I found out last week that I was invited to compete in the 35th Seattle International Comedy Competition (SICC). I was really happy…for about 10 minutes. Then it hit me. This is just the beginning. This is not the end, but the beginning of what could be a very worthy journey.
I have been actively trying to get into the SICC for about 3 years now. The first year, I did not really take it seriously. I felt that like a lot of other comedy competitions that it was for people with a name a reputation, not someone like me. I am a road comic. I travel the region bringing joy to many dive bars. At the time I just did it because people said that I should. The next time I tried to get into it I was a little more serious. I felt like I was ready to make some waves in this competition. I sold my iPad and made the trek to Seattle. I got up, performed, and drove home. I did not feel as though it was my best performance, but I felt that I had a small chance. I did not get in. It was a blow to my ego, but I kept trucking and this year I got in.
What I kept getting from my comedian friends was, “Have fun!” and that is something that a lot of people forget. Every one thinks they are the better comic, and so there is a lot of pressure to prove it. No one wants to go home after the first week, and most people are not from Seattle so they are struggling with getting room and board and going through the city. All this will lead to a lot of people putting pressure on themselves. I can tell you all this. I am one of those people. I will throw all of my efforts into one thing, and let it hurt me if it doesn’t go through the way I want it too. That is the wrong way to go about a competition. Everyone things they are competing against everyone else. You are not! You are competing against you. If you do the best you can possibly do then you can succeed…at least that is my theory.
I am going over there with the mindset that this is mainly to get my name and act out there to more people. That is the most important part. What that means is I have to get up there every night and show the world what I can do. I can not worry about the musical act or the guy that just murdered it before I got on stage. I have to go up, perform my ass off, and hopefully that will get me further in the competition. I problem is I will get inside my own head and mess my own performance up. What I need to do is forget about the end result and just try to get through the journey.
If I told you that I am not afraid though I would be lying. I am afraid of letting Spokane’s comics down. These guys have worked so hard to finally get recognized and I don’t want to mess that up. I want people to look further into Spokane not look away from it. I am afraid that I will fail hard over there. These of course are silly thoughts. I should not worry about these things.
As I get my plans in order, I also think of the long trek ahead. If you make it all the way, there is three weeks of driving and performing and trying to be name the winner of the 2014 Seattle International Comedy Competition. That title doesn’t mean anything though if you are not ready to work get you name out there and this helps it. If you can make a name in the competition then you can advance your career to the next level. And that is a worthy journey.