Last week I performed my 4th stand-up gig and it afforded me the opportunity to do something special.
I’ve always been a thanker (I said thanker!) and no doubt have annoyed people I have worked with by thanking them via email for any level of assistance. It’s how I was raised and I have always placed great importance in doing so. In my most worrisome of times, I have fretted about not saying thank you to someone.
Anyway, back to the story. Last year I saw a documentary by comedian Rhod Gilbert about shyness. Unbeknownst to me (and I am guessing a lot of people), Rhod suffers from shyness off-stage. Avoiding going to places, like a cafe, because of it. Rhod took a group of people with crippling shyness and gave them stand-up lessons culminating in a showcase. It was really inspiring stuff.
Back to last week. I was doing a New Act Night at Cafe Play Mumbles, a new-ish venue for comedy and the site of my first ever gig. There were 10 of us on the bill and Noel was MCing. I was on last-but-one so spent most of the night chatting with some of the comedians I had met before and going through my set.
The comedian performing before me looked familiar, but I couldn’t place him. As the night drew on, my stage time was approaching so I was intently trying to remember my new jokes. The familiar comedian was introduced as Mike Powell and the name didn’t ring a bell. He then started his set, which revealed he had taken part in the Rhod Gilbert documentary as one of the group being trained. His set finished and I was on.
I have really started to enjoy performing, which is odd because when I did the Myers-Briggs Test I came out INFJ, which is introverted. I will come back to that another time.
So, I finished my set and went to the backstage area where Mike was sat. I then got to tell him how much the documentary had inspired me to try stand-up after years of not believing in myself. And how by seeing his journey, I was spurred on to contact Noel and that started my own journey. I then said, “Thank you.”
Mike was so gracious and unassuming in accepting this from a stranger. He told me he was glad that I had been inspired and how much he liked my set.
Thank you, two words which take seconds to say but can mean so much to both the sayer and recipient.
P.s. Mike is on Twitter (@PowellComedy)
P.p.s. I have booked my first paying gig