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’ve been really struggling with my confidence recently. Got any advice for how to be the most me I can be, without sounding incredibly corny?
I Tried to Think of a Witty Fake Name But None of Them Were Good Enough
Girl, I can’t tell you how many people have asked me about building confidence. Apparently, being able to stand up in front of hundreds of people (on a good day) and joking for 30 minutes (on a good night) requires a certain level (or type) of confidence, and I am more than happy to share a few secrets with the readers of GOLD.
Point 1: FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT. Yeah, yeah isn’t that what every single famous person says their secret is for how they got started? Yeah, yeah…and they are FAMOUS. I wasn’t always as confident as I am now. Even when I started doing stand up, I had a lot of self doubt. As a girl—often the ONLY girl in a line-up of dudes—I just didn’t feel worthy of being there. And I wish I could tell you I had an Eat Pray Love-esque journey where through soul searching and love affairs with sexy European men I was able to have genuine love and confidence in myself. I wish I didn’t have to tell you that I just woke up one morning after my boyfriend (not a sexy European man) broke up with me and decided, wait, I’m AWESOME. ‘Cause that’s what actually happened.
Tell yourself how amazing you are, even if you don’t totally believe it (because I totally do). And if no one has told you today yet, may I be the first to say you look stunning today and are so smart and funny and genuine and kind? Surround yourself with people who make you feel like that, and this includes YOURSELF. (Is this corny enough for you yet?)
This brings me to Point 2, and this one may sound controversial but, it shouldn’t be: GET PAID. You may be thinking, “Avery, I’m new in this world and have no connections and it feels embarrassing asking for money for my creative efforts.” So babe, let me be the first to tell you that you do deserve it. In our culture, (at least) two unhelpful ideas persist: (1) We don’t pay people for making art they enjoy, and (2) We don’t pay women for hard-ass work.
But assuming that you should get paid—and getting paid—will raise your comedic and life confidence tenfold. The first time I got paid for a set, it blew my mind. Wow, I’m funny enough to do comedy… as a job. My time and talent have value, and in capitalism (here we are), money is value. Ka-ching! To me, you’re priceless, but figure out a fair price for your efforts and don’t be afraid to ask, cause not everyone will offer up front (see above), and I’m always here to support you.
I hope these little bits of advice will inspire you to live however YOU want to. I bet that by the time the pandemic ends, you can be showing up how you want, TAKING what you deserve, speaking about yourself with only the highest love, and making up funny pseudonyms left and right—even if you’re still in the FAKING it phase.
That’ll be $350.
Lots of love,
P.S. Kidding, ofc.