“This is all far too important to take seriously” the irreverent genius Ken Campbell used to tell us when people threatened to get too intense about the difficult issues. I frequently remind clients of this when they are grappling with tough questions. The more serious you get, the more real the problems seem. A certain playfulness of mind is essential if you want to access your true creativity. Dont confuse ‘serious’ and ‘sombre’.
I wish you’d been there to remind me last week as I paced backstage at London’s premier comedy venue, contemplating my first ever ‘stand up’ performance and feeling seriously unfunny. It didn’t matter that this was a voluntary event (Funny Business) for a great cause (Help the Hospices) and the audience was there to help not heckle. Nor that I’ve done hundreds of events in stressful situations. At that precise moment I felt like a total beginner – and that beginner wanted OUT!
The problem is, the only escape route from the Comedy Store dressing room is via the stage! As Robert Frost memorably put it: ‘The only way out is through”.
So off to work I went. And you know what? It was fun.