Lessons I Learned From Stand-Up Comedy Class

black-trench-coat-gucci-slides-thackerIf you can laugh at YOURSELF – then you are guaranteed a win. If you don’t win – well, you will just have more to laugh at!

Last year I took a couple of stand-up classes at Second City mainly because I wanted to conquer my fear of public speaking, and I heard that was a great way to do it, but also because I’ve always secretly fantasized about being a Comic. Since I’m a huge nerd, I was also just really excited for a reason to go back to school. Besides confirming that puns are my favorite type of joke in the entire world, I picked up some other life enhancing tips. Read on for more!

Today’s post is in collaboration with Thacker NYC, one of the first brands I worked with here on the blog and still one of my absolute favorites. I describe my Thacker pieces as the stuff in my closet that I actually wear – and wear over and over and over again. Basically what I live in. See some of my past collaborations with Thacker NYC here and here.

thacker-nyc-trenchwicker-bag-thacker

thacker-trench-wicker-bag striped-top-wicker-bag-thacker-nyc-gucci Trench coat Bag + Knit Top thanks to Thacker NYC | Shoes: Gucci | Jeans: DL1961

On to the lessons…here are the top five:

  1. Self-awareness is everything. Know yourself. I don’t know if I’m just not very observant (i haven’t really noticed ;)), but my self-perception was way off. I’m not really a girly girl even though the outside world sees me that way. Probably because I do love fashion and makeup and stuff but deep down I’m basically a teenage boy – I love getting dirty, wearing sweats, and sometimes forget to brush my teeth. Just kidding…kind of.  Also, I honestly thought I came off as a tough chick, when I now know I’m perceived basically as non-threatening as they come. Which leads me to the second part of this lesson, that it is ALL GOOD! Knowing yourself is number one but accepting yourself as you are is even more important. I still feel like a tough male teenager inside but I embrace my gentle, sometimes awkward non-threatening persona now.
  2. Practice Makes Perfect. You see, what had happened was…I was on stage at an open mic, and I didn’t have my bit memorized – which is fine because it was just a bunch of comics testing out new stuff – but I forgot my notes and tried to wing it and basically bombed out of fear. (Luckily I had brought a friend there with me solely for the purpose of laughing at my jokes.) People who do well at anything usually aren’t winging it. Also we only get better by doing, so practicing is the only way.
  3. Mean isn’t (that) funny, smart is funnier. Examples – mean: Roseanne. smart: Trevor Noah. Sometimes being mean is funny, but only if the subject is like, Donald Trump or something equally horrible. That also goes with all areas of life, like criticizing people or pointing out their flaws – it might make you feel slightly better in the moment but as a whole its not doing you any favors and most importantly – its just not cool. I’m so guilty of this and it is one thing I am really working on in my own journey to improve myself. I realized that sometimes I’d criticize someone or make a sarcastic joke about them – and then I would think, why did I do that? After a lot of reflection I figured out it often came from a place of insecurity within me – like deep down I might have felt threatened by her looks or success. Now, instead of being mean and criticizing, I try to focus on what I can do to improve myself or achieve more so I can feel successful.
  4. Commit to the bit. Don’t give up on your dreams! Your path may not be like someone else’s but keep chipping away at it. Since I started Love Zahra in 2012, I’ve had to teach myself everything from using a mac, to coding, to photography, videography, editing, and it was HARD. If you look at my old photos they were never not blurry. Also, even though I am a natural salesperson and excelled in my previous career,  when it came to running my own business, I had a lot to learn. So I’m taking it a day at a time, learning as I go, trying new things all the time, not giving up. Right now that means taking more classes (also because: nerd) to learn more about photo and video editing, making better pictures for my blog and more fun videos for my YouTube channel.
  5. When all else fails – laugh at yourself. The single best thing I took away from my stand up classes. Nothing is that serious, and if you can laugh you will get through anything. If you can laugh at YOURSELF – then you are guaranteed to win. If you don’t win – well, you will just have more to laugh at!

Thank you for visiting as always! xx

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  • Slightly terrified because I just hit publish on a new YouTube video where I am completely makeup free (and possibly too close up - nose hair close 😬) reviewing the new clean skincare line @oneoceanbeauty that I have been testing for the past 8 weeks. I thought about not posting the video because watching it brought out a lot of my insecurities - about aging and wrinkles, my asymmetrical face, my unfortunate eyebrows - but I decided to do it because I love seeing other women who are confident and comfortable in their own makeup free skin and I want to be that too! 🙌🏾 #cleanskincare #cleanbeauty #skincareroutine 
Link to watch:
https://youtu.be/YMlSG9VDlAk
  • When at least one of us is looking at the camera, it’s a win 🙌🏾 Also, I’m holding the rocks she collected for her - lol - We are staying cozy  inside today, carving pumpkins and watching movies ~ a Sunday well spent 💕 what are you all up to? #mommyandme #pumpkinpatch #fallthings
  • #flashbackfriday Scrolling through my iCloud and came across this family picture shot by @jorellegates. Two thoughts: 1) I can’t believe how teeny my babies are And 2) we need to take more family pictures! Do you guys get professional family pics done? If yes, how often? With Adam we did it every season but now we can’t seem to get our act together ~ even for someone who takes pictures constantly I can’t seem to do it 😔 #fambam #momswithcameras
  • Thinking about what my next YouTube video should be? I’m thinking of organizing my kitchen/pantry/junk drawer (for some good old organization porn) - or a Fall outfit look book featuring only stuff I already own (restyled) and the only new stuff would be thrifted? Which would you want to see first?? Let me know! #tgif #styleinspo
  • Sophie’s face whenever I try to take her picture - either that or she’s running away 😑 Today we took a spontaneous trip to the pumpkin farm ~ I got my fill of apple cider donuts - which is the real reason why I love to go tbh - but the real question is which are your fave, glazed or cinnamon/sugar??? #momswithcameras #pumpkinpatch
  • Last nights look for a little soirée with the @urbandecaycosmetics team! What could be better than a night of makeup and pizza??? I’ll wait... #udallnighter #chicagoblogger #makeupparty
  • Smiling because a new YouTube video is now live on my channel! Sharing how I meal prepped this week’s lunch - it is a really easy beef stew recipe - (it’s also a really good veggie stew if you don’t eat meat!) Hope you guys enjoy! Also hooray for wool hat weather! 🙌🏾 #newvideo #youtube #mealprep
  • #flashbackfriday to a preppy Zahra in college (when I worked at Hollister 🙃) and polo shirts were life - also my parents had that plaid couch for a decade and that treadmill was NEVER used. Lastly, thick eyebrows weren’t cool yet FYI. #TGIF #goodtimes
  • A peek inside my ‘creative mess’ aka my office where I finally finished editing a new YouTube video  it’s a quick (under 5 minute) makeup tutorial using a lot of new @ctilburymakeup I recently picked up (and btw absolutely LOVE)- for a really fresh ‘enhanced natural’ face. Hope you enjoy!

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