I have been doing stand-up for over a decade. It's been great. However, it's easy to take the business part of show business too seriously. Peripheral things- like who has the most twitter followers, money, lack of money, and who's had the most hits put out on them- can drive you mad!
|Jake Sharon's 2005 headshot|
Photo by Crystal Allen
The past couple weeks, I have had some time off in my new home town, Austin, Texas. Another way of saying that is I have been at home with my wife not making money the past few weeks. When I am traveling around the country working clubs and colleges, I am making money. When I am in Austin, I am freaking out, losing money.
One great thing about Austin, though, is there are a ton of places to perform. So, I have been getting on stage constantly. That's helped me take my mind off the bills I'm not paying.
Last week at The Skylark Lounge, I decided to do a set without material. I figured I'd screw around, ad-lib like crazy, and see what happens. If that didn't work out, of course, I could always go back into material. The thing is, I didn't go back into material. It was awesome.
Since then, I have started each set the same way: I ad-lib till I run out of inspiration. Then I do my jokes. It's reminding me why I got into this business anyway- to have fun on stage. I didn't get into comedy to make money. I didn't get into comedy to pay bills. I got into comedy because as long as I have the mic, nobody can tell me what to do. NOBODY!
Yes, we all want laughs after everything we say. But having fun isn't just about the result. It's about the experience. It's about the risk. It's about the fearless ability to fail if need be.
Here's a video excerpt of my ad-libbed set at Austin's Skylark Lounge last week. It's not perfect. There are a couple things I'd like to go back in time and tweak. But no big deal: I was ad-libbing. You can tell I was having fun. I hope you do too.
Bye! I'm Jake!