enjoying myself vs. being the best

Dear Diary,

On Friday, I went to Quinn C. Martin‘s Quinnder Surprise, which was held at Maple Leaf Gardens. As I watched his supporting cast kill it on stage, part of me felt happy that they were putting on a great show.

But that was the problem: only part of me was enjoying it

The Mind Feels Envy

It wasn’t long into the evening when the selfish, envious, competitive comedian in me started demanding,

png blockquote style 1 - century 88, calibri body 18

I came to the realization that I wanted to be the best part of the show. Now, at first, I know that doesn’t seem like a harmful feeling at all, but how could I be the best if everyone was doing amazing?

Does that make sense? Ugh. What I’m trying to say is that I was upset at the prospect of not standing out. I was upset that I wouldn’t be the best, even if I did my best. Instead of seeing fellow comics, I was seeing threats.

But what about the part of me that felt genuinely happy for them?

The Heart Feels Love

On the way home, I struggled with the fact that part of me wanted to love my fellow comedian for killing it on stage, while the other part of me wanted to beat them, so to speak. I didn’t like it. It made me feel alone, separate, distant. I was faced with a tough question:

envy and competition quote 2

It was. Case in point, at Quinn’s last show on December 16th, I was so wrapped up in performing well that I didn’t allow myself to enjoy my set. So, even though I did the best I’d ever done, I didn’t get nearly as much satisfaction as I thought I would. It’s probably one of the reasons that I’ve avoided the stage over the past few months.

And that’s when I realized that it wasn’t about besting my fellow man, per se. It was about doing my own brand of comedy, communicating to the world what I wanted to communicate.

Resolving Dissonant Chords of Thought

Damn I’m a sick writer. Finally, I asked myself,

envy and competition quote 3

The answer was yes. Would there be crowds that invariably liked other comedians more than they liked me? Of course. All I can hope for is that I do what I want to do in the way I want to do it. Well, that, and a cheque. A cheque’d be nice.

Moving Forward

By simply acknowledging my feelings of envy, it’s like I’ve removed an emotional stone that has been plaguing my feet along this journey. I would’ve gone with, ‘plucked an emotional thorn‘ but bad mon nuh par wid rose, yuh see mih?

Well, unless it’s a black, black rose, that is. If I had a black, black rose, I’d have to water it if I wanted to keep it.

envy and competition quote 4

I think I’m gonna get on stage this week.

PS – God damn those block quotes are making me hot…


About Michael Jagdeo

My name's Michael Jagdeo, and I refuse to write about myself in the third person. I'm a Comedian from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In addition to honing my stand-up comedy act, I maintain this blog and write the weekly comedy article for blogTO.com.
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2 Responses to Envy

  1. ilovedookie says:

    The last thing you want to become is a bitter comic. Envy will happen, just don’t let it paralyze you. And, the only way you’ll find who you are is to perform. No easy way. Stay encouraged:-)

    • Yeah, I definitely don’t want to become a bitter comic.

      You’re also right in that I need to recognize that envy is a natural part of any career. Someone asked UFC champion Georges St-Pierre if he ever got nervous, which he admitted to, However, he also added,

      The key is to make sure the butterflies fly in formation.

      I’m looking forward to getting back on stage. I have 3 long jokes, about 6-8 medium ones, and five short ones. Now that I have them rehearsed, I feel I can walk into any open mic and suit the material to the crowd and how I feel. Service-oriented comedy, if you will.

      But that’s another blog post entirely…Really glad to hear from a fellow grinder!


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