I performed 40 live stand up shows in the last 30 days and traveled to seven different states. People ask if that is exhausting and, if I am being honest, the answer is yes, it wears me down. To be fair, my performances are usually only 20-45 minutes for the night, sometimes 2-3 times in one night. The performance itself is not exhausting so much as the promotion, booking, social media, reviewing clips, flights, ride shares, hotels and of course, writing.
There are definitely times where I am too exhausted to perform or don't feel like I am in the right frame of mind to make people laugh but 99% of the time, once I get on stage, all of that disappears and I am back on stage. I do need more days off, however and am working on that! #stage #standupcomedy #careerchange #chicagolawyer
People often ask me if I get nervous before I go on stage. The truth is, I really don't anymore except in a few situations. And even in those situations, the nerves go away, usually after receiving the first laugh.
The first situation is when there are a lot of other comedians in the room. The fear of peers judging and "imposter syndrome" is real for me, especially when there are seasoned comedians or comedians I look up to, watching my set.
Secondly, when I am trying new material. New jokes are the most stressful and nerve-wracking, especially the first time I try them. You are still forming the words and the order of the jokes, so the nerves take over, but sometimes, the failures on stage lead to goldmines in comedy. For me, when a joke fails, the stress of trying to get a laugh sometimes leads to new punchlines.
Lastly, I always have anxiety and nerves when I am performing for the first time at a new venue. There is something about a new room, especially when its a prestigious one, that causes me anxiety. #comedyshow #careerchange #formerlawyer #chicagolawyer #standupcomedian
Last week, while distracted on the phone, I was formatting a new external drive for all my upcoming shows and projects, since my external drive was nearly full. When my computer asked if I was ready to format, I said yes. Except I formatted my source drive with ALL MY SETS, SHOWS and projects from 2019-2022, nearly 3 terabites, were on that drive.
I started shaking, sweating and screaming "NO, NO NO!!" but it was too late. I immediately downloaded recovery software and stayed up all night trying to recover the files. No luck. I hired an outside professional who is currently attempting the recovery. In the meantime, I was able to locate about 30% of the files I had in the cloud and sent other comedians and producers I worked with before who had them. Many of the projects, like my podcasts and sketches are already online as well. All the clips I edited for weeks including sets for upcoming projects and stand up sets, however, are gone. I hope to recover them.
In the event I do not, I have accepted that I must start over and re-record and produce new content for the upcoming projects and shows. I have already started recording new content from shows and have many long sets coming up, including my headlining shows in Arizona (Oct 14-17) and Chicago at Zanies Comedy Club November 16th (ticket link in comments) where I can try to re-create the magic. I am optimistic that the old ones are retrieved as well. Hope to see you at the shows and back up everything folks!
#setbacks #formerlawyer #standupcomedy #chicagoland
Paul Farahvar is a comedian hailing from Chicago, Ill.
Paul Farahvar Comedy