The 161 - Fear Of Creation

I often daydream about creating something brilliant. I daydream about creating something brilliant too much. I daydream about creating something so brilliant so much so that when it comes to me finally getting around to creating the thing, I don't do it, because the reality of the daydream in my silly little head will never match how great the thing is that I have spent the day dreaming about.

My first show will change peoples minds through the medium of old school french clowning, a completely original concept which ends on a powerpoint presentation and a short play involving an audience member...and then the reality strikes that it might just be me, chatting about my widge, into a battered microphone, in a room that for the other 11 months of the year is used to store beer kegs.

It is fear. That is what is stopping me. The fear of putting a bit of myself on the line. The fear of other comics opinions. The fear of wasting an opportunity.

Now I don't know where this fear has come from, because as a child I was the first one to show off at school or in front of my Mum and Dad's friends. Bursting downstairs at Christmas in Mum's stiletto's and a plastic bag on my head ready to wow the crowds.

But as I have got older, and more importantly, progressed into actually being part of the UK comedy circuit, I have developed the fear.

For something so free, it feels there are a bloody lot of rules. At the start of the show, enter the stage to 'Back In Black', high five everyone, open with your best 10 minute club set, 25 minutes in, play a video, 40 minutes in, kill off a family member and then in the final minutes of your first hour make everyone feel good about their lives.

Obviously not every show does that, I remember the first day I ever went to Edinburgh and randomly bought tickets for Nick Helm, Alex Horne and Terry Alderton...and it was like the back of my head had fallen off. I didn't know you were allowed to do that...but you can, you can do whatever you want.


Only one problem, when you are allowed to do anything, there is too much choice. And when there is too much choice, you end up picking nothing.

It gets to 161 days before the fringe and you start to doubt everything you have done. Well you do if you are me.

So what can I do to get over this fear of creation...I guess I just get on with it. I plough on through. I do what feels right, and if it's not right...plough on through until it is. After all, I have got this far by guessing.

In an ideal world, as of today, I will just be creating a large volume of work (that is what Ira Glass told me to do...not personally), I will be pushing myself into things I have never done before (I don't mean men or animals) and I will spend the next 161 days concentrating on what I can get right, instead of all the things that I am terrible at. 

But I don't live in an ideal world, I work in the comedy industry for fudge sakes. So there are going to be days when I stare at a screen and wish someone else would do it for me, but that is just the way it is...

Like a porno star at an orgy...just plough on through!