Perform Stand-Up

Best laid plans…

I was going to perform a stand-up at my friend, Cosmo’s, Halloween party. That was Thursday night and by reading the word, “was”, you can conclude how that turned out.

Thing is, I was ready. I’d practiced. It wasn’t going to be amazing, but it would have been entertaining. The crowd probably would have had a good time. Or, they wouldn’t have been able to understand a word I was saying because the sound system wasn’t the cleanest. Who knows? That speculation doesn’t matter.

I’d like to blame it on the disorganization. Or the crowd, so dense that it was difficult to move from place to place or find anyone. Both played their parts, but it was me. I didn’t push for it. Weirdly, it wasn’t nerves for being on stage. I have to be in front of larger crowds at work all the time. It wasn’t not knowing the material. I’d spent most of the day practicing, refining, and felt pretty confident. If I’m speaking honestly, I wanted someone else to want me to be there and I was hurt when that didn’t happen. But the joke is on me now because the next day I was hit by a wave of regret and deep depressive thoughts about what should have been.

What I should have done was said, “I’m going on at 10, who do I need to talk to?” I should have told the DJs so they could turn down the music and to put on the track I had pulled to play me off. I should have found the person who would be running the mixing board at the stage, the one who would have needed to bring-up the mic for me. “What I should have done…” is the most impotent feeling.

As it was, my friend Becky egged me on as the night wore down, but the host’s band was slated to go on at 10:30. By the time he came down and started talking to the sound person (where was she earlier?), it was time for them to go on. His wedding.

At the time, I was just excited to see people. I had a good time. While it’s difficult to talk about, I’ve been in a dark place recently. One of heavy layers of this depression is the realization that I don’t have any ‘close’ friends. The people I most relate to don’t reach-out and plans with them fall apart, if they get made at all. It makes my skin crawl just writing that, but it’s the truth. I’m a big baby. Waaa. “I always reach-out to people and don’t get that in return!” Change my diaper, please. I fucking hate myself. All of this is to say that I *almost* didn’t even go to the party. A surprise visit from Scooter and Becky the night before changed my mind because I love my friends. The night of the party I spent pre-occupied with anxiety: pre-show jitters mixed with the frustration of having no idea how or if I was going to go on.

But the next day I cried [probably need to mention that it was the anniversary of the day my mom died, so there was already a deep sadness and contemplation in the air, but still…]. I was driving to work and the weight of not having gone through with it, of failing in front of the very people I wanted to entertain, hit me. Hard. Realizing that I wanted to do it more than I thought I did. I wanted to show my friends this side of me. I wanted to demonstrate that I have talent to my talented friends. Even if it was going to be dumb. Especially because it was going to be dumb.

I truly regret not having the initiative to have made my feelings known- it was important to me. I act blasé to cover for my fear of sounding ‘lame’. That was the reason I added this one to the list. I want to get over this self-editing that holds me back. I want to express myself more clearly to avoid these feeling of regret. Instead, I was complacent and did exactly what I was trying to avoid.

I never want to forget that feeling. That deep regret should haunt me forever as what will happen if I’m not honest with others and take the initiative.

I keep picturing a version of the world where I had done it. I’m happier there than I am now.

Marking this on “in progress” because I’ve committed to doing it next year. But lunch the next day with Cosmo he said, “maybe this was the last year”… I sincerely hope not.

2022 update: Covid 19 halted the annual Halloween party for a couple years. Still left undone.