Acting As If I’m A Success
I am leaving this Sunday to go to LA with my wife. I’m going to be doing three live Improv Nerd shows with three amazing guests: Andy Richter, Matt Besser and Beer Shark Mice. I am also teaching a workshop next Saturday, which shockingly sold out in about 24 hours.
Most people would be excited, right? Great guests, a few days in the sun, a chance to take my show to the next level. But I am not like most people. I am terrified.
LA is a city that intimidates me. It’s a place where “I feel less than,” not good enough, even more so than I normally do in Chicago. I moved there for five weeks in my early 30s and auditioned for some shows, and I came back flat broke and un-famous with my tail between my legs.
People I started out with, on the other hand, moved to LA and made it big. Pat Finn is on a show on Nickelodeon, Neil Flynn is on “The Middle,” Dave Koechner is filming Anchor Man 2.
So now I’m going back there, feeling exposed and stupid. I mean, how can a person who teaches improv compare himself to people who have successful careers in TV and film?
The problem is I can’t. If I do, it only makes me feel worse, but I can’t stop. It’s like a compulsion to cut yourself or eat so much cheese and caramel corn until you want to throw up.
I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have terrible habit of “comparing my insides with everybody’s outsides.” That’s why I love to play low status characters in improv scenes because that’s what I’ve done my whole life.
My wife, Lauren, is constantly saying I’m a great teacher and a great interviewer, telling me people respect me and that I help people, but those affirmations are wasted on me.
So, my therapist gave me this crazy-ass experiment to try. Instead of saying I am not good enough, I am a piece of shit… my usual schtick, when I go to LA I am going to “act as if” I am successful. And to make matters worse he told me to write a blog with affirmations in it.
I really don’t know if it will work, or how long it will last, or if when I finish writing this, I will black this out like my drunken Christmas Eve of 1982. But I am willing to try something different.
I am also going to ask you to help me prepare for this trip. If you have affirmations or compliments, please pass them on by writing in the comments section. I will be checking my blog addictively while I am on the trip.
OK, I am stalling. I dread writing these. I feel uncomfortable. As you know from my last blog, I am more comfortable with the dark side of myself… Fuck it, here I go.
1. I have a beautiful, loving and supporting wife who is going on the trip with me. (Yes, I am lucky).
2. I am a great improv teacher. (I believe this one).
3. I am fucking great interviewer. (I believe this one, too).
4. I am great writer and I get great response from these blog pieces. (I feel like I am stretching it, but I’m not lying yet.)
5. I have a great sense of humor. I am great improviser. (This one is hard to say. I kind of believe it, and I am putting it down.)
6. I have three wonderful guest lined up. (Fine, let’s move on.)
7. In the past year and a half, we have interviewed some real A list people for the Improv Nerd podcast, and it has grown in popularity and have built up tons of fans from across the world. (True, and I feel I am try to sell you something.)
8. My friends the Finns are throwing a party for me and my wife in LA. (I am feeling tired and want to quit.)
9. I make my living as Improv teacher. (I feel sadness.)
10. I have great friends. (More sadness)
Please, if you would like to add to list please feel to do so. I need your help.