Hey, y’all. I conquered one of my solo fears last night. It was my first time going solo to a comedy club. Kinda.
“Traveling alone, not lonely,” has become my life motto not by choice but by necessity to enjoy life. Even as I age and can tell I’m settling in my ways, if I had the choice, I’d have a partner in crime gallivanting by my side. Or, if he wants to be a homebody, that’s fine, too.
I’ve Been Doing It But It’s Still Difficult: Traveling Solo
Traveling solo isn’t as easy as it seems, especially for introverts like me. Dining in a restaurant alone rather than within the four walls of a hotel room was a big step in being comfortable and confident with who I am. It finally clicked that people aren’t staring at me and thinking, “Look at that woman dining alone.”
In reality, they’re wrapped up in their own world rather than judging solo diners. And if they are judging, so what? Just means you’re leading a more exciting life than them if they’re more concerned with your dining habits than their own lives. Of course, if your dining habits are comparable to ravenous farm animals, you have other issues.
I Faced One of My Biggest Fears…
Although I celebrate doing things solo just like coupled people, there are just some activities I haven’t been brave to try alone. Visiting a comedy club solo has been one of those things. Actually, before last night, the thought petrified me.
I don’t want the comics to single me out as the awkward single woman in the crowd. But ya know what? I work in marketing and if I were savvy enough, I could turn that to my advantage which is what I tried to do last night.
A Timeless Friendship
My childhood friend Stu McCallister is a professional comic based in Grand Rapids, Mich. He and two of his counterparts were performing down the road at the Old Naples Comedy Club this weekend. My lame attempt in using Facebook to find someone to join me failed so I flew solo.
We had a quick dinner where we caught up. Facebook is nice for keeping connected and in general, social media has helped us introverts strengthen our voice. Sidebar: Stu was the one who convinced me to make the leap from MySpace to Facebook. What a trendsetter!
Who Was More Nervous? Me Sitting Alone or the Guy On Stage?
When it came time for the show, I was seated at the “friends” table in the back of the room, a six-top that only had two others who were friends of the owner. Or maybe they were friends of the opening comic. I can’t remember who they were associated with but they were a sweet couple. I was also seated in the direct visual line of the performers.
Nervous people on stage make me nervous and anxious. I know how difficult public speaking is and I climb out of my comfort zone whenever speaking on stage or on camera. The best defense is practice, practice, practice. And a perfect manicure.
When seeing someone obviously uncomfortable, my codependent self takes over and makes it my duty to make them feel comfortable. I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to do but it’s what my instinct tells me.
The opening comic, a handsome local guy, seemed nervous. Or, may be he was jacked up on caffeine. His hand was rapidly shaking while holding the microphone and my “I gotta make him feel comfortable” mode kicked in.
Oh Yes I Did Say That
“Is anyone celebrating anything?” he asked while scanning the audience. “Anyone celebrating a birthday? An anniversary?”
I looked around and the only response from the audience of about 15 was the deafening sound of crickets. (If you don’t know what that means, read this.)
I’m the first to laugh at myself and willing to sacrifice my dignity by giving him material to work with, I raised my hand.
“Yes, ma’am. What are you celebrating?”
Wait for it, wait for it…
“I’m celebrating my seven-year anniversary on Twitter!” I enthusiastically exclaimed. “It’s my Twitterversary!”
Oh. Yes. I am a geeky gal and I went there.
And guess what? I stumped him but that wasn’t my intention.
“That’s the first I’ve heard that,” he said, followed by a shout out to my Twitter handle (@JenniferHuber). Perhaps I gave him material for future sets and my job is done.
Visiting a Comedy Club Solo Wasn’t So Bad
Being the solo gal at the comedy club wasn’t so bad, especially since it was an intimate (read: small) crowd. I interacted with the comics only after no one else seemed to be doing so. I did my best “you can do this!” smile and nodded and laughed to show solidarity. Plus, I met some new people and of course, another story to share.
Have you visited a comedy club alone?