Milo's periodic journal of
learning, life-tips, and laughter


The Power of Bombing (and Surviving It)

Stand up comedians are a tough bunch.  They have to be!  Not only are the dealing with limited times, harsh audiences, and alcohol to boot, there's only one way to really test new material:  in front of a crowd! One's mistakes are hugely public. The only redeeming quality is that, for those energized by the setting, the payoff of a good laugh is huge.  Having done it, I can tell you that it's a thrilling adrenaline rush.  When it works. 

Amy Schumer is one of today's hottest stars and her road to stardom was paved by a lot of great stand-up comedy. But more importantly, that followed a lot of really bad stand-up comedy.  Here's Amy talking:

"There’s nothing quite like your first bomb. You can feel it in your bones. First you think there might be something wrong with the sound. But there isn’t. It’s you. You’re the problem. You and your terrible jokes that are not funny. You realize everyone has been lying to you. There are no friends in the audience laughing so as not to hurt your self-esteem....I hung my head through the rest of the show and realized I had a lot of work to do. I didn’t cry but my confidence was in tiny little pieces shattered all over the dirty Harlem floor. Okay, fine, I cried. And I drank several warm beers...

"And then it happened to me. I thought of my first good joke. The kind that made me feel I had to get onstage to tell it. It happened on the 'L' train on my way home to Williamsburg around one a.m. I was sitting next to an elderly black woman and we were having a nice conversation. ...I walked home from the subway thinking about the interaction and I wrote a joke. A good joke...

"I called my sister early the next morning and woke her up...I listened into my phone for Kim’s response. Like I had so many times before. After about three Mississippis she said, “That’s funny. Good-bye.” And she hung up. But that was all I needed."

Want to hear that first joke that started it all?  Read Amy's full posting (warning:  just a tad off-color) at this link.

Amy found the guts to keep going and look at the outcome for her: movies, TV, and stage time.  It just meant not making it mean anything that she didn't succeed every time.

Speaking is similar and different than stand-up.  While you can't get a feel for how a joke will go over with a whole crowd by telling it to one person, you can get a sense of how you're doing with rehearsing a speech by sharing it with one person who is skilled in telling you what works and what doesn't.  You may have to take a chance on a few humor moments, but unlike Amy, you can count on the fact that the rest of your material will be solid...and any laughs are just cherries on top!

One of many tips & concepts in "Public Speaking: Get A's, Not Zzzzzz's!"

And my #2-on-Amazon hit for the next generation
makes a great gift for that teen you want to see succeed:

Two Holiday Quizzlers:

Belated happy holidays to you all, whatever your type of celebration!

As a kid, the Charlie Brown Christmas special was something special to
look forward to each year...on CBS...just once...with commercials always from Dolly Madison and McDonalds.   Not on a tape, DVD, or streaming. 
You had to be there at that moment with the whole family.  Made it special.

So if you were a fan, too, here's a trivia question:

At the end of the show, what traditional Christmas carol does the entire Peanuts gang hum, and then eventually sing ?

a)    Christmas Time Is Here   

b)    O Christmas Tree

c)    Hark The Herald Angels Sing

d)    Silent Night

e)    Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

And for those of you enjoying this late Chanukah, here's one for you:

Chanukah lasts eight days to commemorate what?

a)    Eight days until the Macabees triimphed over oppressors

b)    Eight angels who visited Judah Macabee to guide him

c)    Eight days that the oil lasted while in hiding

d)    Eight days in a week in the Jewish Calendar

e)    Eight flying reindeer of Judah Macabee

Milo on the News

 I'm very pleased with how my unexpected invitation onto KUSI's news program went.  This is "Good Morning, San Diego" from Sunday Nov 27.

Had to be my own client on this one, reminding myself to do my warm-ups, use "seated full body", smile a lot, and (toughest of all) to relax.

If you've seen my previous TV appearance two years ago, you'll see how much more at ease I was this time.  As I tell clients, it's practice!

Life Tips

You know that little garbage can by your desk (or bedside or sink) that's just a little too deep to be lined with a grocery bag?   Put a few washed-out, uncrushed soda cans or an old T-Shirt in the bottom of that pail to take up some room.  Now you can make use of those supermarket bags to give them a second life and not have to buy bigger ones. 

And if you're in a city that is now charging for them on the days you forget your canvass bag, you can make good use of them without feeling guilty.

Today's Humor

Quiz answers: both are "C"
(click the pic to enjoy that Peanuts moment)

If you said (a) to the Peanuts one,
that song was at the beginning of the show.

FYI:  Chanukah celebrates the miracle of oil, as a little amount of it that was supposed to only be enough for one night lasted eight days! This is why Chanukah lasts eight days, and the menorah has a place for each of the eight candles, which substituted oil over time.

Chanukah is a celebration of a miracle, not of the military victory achieved by the Jews.

One miracle that will probably never come is the Jewish community agreeing on one spelling of Chanukkah...Hannukah...  Chanukah...or whatever.  But happy fifth day of it! 

See?  Told you the newsletters would be light and helpful.  

If I can be of service to you, just use the button here to reach my site and drop me a line!   -- Milo


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Copyright 2016, Milo Shapiro.

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