I loved college. The slate was wiped clean there, and I could re-invent myself with every new major I changed to. That reset-ability did great things for my self esteem. I was no longer tied down by an embarrassing track record, upheld by what seemed like an entire school. I know, what a narcissistic obsession. I thought I was defined by the crushes that rejected me, or the friends that forgot my birthday, but on the flip side, I thought I was completely validated and accepted by the collective when I won best actor for a play I was in my senior year.
Looking back, the biggest mistakes I made growing up were over think everything, and giving in way too much to an insatiable voice inside me that desperately had to know how other people thought of me. I tried too hard to please too many at once. I became a chameleon, or a worm...which ever metaphor pleases you best.
There were a few experiences that broke me of this cycle of trying to make everybody happy. One experience happened while I was about a year into stand-up comedy. I considered myself a failure unless I made 100% of the crowd laugh at every joke I told. If everyone didn't laugh, that meant a joke wasn't funny. But after about a year of telling the same jokes to different types of audiences it dawned on me that most jokes just didn't hit home with everyone, and in fact the more a joke was dialed into a specific demographic, those people seemed to appreciate it. I was happier making 5 people in the back of the room laugh than winning over the whole room. It meant so much more to me that those 5 people got my unique brand of comedy, and that's when I broke free and started writing the types of jokes that really defined me.
Now I stretch myself to relate to as many people as possible, but starting from my own point of view, I am allowed to be myself up there, not some conglomeration, or multifaceted entertainment machine. I do want people to understand and appreciate my comedy, and it's really amazing when that happens but it doesn't shatter my identity now when they don't. Coincidentally, my new comedy album, Calculated is out and available on my website AaronBurrellComedy.com. You can digitally download it, you don't have to wait for me to ship it to you, thus adding to the your carbon footprint. It is guilt free comedy!
Also don't forget to check out professorblastoff.com for more extras.