Let me give you some advice bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour, and it can never be used to hurt you.
– Tyrion Lannister
A couple of months ago the university circulated an email about a workshop that was mysteriously named Science Showoff: Advanced Performance Skills. During that time I was in the grant writing limbo, ergo something that would make me get out of the room and add a bit of spunk to my hypertechnical lab talks sounded perfect.
The workshop was less “stop boring the shit out of your audience” and more on how to do stand-up comedy. By the end of it a bunch of us were offered to do a stand-up gig for the Science Showoff at Portland Arms. And because I speak faster than I think of course I said yes. After all, we were doing it for a good cause and all money went to Parkinson’s UK Cambridge branch.
When I was writing my act, the main thing I kept in mind was to be myself with the volume up so it turned out full sarky and non compos mentis. On the day I was extremely nervous; all tickets were sold out and people kept coming (including my boss’s boss who hired me in the first place). That was probably what Eminem felt like with his sweaty palms and mum’s spaghetti on the sweater…. At that moment it seemed like the stupidest thing I had done in my entire life (and any friends reading this can confirm that I’ve done some quite remarkable things… Moronic but remarkable).
All anxiety disappeared when I got on the stage. I think that day I earned some serious XP and lvl’d up; don’t think public speaking will frighten me again. In a nutshell, if you ever get the opportunity to do stand-up – go for it! It must have been one of the most empowering experiences of my life and I have already signed up for more.. 😉
In accordance with the Prophecy,