It’s a strange thing to stand there talking continuously for 5 minutes with everyone looking at you. It’s an amazing buzz when everyone is smiling and laughing as if we were all in the pub together.
Obviously the moments before the first laugh are a little hairy. I have to ignore that and perform with the energy I have towards the end of the set, once I know it’s going to be OK. Thinking about it, the feelings I get while up there made me realise it’s not all about ‘look at me’; the stuff people instantly assume all people on stage crave. For me it’s more about the enjoyment of making others laugh, which in turn makes me laugh.
This is definitely the buzz I love, the buzz of making people laugh. This could be because I am actually quite confidently laid back and a little shy, in nature. Some people would probably disagree and say I am incredibly loud, but I feel that’s when I get excited and carried away in the moment…
This might seem a little odd as surely all people who perform should be extroverts desperate to to be seen and heard 24/7. This is not actually true. The image below shows the 4 types of personality. We are all made up of these 4 types in different percentages.
Have a think where you might be on the image. I myself am more in the Support/Researcher quarters, where as my wife is definitely in the Social quarter.
If someone who is in a certain quarter needs to perform tasks in any of the other quarters they will find it very unnatural and energy sapping. For example, small talk would be easy for a social-orientated person and quite intense for a researcher-orientated person.
All is not lost, though, as you can train yourself to move into the other areas more easily. Before I met my wife, I was terrible in small talk situations, trying to cover the awkwardness with humour, this humour was then usually seen as slightly out of place a.k.a “He’s a bit weird”. Though after 5 years of training at the ‘Laura Hoggarth School of Small talk’ I am now much more relaxed and even enjoy chatting to people. Which kinda helps if you wish to pursue a career which involves a large amount of social activity.