Being able to laugh at yourself is pretty important, especially in comedy. You can’t take these things too seriously. One night, a crowd will be on your side and laughing, and the next, you’re all alone on stage fighting to get through those 5 minutes.
I was talking with a friend and he asked me how I dealt with getting on stage and no one laughing. And to me, it’s all about attitude.
Before I take the stage, I have to remind myself that it’s okay if no one laughs. It’s okay if people just sit and stare and make me feel uncomfortable. Chances are, I will never see these people again. So everything will be fine after I leave the stage. And a minute, hour or a day from then, no one will even remember that I bombed.
Also, you just have to have confidence in yourself that you and your material is funny. Maybe the crowd wasn’t feeling your jokes. Maybe your timing was off and you messed up some punchlines. Who cares? Keep practicing.
I have to remind myself that even after a horrible set, I have to get back up there and prove to myself that I can do it. I can make a crowd laugh. And even if I fail on a particular night, I know that I can laugh to myself about it.
It becomes a story to tell. A story that every comedian knows too well. Everyone has bad nights. It’s almost a rite of passage. If you’re killing it every night, then you should be headlining every club and appearing on Letterman.
But until then, keep your focus and try to make someone laugh. Even if you fail, don’t take these things too seriously. You’ll be prepared to get them next time.
So relax, man. Keep chasing that dream.