They do not pay your rent

You may have noticed that I’ve been sticking up a bunch of pictures of myself with my jokes written on them. Like this one:

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They’re from my upcoming show “Distant” and they’re very different to what I normally do. I wanted to cover topics that people steer away from on stage because they either find it too difficult or want to be safer in their approach. I genuinely believe comedy, when done in the right way, can change the world.

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(Like this)

However when you’re tackling subjects like this you’ll always face some kind of opposition. It’s easy to feel bad and question yourself when you get comments like this:

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Which was in response to this joke:
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That’s a pretty extreme reaction and it’d be easy to look at that and the many others and think “everyone hates me and I’m doing it wrong”. I started to think like that when I had a phone call with a good friend who’s a successful motivational speaker. I told him about this and he said he’d seen my stuff and thought it was great “you shouldn’t feel bad” he said (I’m paraphrasing) “these people don’t pay your rent”.

And just like that this massive weight lifted off my shoulders. The people who don’t like it won’t like it and the people that do will be your audience and they’re the only people that matter when you’re performing. The peers that mock your approach to things, the anonymous keyboard warriors that attack you, the heckler who shouts nonsense during your set, these people aren’t your audience and are thus completely irrelevant. Negative criticism always comes from a point of fear and jealousy.

No matter what you do remember that. Even if you’re working in a call centre and you’re worried about doing 30 minutes of overtime because it makes you look like you’re sucking up. Remember that your critics won’t feel the benefit of your extra work and are, in fact, proof that you’re doing the right thing.

They don’t pay your rent. Your audience do.

The definition of success

Sometimes I get down on myself and I turn to my partner and say “I just don’t know if I’m good enough. I don’t know if I can be funny enough or successful enough or a decent enough parent. I don’t know if I’m good enough to make any of this work .” She always tells me how ridiculous that is, points out the successes in our lives and points to future successes we know are coming.

Thing is everyone feels like this. No matter how confident you are, how great your life is or how rich you are there’s always that little voice in the back of your head making you question yourself. As a comedian that voice is what drives me to do better and create things to make myself feel a sense of achievement. It’s seen as a taboo to talk about it still, especially in the entertainments industry, but I saw this video today and I wanted to share it

If you put a number to how you really felt about how successful you are I bet it would be low. I bet you’d never go above 6 in fact. But the truth is, to the most important people, you’re already a huge success and you need to know that.

This post was for me to say to myself “don’t get so down about it, you’re doing better than you would ever have believed two years ago” but I’m sure it’s the same for you.

Dreams

I’m here as an example. Every single time you think you can’t do it,  every time you think you’re not good enough, every day you look in the mirror and hate the person looking back at you and know you’re not worth it I’m here to tell you it’s bullshit. You’re amazing,  you’re incredible and you’re stronger than you ever imagined. You’re in a world of infinite possibility so go make anything possible.

You’re perfect and the world is run by fools. Fuck ’em.