Failure #__: NBC Diversity Search

This past weekend I faced a #ComedyFail that compelled me to write my first blog post -- which I've been meaning to do for a while. StandUp NBC. How'd it go? Well, read the pre-cursor below before I tell you that.

I've been asked a lot recently things like "how did you get to where you are today," and "how did you start following your passion?" 

Part of me always defaults to the positive responses, which are things I probably repeat just to tell myself more than others that it's OK. My go-to (true) response is below, which summarizes the constant struggle:

"For me, comedy came at a dark time when I was truly fed up with my life/career. It was from that frustration that I gave myself a deadline to do my first open mic, and the rest is history. When you make yourself do something, and have an end goal in mind, you'll start to notice the people and opportunities that will get you to the next step. I also love meditating and listening to Tony Robbins on YouTube. Those 2 things help center me when I feel like idk what's gonna be the next move. From Tony I learned to list out what I'd like to achieve to have a clear outline..."

So with that in mind,  I drove 7+ hours from LA to SF to participate in an open casting call for the NBC showcase; got in line at 3am (as they were only seeing the first 100 people, and I was #87 at that point); and prepared a 1-min, 2-min, and 7-min set to perform in front of the judges.

The punchline is that I didn't even make it past the first, 1-min round AFTER ALL OF THAT. But the aftermath (which I'm currently experiencing on this fine Monday morning) are the proverbial lessons I've learned... or again, am telling myself that I learned.

Positive me says, "Reem - absorb everything you can from this experience and use it for next time, tomorrow, and every day of your life." So here goes:

  1. Don't over-estimate yourself: I thought "OMG diversity? I'm Arab/Muslim/Iraqi -- I AM DIVERSITY." Which is why I was slightly surprised I didn't even make it to callbacks. Don't think you've earned a free ticket just by being who you are. There are WAY more factors that go into a recipe for success.
  2. Put your best foot forward: See above -- I assumed I'd get to round 2 so easily, which is why I kept my best joke for that. I had good jokes in round 1, but now that I know the outcome, wish I would've went 10000% in my first go and proven it right then/there.
  3. Don't let it get to you: Your first thought might be, "I'm not good enough," but that's not the case. Every show/competition/casting is like a job interview - they're looking for something specific and if that's not you, it's fine. 

I'm not saying I'm an expert or anything, but I wanted to share my experience for others to learn from. Or maybe to revisit in a few years, when I've "made it." :)