I can't say I always 100% knew what I wanted to do when I was growing up, but if the feeling I had at dance recitals and whenever people laughed at my jokes, I knew I liked the limelight. And eventually, I knew I wanted to be a comedian.
It has been seven years since I started taking classes and pursuing this whole comedy thing. And in that time, I've reached a lot of milestones and worked really hard. I got over confidence and insecurity issues, I graduated the training center, made a lot of great friends, worked with a lot of talented people, made many different casts and now I teach and direct and perform regularly.
This year I quit my job to do it full-time. And now, I can actually say I'm a full-time comedian. Writer, performer, actor, comedian... all of those things are in my job title and I'm struck with awe. Some might even say awe-struck. I don't.
While I'm happy and excited and constantly cutting corners to save money (hello one meal a day and $2 beers), there are some things that come with doing what I love for a living that I would never have expected as a child. As a grown-ass-woman, sure, I expect there to be hardships with everything you love. Like a good relationship, there's always something rough... I don't know, I wouldn't know, I date terrible men.
For one, I'm poor. Like real poor. I managed to save some money before leaving my job and paid off a lot of my debt. But, I'm still poor. I can't afford leisure activities, so I spend a lot of time lounging in bed and walking outside with no destination because if I did have a destination in mind, I probably wouldn't be able to spend money there.
My down-time is at real awkward times. I work every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. In fact, Saturday I'm working from 11am until about 1am. That's a long day. And those hours are prime hang-out hours with your friends. Luckily, most of my friends are in the same boat. And, again, I don't have the money to go to bars and do weekend hang-out things anymore... but, it would still be nice to be able to attend events and parties and things my friends throw. If anyone wants to throw a party on a Monday afternoon, let me know!
I hate attention. I love the limelight, but I hate attention. I hate telling people I do comedy because they expect a lot of me. They expect me to be funny and they expect me to be super bubbly and outgoing. I'm the most nervous nancy I've ever met. I am socially awkward, I don't know how to small talk, I am not funny on command (is anyone?) and frankly, attention just makes me feel strange. Even people coming up to us after shows, I super appreciate it (and it makes me feel good) but, it's never not awkward for me. I will never love it.
Explaining what improv is to people... I'm over it. When people hear it, they think of short-form improv games (similar to "Whose Line Is It Anyway?") but that's the only real thing people might have seen for us to compare it to. Though, that's not the improv we do... it's nothing like it. I don't do stand-up, I can't tell you a joke, but if you want to give me a non-geographical location that would fit on this stage, I'll grab a fellow improviser and show you that location. And you'll see a great relationship or scenic game form completely in front of your eyes.
And finally, the comedy world is its own world. And it's real easy to get caught up in and kind of lose your mind. Stress and anxiety runs rampant... and competition is weirdly high, especially if you're a woman.
But, despite all this, I'm happy with my career choice. And wherever I end up next, I'm sure it will come with its hardships and there will be more stress... but, it's fun. And I'm happy. And there's literally nothing else I'd rather do in the world. Uuuuunfortunately!