One thing I never cease to be surprised by, despite the fact I should know better by now, is how much my job requires requires a thick skin.
I regularly feel like I’m swimming against the tide at the moment, particularly in the lead up to Edinburgh. Yesterday, I raced to put together a clip of live material to send to a publicity person who requested to see more of my work (forewarning it was a little rough around the edges) to receive a polite reply today, praising my confident performance, but being less enthused about the content.
While this sort of thing is par-for-the-course, it can still be a gentle slap to the face when you put so much time into self-generation of work with little perceived outside encouragement. I know I’m capable and better at what I do than I’m occasionally given credit, due to little outside accreditation for my comedy - no-one has yet taken the bite and helped me out - but there are times when it’s hard to keep positive and striving ahead when you keep pushing at metaphorical pull-doors.
Mostly Comedy’s another case in point, when you put a lot of time into something that keeps growing, yet it still gets ignored by the local press. I’m proud of how in eight and half years we’ve gone from a tiny room about a pub to selling out a 150-seater venue nearly every month, yet no-one outside of our regulars seems to grasp this, or want to praise or promote it. Then, just when you think you’ve got all the admin sorted, a setback comes up (like having to change the date of our Angelos & Barry gig in May yesterday) that sends you back to the drawing board to keep faffing away.
The key is to keep doing it, and not be swayed by the challenges. I’ve been very lucky with work since leaving drama school fifteen years ago, and have done many things I would never have expected. Things just feel harder when you have to keep stoking the boiler of your own perseverance; what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, or so the clichéd maxim says.