Comedy Level 200 | Shy Guy Stand-Up

A few weeks ago, I started the Helium Comedy Academy advanced class, and I am still having trouble figuring out if the class is called Stand-Up 200, or Stand-Up 201. Let me explain…

On the Helium website, and in the email communication that I received, the class is called 200, which is what I figure is the official name of the class. However, everyone that I have seen online or spoken to in the Portland comedy community refers to it as 201. Maybe because the first level is called Stand-Up 101, and they assume that the next level is 201?

I should probably just ask my teacher to clarify, but I’m shy.

Wait, what? If you are shy, why are you doing stand-up comedy? Isn’t that antithetical? Again, allow me to explain…

I have only ever taken those crappy online Meyers-Briggs type tests, but I hold firmly in my beliefs (and the crappy tests confirm) that I am an introvert. According to Wikipedia (I was too lazy to research deeper), “[i]ntroversion is the state of being predominantly interested in one’s own mental self. Introverts are typically perceived as more reserved or reflective.” It goes on to say that “introverts as people whose energy tends to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction.”

So if I ever seem to lose interest in what you are saying, it is because I am lost on some wild adventure of thought, expanding my energy. The question then becomes: if I am one whose focus is internal, how can I do something so external like stand-up comedy? Explanation continued below…

When I am on stage, I become like a different person. It is as if my body becomes inhabited by a spirit who is much more outgoing then myself, a spirit who loves to play and explore and who feeds on laughter. One could say (I am saying it, actually) that it is my inner self coming out of its shell, my inner child coming to the door to play with the neighborhood kids. There is nothing more exhilarating to me than to have an audience of people laughing at a turn of phrase (or a weird face) that I crafted to elicit just that response. It is a victory, a game of chess won not by my intellect, but by my spirit, the core of my being.

Either that or I’m just crazy, which is also possible.

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