For as long as I can remember, I wanted to do stand-up comedy. I was fascinated by it. I watched hours and hours of comedy specials examining how each comedian performed his or her craft. I knew it wasn’t easy, that making it look effortless and off-the-cuff, took hours and even years to master.
I went to comedy shows often, mostly by myself. I didn’t care that I was alone. I wanted to watch people, people who were braver than I was, get up on stage and make others laugh. What a special gift that is! I wanted to do that too but I was too afraid.
Years passed, life went on, and although my love and passion for stand-up never waned, my crushing fear was always there. I was afraid of being judged. I was afraid of no one laughing or thinking I was funny. I was afraid of being booed off stage. I was afraid of putting myself out there and being vulnerable for the world to see.
A series of life-changing events happened that started the shift for me. Key people in my life passed away…both of my parents and two close friends. I realized that I was merely existing…I wasn’t living! A seismic shift happened in late 2018 after my mother passed away: I ended a years long, toxic, on-again off-again relationship for good, I accepted a new job, packed up my life in Toronto and moved to Ottawa.
I decided that I was sick of hearing myself say things like, “I could never do that…”, “I’m too afraid…”, “What will so-and-so think…?” I was fed up and determined to do life differently. I was going to try all the things I had been too afraid to do in the past. The first thing on that list was “Do stand-up”.
In early summer 2019, I signed up for a stand-up comedy class at Absolute Comedy Ottawa. The 6-week course started in August and ran until late September. Every week we’d get on stage, perform what we had written in front of the class, and get constructive, helpful feedback on how we could improve. It was such a fun and supportive environment! Every Monday I couldn’t wait to get to class to perform and to see what my classmates had done.
Our last class on September 23, 2019 was a live show! Everyone did so well! Many people couldn’t believe that this was the first time we had performed live. I had 20+ friends and family in the crowd. I was nervous up until Pierre called me to the stage. My set went really well! I was so pumped full of adrenaline afterwards. When I left the club and got back to my car, I burst into tears. I was so overwhelmed by what I had done. I had finally done it!! There was no stopping me now!
Since that night I’ve been performing at open mics, shows, and private events around Ottawa. I’ve met so many talented local comics and I’ve been learning so much from them by watching, observing, and asking questions.
Who knows where this will take me but boy am I having a blast!