YOU: “I feel a bit out of place here, being a professional comedian/speaker/actor (or other kind of professional). It’s not that I’m… better than you all, but I’m just not learning as much as I’d like to, being surrounded by, let’s face it, people struggling with all this beginner stuff. This really isn’t for me.”

ME: “Yeah, you’re probably right!” (Kidding.) And also, “Hmm… maybe you’re here to learn how take your work to the next level, regardless of where you are and what other folks are up to. Maybe you’re here to be a leader for the others. Maybe you’ve learned so much about performing that there isn’t much left to gather. When you’ve mined almost all the gold, those last nuggets become more precious, few, and far between. Perhaps this is an opportunity to gather just one rare nugget you overlooked in the past. 

Maybe you’re here to work on humility. I recently took a workshop on authentic relating, where I knew the material inside and out, and I found myself bored and kind of arrogant about it. I named that experience with a participant at one point, owning that I was feeling that, and she said, “It’s written all over your face.” I laughed in embarrassment. Given my tendency to undercut myself, I cut myself lots of slack when I get arrogant about what I know, because there’s room for me to grow in confidence. But what I realized I truly missed out on was being present, and allowing myself connecting with others deeply because of my hubris. 

Remember, an audience is comprised of humans, and they also want to feel you with as few layers as possible between you and them. You can use this time to return to a “beginner’s mind”, and continually create a fresh experience of being on stage, as if for the first time even!

Alicia Dattner

Comedian and Creatrix Alicia Dattner is an internationally-acclaimed, award-winning performer who loves to help others use the power of humor to transform their lives and write a new unfolding story for the world.


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