don’t think anyone seeing me for the first time noticed.

I know that one of the things a comedian must learn is to not be afraid to fail. I took a risk by incorporating new material into a show without sufficient rehearsal. A more conservative approach would have been to do the same show I did the last time I played Twiggs. But, as I said, I believe the audience deserves something fresh. On one hand, I failed – I didn’t do the full set I had planned. On the other hand, I rose to a challenge – by changing my plan mid-performance to keep my set going. I’m just a little less afraid to risk a failure today.