At a recent event I was asked “What do you do when you just don’t feel like getting up in front of people?”
As a comedian and speaker there are DEFINITELY some of those times. For a few weeks in December I was under attack from sinus infections, ear aches and an extra helping of food poisoning. My busiest time of the year and I was down for the count! With the exception of one show – where I was advised not to fly with the ear infection – I was able to make it through.
To be honest, the 23 hours of the day when I am not on stage is the hard part. Wondering, worrying about the show later on that night can drag you down. Thoughts race through your head, “Will my voice hold up? Will my medicine make me trippy? What if I pass out in front of the entire group?” I say a prayer, hand it all over and head to the venue.
Despite the worry, something magical happens when you hit the stage. The adrenaline kicks in and you get a natural boost of energy. You are forced to focus on each and every word and guess what – your show is better. The pace becomes more natural and you pause to enjoy the laughs (and save your voice). In a nutshell, you are hyper-aware. But no one else is.
I never burden the event planner with my woes. The last thing Cathy from accounting needs is to hear me say “I may not make it out of here alive. If I go down – my Blue Cross card is in the wallet.” She just needs to know I am there and will be ready when they are.
So what do I do when I just don’t feel like getting up in front of people? I hunker down and realize I just may have the best job in the world. Being in front of a few hundred people when I’m down is great medicine. And, with that many people around, the odds of someone catching me before I pull a Chevy Chase are pretty good.