Stand-up is scary for some, but soothing for others.
You'll often hear it said that live comedy is one of the scariest professions known to man. If any newspaper decides to publish a list of scariest things over the next few weeks, in the run-up to Halloween, then no doubt stand-up will be right up there if there's a 'career' bit. Which is curious, when you think about it. What also seems to regularly happen, according to numerous interviews over the years, is full-time stand-ups being told 'crikey, I couldn't do what you do for a living' by, say, a fireman, or a policewoman, or someone else who does a genuinely hazardous job, every day.
Of course, 'stage fright' - as it was once commonly and not-very-helpfully known - does happen, and different performers have varying methods for actually calming the nerves before a big show. Many comedians probably began their careers by getting onstage at an open mic show after a few drinks, for example, but that isn't an ideal strategy, longer-term. Nowadays there are more sober methods for getting in the right frame of mind, before hitting the stage.
People from many walks of life now practise meditation, and general mindfulness, while CBD Oil is increasingly popular. CBD - short for cannabidiol - is a product of the cannabis plant but non-psychoactive (so you get the other potential benefits, without getting high) and many users have reported positive effects, notably the reduction of anxiety and depression. Apparently six million people in the UK alone have now tried CBD oil.
Not that stand-up is necessarily stressful: in fact it can be a great release valve, if life is causing pressures elsewhere. One good thing about doing this particular type of performance for a living is that you often get to actually talk about whatever is causing you anguish. Many experienced stand-ups have given memorable performances by just riffing on something traumatic that happened the same day.
Even more cathartic for a comedian - and potentially useful for audiences - is weaving those experiences into a proper, themed show, in which an experienced act mixes a strong story and message with appropriate gags. Many of the greatest stand-up shows ever made were candid autobiographical affairs, dealing with the types of subject matter that may not necessarily sound hilarious, beforehand.
This may be the perfect day for a comedian then, to alleviate life's stresses: do a half hour of meditation, perhaps a little yoga, take a spot of your preferred brand of CBD oil, then do a show that you and the audience find refreshing, whether it's seriously-themed or just pure gags. They do say that laughter is the best medicine, and it can certainly be a tonic when times are tough, even for the person performing the show.
Indeed, rather than worry about doing stand-up shows, many comedians look genuinely horrified when you ask them how they would cope if they were not able to get on stage and vent about stuff, on a regular basis. Now that clearly is a scary thought.