Fairly recently, I attended a comedy show at a local club. Once in a while it is worth going to see someone try to deliver the goods live on stage. The mid-card comedian bombed very badly. So badly that they were booed off the stage.
The material wasn’t working and the audience responded swiftly. I was content to remain quiet and not say anything. The feeling of everyone else being uncomfortable was very easy to absorb. Anyone who goes to a show like this expects and hopes to hear things that will make them laugh. Overall this was still the end result of the night. The MC and headliner killed with great sets.
As difficult as it was to listen to this comic, I was rooting for them. I hoped somehow they would turn it around in their set and come back with everything blazing. It was just not going to happen.
They were resoundingly chased from the stage which gave the MC a chance to work on some additional material he was developing. I respect anyone with the courage to take the stage in the name of their art. YouTube offers plenty of evidence where some of the best in the business have tanked onstage at one time. It is the same with any art form. Picasso was revered for all the tremendous output he generated through his life. Even he had his bad days.
Writing is no different. Ever since that evening, I have found myself reflecting on how my own messages are delivered through words. There is additional scrutinizing through these pages, my own social media and freelance work. In a weird sense, seeing that comic go through a disastrous set made me appreciate the work I have generated the last few weeks. As signs of my favorite season continue to magnify, the busiest time of the year is rolling along.
There has been lots of questioning though too. Lots of it.
I like to think I have a reasonably interesting sense of humour. I’m told on a regular basis that people find me funny. It may be a select few, but it is a few. After seeing this particularly disastrous comedy performance, I have spent a lot of time questioning my own sense of humour. Many tweets on my Twitter Account were deleted shortly after posting them. Things that looked good in my brain, can look horrid on the screen. They just didn’t work.
I respect anyone who is in the business/craft of artistic creation. There are certain things that are not my glass of wine. It is rather easy to accept that my writing may not be someone’s glass of wine. Everyone who creates knows that they cannot please anyone. I’ve received my fair share of negative reviews and criticism for my writing. Fortunately, I have received significantly more positive feedback that has overshadowed any criticism. Even if that criticism was well-deserved and well-meant.
Criticism is something to thrive on. You can learn so much from it and ultimately become better. If the bombing comedian really does have some comedic talent, then I hope he manages to recover strong, and sharpens his pen for improvements to his act. If the passion is there, keep it going.
I will keep going. If you are an artist doing whatever art you love, I hope you will keep going too.