Celebrating the micro victories
We all need to appreciate the milestones along the journey
Published in Jan 2020 | Free Standup NYC
Article by: Andrew Bayroff
The new year is here! And if you’re like me, you are busy preparing your goals for 2020. The To-Do list riddled with what needs to happen in January, by June, and the Big Picture endeavors for the year. New mics, shows you want to submit to, festivals, that writing packet you need to start. Forward motion on any project is a powerful thing, but let’s not forget that as we strive to reach the light at the end of the tunnel, we all need to stop and acknowledge—and enjoy—the accomplishments along the way. Those glacial steps that collectively bring us closer to our final destination. The mico victories are what keep all of us on the road to our dreams and goals.
You may not have yet reached your main objective, however, keep reminding yourself that you’ve taken significant steps forward. Maybe last year you only had 10 minutes of material, now, you’re near 25. Maybe you were only doing open mics, but now you’re performing on late nights at your favorite club. Hell, even the booker or owner of the club remembering your name is a win. Trust me. While your months and years of sacrifice and dedication are finally paying off, and your dreams coming to fruition, we tend to forget, for a lack of a better phrase, to stop and smell the flowers.
We pass so many milestones along the way that we need to force ourselves to stop and turn around to view the road behind us to see how far and just how much progress we’ve made. Acknowledge the micro victories behind you that have created your success before forging new ground. Give yourself a pat on the back for finally being able to memorize more than one paragraph or page of a script. Revel in the idea that you can perform a full 10 minutes without needing your notes. And for the love of the comedy gods, smile when your photo finally makes the show poster and you’re no longer relegated under, “And More!”
"These sometimes minute, seemingly insignificant moments all add up. They keep snowballing and sooner or later, become visible accomplishments that elevate you to that next level. That next stage. These micro victories allow your vision to become clearer and more in focus."
I'll also stress that while you are in "Go" mode, to take some time to relax and decompress. Find a hobby or activity outside the comedy world, take a day trip, or just buy yourself an ice cream cone and sit in a park. We all need to rebalance, recenter, and gain perspective, in whatever vessel you may wish to find it. We are our own worst critics, take it easy on yourself. You will miss a punchline, you will stumble on your lines, you WILL bomb and bomb hard. Don't believe me, here's a quote from Gary Gulman:
149) With few exceptions (@toddbarry) everyone has bombed. If you never bomb there’s something off. You’re either not taking any risks or lying to yourself about the audience reaction. Bombing for the right reasons is part of the process.
Keep a list of the micro victories you’ve accomplished. This can be done each week or month. You added five new jokes. Finally did a road gig. Or maybe it’s something you deem as trivial but actually begins your journey like going to your first open mic. Keep writing these down and you’ll notice a pattern, you’ll see when you reach a milestone, how many of these victories piled up along the way.
Please remember to have fun on stage, wherever that stage may be. Take setbacks in stride, learn from them, and take two steps forward. You're doing a better job than you realize.
Mark Anthony Ramirez
"Acknowledge the micro victories that allow you to take that step forward."