Comedy contests are always difficult. You prepare for weeks, try and get a tight set, really apply yourself…and more likely than not, you lose.
I’ve competed in a few comedy contests, and have always lost. Sometimes I knew I would lose, other times the audience looked in shock when I lost. I’ve had judges tell me I lost by half a point. I’ve also had judges get drunk so they were incoherent during my set. I’ve even dealt with a judge who got up for a smoke break during my set.
Sometimes I’ll do a comedy contest. Sometimes I won’t. It is always great to network, perform in front of a different audience, check out the competition, etc.
How do I go on after humiliating loss after humiliating loss? Because Diana Ross has never won a Grammy. Neither has Bob Marley, The Who, Queen, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and many others. An award is not a testament to talent or impact or even longevity. An award is a title and sometimes a physical object that says some people at that time thought you did well. Once you walk out of the room, it only has meaning if you give it meaning.
In some instances, the Grammy Award for Best New Artist was a kiss of death. Elvis Costello lost to A Taste Of Honey for Best New Artist. Who had the longer career? Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” lost to an acoustic version of Eric Clapton’s “Layla” for 1992 Rock Song of the Year. Let’s think about that for a minute.
Sometimes I take a deep breath, take a step back and realize why I do comedy. I do it because I love comedy. I do it because I like to make people laugh. I do it because I like to perform. I do it because I feel I have something to say. An award doesn’t take away or give to that.
I am going to keep doing comedy, keep producing shows and, if given a chance, compete. May be I’ll win! Then I can write a blog about eating crow.