Meet Avery. She has 8 years experience as a comedian and 7 years experience as a teenager—and she is here to A your toughest Qs about comedy, family, romance, school, and the meaning of life (maybe). Got a problem you can’t solve or a goal you need help meeting? Ask Avery by DMing @GOLDComedy or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I saw you’ve been doing stand-up for 8 years! I’ve been having trouble finding my niche recently. My question for you is how do you find a passion and actually stick with it?
But Make It Passion
So weirdly enough, despite my way too long career that often freaks out adults, I might not have a great answer for you. I find that I struggle with sticking to my passions too, just because there’s so much crap out there to explore.
My friends tease me (and I thought I was the comedian) about my different projects of the month, how I can suddenly go from pornographic Playboy collages to making cute stop-motion films out of toys, in a matter of weeks. I’ve taken on ‘zining, ultimate frisbee, making tiny clay foods—basically anything your weird artsy aunt is into. All these projects become my life for a certain period of time before being abandoned, and pushed into little crates in my room.
So actually, I want to challenge your question by saying that you don’t need to stick to one passion, at least not one specific thing. We live in a day and age where everyone thinks they need a niche to survive, when most of the time this is a recipe for burning out.
But also I get it: You wanna find the thing that makes you tick, like what comedy is to me. And I got lucky with overly invested parents who made me take every after school class available, so I could check off ballet, rock climbing, pottery, and child therapy, and know that they shouldn’t be investing in those activities anymore. One piece of advice I have is to be your own over-invested parent, and force yourself to just freaking TRY things.
“But what if I’m not—” Let me stop you right there. As a former “gifted and talented” student (and by former I mean when I was in kindergarten), I know that the idea that you have to be instantly good at things and if you’re not they’re stupid is very much ingrained in my head too. But take it this way: if you try and you love it, you can pursue this new passion and latch on however hard you want. And if you hate it, if underwater Zumba causes a trip to the ER, it’s just comedy material, which maybe is your passion after all.
OK? OK. Now I gotta go procrastinate on studying for finals by making a beaded curtain.