Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

I did a stand-up comedy open mic night for the first time ever tonight.  It’s been a long time coming.  For years in my former life I used to give talks about business systems and people would say “have you ever thought of being a stand-up comedian?”  The same thing happens at the talks that I give on self-esteem and body image.  The reason that I’ve resisted up to this point is my fear that I am only “situationally funny”, not just stand-up-and-be-funny.  Also, if I’m talking about business systems or self-esteem and people don’t think I’m funny, I’m still an expert at business systems and self-esteem.  If I’m doing stand up and I’m not funny then I’m just not funny – I can’t exactly pivot to how to create a prospect follow-up system or how to love your body more in three steps.

But I did it.  I jumped off a cliff.

I’m a collector and teller of stories – my own and other people’s.  I like to think that my stories are endlessly fascinating and that everyone wants to hear them.  That’s not necessarily the case but I like to think it is.  I used to think that I was a “one-upper”, someone who always had to tell a story to one-up what someone else had said.  It turns out that’s not the case, I just really like telling stories and so when someone tells me a story that reminds me of one of mine I’m off.  It’s not always a good thing – while people think I’m funny I can dominate a conversation without ever realizing it and I can come off as a one-upper.

So the coolest thing about tonight was that those people had come to that place to hear funny stories.  I didn’t have any concern in the back of my head that I was talking too much or telling too many stories or that someone might perceive me as a one-upper or whatever.  My whole job was to tell stories as well as I could and hope that people thought they were funny.  I told the story of my desperately unfortunate maiden last name, and the one about the time my mom sold me for air-conditioners (You can find that one here…)

And people laughed. I had experienced comics  tell me that I could have a career  in stand-up and several people suggested that I do the “Funniest Person in Austin” competition.  It’s possible that I was that good, it’s possible that they were being nice because it was my first time.  I don’t even care.  I had so much fun – I was an entertainer and the crowd was entertained and nothing makes me happier than that – whether I’m dancing, giving a talk on self-esteem, or – as it turns out- doing stand-up comedy.  So  I’m going to look for more and more opportunities to do and be that in my life.  I’ll be happy and I’ll make a difference.  Woo Hoo!!!

What are you doing to pursue joy?


25 thoughts on “Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

  1. I dream of doing comedy! I think it’s amazing that you took the plunge and dove off that cliff! Now when you are a famous comedian, I can say, “I knew her when…”

    xo Susie

    1. Hey Susie,

      You should totally give it a shot – I’ll be there’s an open mic night near you that would love to have you. Hugs! ~Ragen

  2. Getting up in front of a crowd to do comedy would be my own personal nightmare so whenever someone does that I’m in awe. How great for you to have a dream and then fulfill it. You go girl!

  3. You were that good. And people recognize that the fact that you were as good as you were, after only your first time doing it, you’re a natural, and you could have a career at it.

    I think it’d be really interesting to see you use stand-up comedy as an avenue for advancing your work with Body Positive. There’s a guy named Taylor Mali (http://taylormali.com/) who’s created the goal of inspiring 1,000 people to become teachers as a result of the way he talks about teaching. A lot of this is done through stand-up, poetry jams, and so on. You could totally do the same thing.

    1. Thanks David! You were hilarious (and one of the friends I was with asked me for an explanation of the song you did that lead to a very uncomfortable discussion). I definitely like your idea of using stand-up with Body Positive. I am a huge fan of Taylor Mali and I have no doubt that he’ll reach that goal.

    1. Thank you! I totally wish I could sing too, I’m not great at being wicked but it sounds like you have it down pat.

  4. Oooh, that’s something I want to try one day too. I second the nomination for taping your next performance. Would love to see it. Congratulations for trying something new!

  5. I have always found that making people laugh truly makes me happy. Im not stand up comedian material, however, if I find something I think is funny I definitely share it.
    Keep at it!

  6. How fun to do stand-up! And brave!! Go for the Austin competition!

    I’m marketing and blogging in pursuit of my dreams to live on the beach again, and to travel the world. I’ll start with the U.S. 🙂 If I can make a career based solely on the internet, I’ll be able to do it from anywhere. 🙂

  7. OK, now I know how funny you are and I’m so excited that you closed your eyes and jumped!!! Can’t wait to get home and see you do some stand-up!

    Miss and LOVE you-


    1. Thank CJ. I hope that you are having a wonderful time and I’ll look forward to seeing you when you get back 🙂 Miss and Love you right back!

  8. Well done on getting out of your comfort zone and having a go at something you wanted to do, and I’m so glad to hear it went well.

    I too am a storyteller and story collector, and have always regaled people with anecdotes and tales. And I’ve been accused of “one-upping” too, but that’s not why I do it. I just love telling stories, passing them on.

    Folks have also told me I “should be a comedian” and while, like you, I do public speaking and know how to ride the audience reaction and response fairly well, I’m not sure I’d ever be good enough just to do comedy.

    But who knows? Maybe one day.

    1. I totally recommend an open mic night – it’s a really low pressure way to try it out 🙂 Good luck!

  9. WOW! This actually MADE me happier, just reading it! I’m so glad you had a great stand-up experience, so awesome! I can’t even begin to wonder how scary that is, and how many balls a person has to have to do it! Great post and congratulations!

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