Recently, I came across a TED Talk by Josh Shipp describing a handful of adults that became successful by utilizing their "most annoying trait" in childhood. In his talk, he mentions that he was one of those kids.
He was the class clown who was always disrupting the class and annoying the ever-living criminy out of his teacher. Rather than constantly punishing him for a trait that clearly wasn't going away, she redirected him and gave him an opportunity to put his "annoying trait" to good use.
She had him sign up for the debate team, which sparked his interest right away. He went on to be a successful motivational speaker and a well-rounded, happy adult.
Recently, I realized I had a talent for stand-up comedy. I performed at an open mic night last month, and I just got my very first gig. I've had many people tell me I belong on stage (shoutout to K).
This got me thinking, "Were there any tell-tale signs in childhood that should've pointed me towards comedy/performance?"
After hearing the stories of many successful performers, especially those who do comedy, we all had one specific trait in common: We were all labeled as the "weird, annoying" kids.
Growing up, I was always described as weird, annoying, goofy, strange, silly, energetic, crazy, off-the-wall, antsy, etc.
I was always making jokes that were never funny (at least to others), I never paid attention in class, I was always making weird voices when I talked to the teachers, and I was always labeled the "problem kid."
The principal had my mom on speed dial.
Getting me to sit still was like getting a newborn to do calculus. It ain't happening, Karen, so let it go.
Eventually, my mom saw a certain "something" in my antics that could've pointed to a hidden talent. Either that or she couldn't take it anymore.
She pushed me to join the theatre at school, but I was too shy for the longest time.
Eventually, I found my confidence and enrolled myself in theatre.
During my Senior year, I was blessed with the best teacher I've ever had to this day. She encouraged me in everything I did, and she saw through my annoying exterior and found my talent (even though I'm sure there were many times she was done with my shenanigans).
She realized I was a comedian even before I did.
In class, she would always emphasize how drama was easier than comedy, which I could never agree with. I had to work three times as hard as my classmates when we did dramatic acting.
Comedic acting came easier to me than basic addition. Sarah plus comedy equals perfect.
She set the tone for my comedy career, and my professor furthered it once I came to college.
After being offered a Research Assistant position for my Spanish professor, she realized I had other talents other than academics. Like my Theatre teacher, she saw the comedian in me.
She's given me more opportunities than I can even count!
I just performed my first comedy routine in the Woodlands recently, and I look forward to continuing on with my career.
I now realize my childhood qualities were precursors to my current talent.
My inability to sit/stand still help me with my physical comedy, such as using large gestures, running all over the stage and occasionally throwing myself on the floor (as you do).
My habit of making a joke out of literally everything allowed me to be observant and make a comedy routine out of just about anything.
The best comedians are those who can make anything funny, including the kitchen sink!
If it weren't for the adults in my life who saw something special in me and harnessed my talent, I would still be the "annoying" kid with no direction.
I am the comedian I was born to be because of them, and I can't thank them enough for what they've done for me!