I remember I oftentimes used to come off the stage anxious or worried. Basically, I wanted to kill and if I didn’t, I’d feel shitty about it. Now, of course, this was problematic, because you can’t kill every show. And I’m not even talking about being bad per se, I just mean sometimes a show is “merely” good. And I would beat myself up anyway.
It’s so dumb and I don’t think it’s healthy. But a lot of us do it, to varying degrees. I think the reason I did it was that I had set “funny” as my standard of whether a show was good or not. Which seems reasonable enough in a comedy show, right? Unfortunately, “funny” is terribly nebulous. I literally can’t see the show; I’m in it. I don’t hear every line as an improviser, sometimes I hear it as a character, and it doesn’t register to me how funny or not funny something is. Afterall, I’m trying not to laugh. Or sometimes I’ll be doing something complicated or physical like dancing around or something and I can’t physically hear the audience in that moment.
Here’s another good idea that should spread around.