#30 Finding my funny

Written by Shelle

4 June 2022

When my friend and vocal coach Mandy Bell made a donation to my page and challenged me to do stand-up comedy, I don’t think she thought I’d actually do it!

But you know me by now. I’m not one to shy away from a challenge unless it’s too expensive or totally beyond my capabilities.

I love making people laugh. I celebrate my ability to be funny, but I’d describe myself as ‘circumstantially funny’. I can make a quip or quick-witted comment about something that’s happening in the moment, and have people chuckling. I’m also not afraid to make a fool of myself in the interests of entertainment.

Mental block

All that said, I had a mental block when it came to the idea of standing up on stage and being deliberately funny. I didn’t know where to begin. If I was going to do this, I needed help. A quick google search led me to Crack Comedy, run by comedian Erich McElvoy. He runs a six week course in stand-up, of which week six is a live performance showcase.

I’d already missed week one but I was allowed to join late! “OK, let’s do this”, said I…

Then, suddenly it’s Monday 30th May and I’m having to get on stage and deliver five minutes of material to a sold-out audience of over 60 people in a comedy club in Kingston. Gulp!

I can safely say that this was the most terrifying of all challenges so far. I would rather jump out of a plane again than get on stage and try to be funny!

A whopping 23 of my friends came along on the evening to show their support – or watch me make a fool of myself, I’m not really sure! While this was incredible, it certainly raised the stakes a whole lot higher.

People did laugh

It’s weird – I came off stage thinking that people hadn’t laughed much. In fact, I thought I kind of bombed a bit but I was just glad to get it over with and tick challenge #30 off my list. It took me four days to bring myself to watch the video back – and, much to my delight, I see that people did laugh. A lot! Yay!

My slot was in the second half of the evening, so I had to watch two pros and three of my course colleagues deliver their material before I took to the stage. I think my anxiety levels increased with each one as they all did brilliantly.

I messed up a couple of lines, but I don’t think they took away from the main story and the jokes. I also ran over time – sorry, Erich – but I got away with it on account of the cause I was raising money for.

And, Erich allowed me to have a collecting bucket on the night, which people very generously popped their loose change into. We raised a total of £65.92 on the night!

I swore I’d never do stand-up again, but I did enjoy making people laugh (now that I’ve looked back at the video and seen that they did laugh!), so you never know…

Message me for a link to view the video.

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