In improv, we all want to get noticed and be liked by everyone at the same time. The problem is, it’s hard for those things to coexist. To get noticed, you are going to have to have a strong point of view, and that will piss some people off. And not only is that okay, if you start pissing people off, it just affirms that you have found your point of view.
Take Stephen Colbert. Regardless of whether you agree with his politics or not, we can all agree he has developed a strong point of view. And it did not come overnight either.
If you watched him during his first few months at the Late Show, you could see him trying to find his footing as he transitioned from the bombastic character of Stephen Colbert from The Colbert Report to being Stephen Colbert, host of CBS’s Late Show. Could he be as political as he was on his show on Comedy Central? What would be the new point of view of the host?
At first, Colbert was trying really hard to appeal to what he thought a mainstream audience would want. He didn’t know if it was ok to be political, because that might offend some viewers, so we just got a watered down version of the authentic Colbert.
The show struggled a bit at the beginning to find its voice, but when it did, it never apologized for it. It never looked back. Colbert has hit his groove. Now, Colbert is openly criticizing Trump. He’s become the jester who is not afraid to take on the king, and he looks like he’s having a lot of fun doing it, too.
As soon as Colbert wasn’t afraid to piss people off, he found his voice, and surprise, people have connected with him more. Ratings have soared.
Colbert has certainly had to weather more criticism though, even from President Trump himself, who called Colbert a “no talent guy” and “filthy.” On the one hand, getting criticized is hard, but on the other hand, it’s pretty amazing that the president of the United States is talking about you.
I get that getting criticism is hard. But the bigger you get and the stronger your point of view is, people will start taking shots. It’s just human nature. Just know that if you’re starting to receive criticism, it’s actually a good thing. It means your comedic voice is getting stronger and people are starting to notice.