Opportunity Knocked and I Slammed The Door In Its Silly F*cking Face.
I’m responsible for booking gigs for our improv troupe, The Improv Imps. We’ve been performing together for almost 7 years. We have a lot of fun, and we do a lot of benefit shows which means me mostly perform for free. We do this because we get a lot out of performing, other than money, but it’s always super nice to get a paid gig so we can put some money in the troupe account.
A couple of weeks ago I received a gig lead from the performer booking service, Gig Salad. The person wanted to book an improv troupe for a party to celebrate her husband’s retirement after 40 years of being a firefighter. He had never delivered a baby, so she wanted an improv performer to act as a pregnant clown and give birth to an odd assortment of items. There was also a mention of doing “tricks”.
I IMMEDIATELY DISMISSED THIS OPPORTUNITY AND DELETED THE EMAIL.
I even bragged about how I said “NO” to this ridiculous opportunity on episode 230 of The JellyVision Show. My art, my art! This is not improv! This is not what we do! How dare she dictate our show. We are not clowns. This is beneath me! You stole 2 minutes of my life away while I read this waste of time. Blech! Pooey! Delete!
I WAS BEING A TOTAL JACKHOLE
While I was on my oh-so-very high horse, another member of our troupe, who got the same gig lead, was busy responding to it. He did all the things this jackhole should have done.
He responded and told her about the history of our troupe.
He got back to her promptly.
He asked questions.
He talked to her on the phone.
He sold her on the idea of a themed comedy show paying tribute to her husband’s career.
He sent her videos of our performances.
He landed us a paid gig celebrating the 40+ year of a first responder.
He taught me a valuable lesson.
It’s not often that opportunities come knocking on your door. Most of the time you have to hustle your tushie off and break down the door yourself. When one happens to come to you, and it doesn’t seem ideal, you owe it to yourself (and maybe others) to pursue it. By dismissing this opportunity, I almost cost our troupe a paid show, positive exposure to a new audience, and a creatively rewarding experience. Thank goodness somebody had my back which happens to be one of the fundamentals of improv.
The scary thing? This isn’t the first time I’ve been dismissive of potential opportunities. It’s just the first time I had back-up.