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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  • In case you guys have been wondering what’s going on with me, I’m sharing it all today on the Of Woman Nature podcast! (Available wherever you get podcasts) Talking about my plans for 2019, my journey to living a more conscious lifestyle, and discussing why I quit Fashion blogging. I love listening to podcasts because I feel like I get to know people on such a deeper level - and so I’m honored that @thedemureist gave me the opportunity to share my story. Please take a listen! Image is from the sublime @sarahraskeyfineart studio ❤️
  • Finally got my swab kit from @bethematch! In case you haven’t seen any of my previous Insta stories about Liyna, she is an amazing person who, at only 29, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia. She needs a stem cell donor immediately and has not matched with anyone in her family, nor anyone of the 19 million people in the registry database. It is much more likely to match with someone of your own ethnicity, and South Asians make up only 2% of the donor registry. Swipe ➡️ to see how simple it is to register to potentially SAVE A LIFE! To order your swab kit, text SWABFORLIYNA to 61474 or go to be the match.org/swabforliyna  Let’s all do this! thank you guys! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 #teamliyna #swabforliyna
  • Meant to post this sooner but I was too busy ‘weekending’ whoops! (sorry not sorry 🙈)To make Monday a little sweeter, @shopkynah is offering a special for you guys - use my code Zahra10 for 10% off your order! I just LOVE their vibe and their commitment to sustainable fashion.  #styleinspo #indianfashion #pakistanstreetstyle
  • This morning on @thejamtvshow ~ we discuss mom stuff like - should you discipline other people’s kids? And should parents have a dress code? in regards to a Tennessee law proposed to enforce a dress code for parents dropping off their kids (because apparently they were too scantily clad) watch the full segment by clicking the link in my profile - Also why do we look like grown up teletubbies? 🌈
  • Stay cozy friends 💕 some words that have been inspiring me lately (particularly interesting for the soul searchers like me out there): “If there is nothing new under the sun, at least the sun itself is always new, always re-creating itself out of its own inexhaustible fire.” Michael Sims, Apollo’s Fire
  • Who else agrees that when it comes to fashion - South Asia has the rest of the world beat?? I mean...I’m obviously biased 😜 For my first collaboration of 2019, I want to introduce you all to @shopkynah. Kynah means ‘woman leader’ - check them out for gorgeous sustainable desi clothes made to order. See a little behind the scenes of this shoot in my stories - we couldn’t do my initial vision because it was raining outside (and cold AF) today - so I got creative and had some fun finding things around the house - do you think I did this outfit justice?! I mean, sometimes you gotta work with what you got! #sundayfunday #desiclothes #kynah
  • Here’s the thing. I used to hella *envy* the stay at home moms - for Adam’s first 4 years of life I worked full-time and found it very frustrating- I was stuck in a cubicle (away from my baby from 7am-6pm) I would come home exhausted and get dinner going and have very little time to spend with him before he went to bed - and one day I just thought - what the hell am I doing? I finally quit my job - after realizing we could cut out a lot of stuff (mostly my shopping) and live without my income. But I  quickly realized the other side is just as difficult, if not more. Babies don’t allow for a water cooler break, smoke break - or even a bathroom break if we’re being real. Sometimes I find myself wishing I had time to do all of the stuff that I want to do in life (as if my kids are the ones keeping me from being the next Oprah) but I realize that kids are only kids for a short time, and I’m going to be old for (hopefully) a long time - so I should really just relish this time ❤️ here’s a pic of me makeup free to shake up our ultra filtered IG world! #nofilter #momsofinstagram #wordsofwisdom #tgif
  • Staying warm inside by playing around with acrylics today - inspired by @barij and her beautiful floral art 🌸 (I obviously don’t know how to paint - don’t judge haha) also listening to a beautiful audiobook about Nur Jehan (by Ruby Lal) In the kitchen so the kids wouldn’t realize what I’m doing and want to join in but alas I can’t get away with anything - swipe to see what happened when I gave Sophia some markers and paper and snacks to keep her busy 😂 see my painting progress on stories... #snowday #momswithcameras #artsy
  • I’ve been slacking this year! To be long-winded but very honest... I have been feeling a little uninspired, maybe I would call it burnout, about my blog and my place in this ever growing world of ‘influence’. When I started style blogging wayyy back in 2012 I wanted to see people who looked like me in fashion and media - and I also wanted to write and share my personal experiences - at the time there was only ONE brown girl blogger I knew of - @asmaqp - she was literally the only ONE! There were a few beauty YouTubers but that was it. but just let that fact sink in for a minute...yeah so
Im SO grateful the space is way more diverse now and I’ve always encouraged every poc friend I had to start a blog too. I guess I am questioning my end goal in all of this...sometimes I cringe at the crap I see on IG (promoting materialism, blind consumerism, unrealistic body and beauty standards) and that itself makes me want to either quit completely OR create content to combat it. And sometimes creating content for the sake of creating content  and making every lunch, dinner, vacation, into a photo shoot can be such a BORE and I just want to go back to when I could live life without making it look cute - because real life is NOT that cute. The thing that keeps me here is wanting to be creative and get better at photography and also connect with people - I LOVE when someone follows me and sends a legit message to me - because then I know they aren’t just a bot that will unfollow me in a few weeks but a real freaking PERSON. I’ve made countless real friends here and I’ve seen real world disruption for the better start here and I’m sort of still a dreamer at heart so I hope I can create something worthwhile. If you are still reading you are a superstar in my mind - and I guess this conversation will be continued as I discover more! ❤️ (pic is one of the shots that didn’t make the cut from my collab with @vasanticosmetics )

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