Help! Is comedy cringe? #AskAvery

Dear Avery,

I’ve been following along with your comedy posts, and the idea of doing comedy seems interesting to me. The only problem is, it seems a little…well, cringe. The idea of performing on a stage telling corny little jokes just doesn’t fit my mysterious vibe. Do you have any tips for someone who is looking to explore comedy without becoming a *gulp* theatre kid?

Your Friend,

Non-Cringe Comedy

Dear Non-Cringe Comedy,

Listen, I get it. When I first started doing comedy, I was a measly 7th grader with no shame, social awareness, or fashion sense.

Yes, I did wear the Justice scratch and sniff shirts on stage, and no, the audience did not want to smell me. However, as I grew up, I started to become a little hyper-aware of my surroundings. I started second-guessing everything I said on stage, developing a hefty fear of doing stand-up in front of a boy that I liked, and even trying to dress well for shows. All of that freedom of the 7th-grade Avery who didn’t care if people thought she was hot, funny, or cool was now replaced with a high school Avery who really cared. 

This all culminated in my infamous Junior year emo phase, in which I wore all black, listened to Little Peep religiously, and carried around a trademark toothpick in my mouth because in my mind being emo translated into being a 60s greaser. However, I was still doing comedy, forcing myself to put on a goofy stage persona to talk about college applications (I still kinda miss the bit about colleges hitting on me through email) and then getting off stage to hit my weed pen and brood into the night. 

So I get that comedy can feel a little cringy. With a whole world of eboys who might be looking more for a girl who drinks red wine in a bar while reading Nabokov, it’s hard to think of doing comedy as a desirable trait. However, I’ve come to learn that comedy becomes a sort of flex. Because if you ‘do’ comedy (whatever that means) it proves you have the confidence to put something creative out into the world, which is more than the red wine Nabokov readers can say. 

As far as attracting mates go–I find it to be a good test if a man is comfortable with having a woman be much MUCH funnier than them. If they can’t handle that, then maybe they’re not the kinda person you want to be with. And if being on a stage just seems too performative, whether that be sketch, improv, or stand-up, I definitely suggest writing. Honesty I’ve been enjoying writing a little more than standing up recently. Not that I don’t adore stand-up, but when the weather gets colder, it’s nice to sit inside with a cup of tea and write some satire about frat boys. It’s quite cathartic.