“Not many people have had as much bad luck as I have, but not many people have had as much good luck, either.”
– Tig Notaro
I recently saw the documentary “Tig” about comedian Tig Notaro.
This just a reflection on my experience, so if you want the complete picture I highly recommend you watch the documentary.
Tig enters the stage and greets the audience.
“Good evening. Hello. I have cancer. How are you? Hi, how are you? Is everybody having a good time? I have cancer.”
The audience laughs nervously. This is obviously not what they were expecting.
So far Tig’s gone through C. Diff, a breakup, her mother dying and now she’s received the news that she has breast cancer.
Things aren’t exactly looking up. So, she decides to be honest and bring that into her show.
If you get the chance to see the documentary and/or listen to “Tig Notaro: Live” then do it. While it might not be “slap on the knee”-funny it’s real. You get a chance to hear a person reflecting on and trying to see the humor in very painful things.
Not all of us are ready for that. It’s uncomfortable and we might want to be anywhere else since we don’t know how to fix it.
At the beginning of the show there’s a woman in the audience who groans and is completely uncomfortable with the whole thing. Tig points this out and reassures her that it’s going to be OK. Or as she puts it: “It might NOT be OK. But I’m just saying, it’s OK. You’re going to be OK.”
By doing this she’s effectively telling everyone that she’s taking us by the hand while we wander into really dark, sad and scary places. Places that we don’t necessarily want to explore on our own.
Towards the end of her performance she says: “What if I just transitioned right now into silly, just, jokes…?”
Several audience members immediately shout out “No!”
One of them was really loud and she asks: “Where are you?”
The answer comes back: “Right here.”
What I heard right at that moment was a person ready to sit with her through the pain. Not knowing what to say or do, but just simply being there.
Sometimes that’s all we need. The space to share what we’re going through without having someone feel sorry for us or try to fix whatever’s wrong.
So, here are three things for you to do:
- Listen to “Tig Notaro: Live”
- Watch the documentary “Tig”
- Read Brené Brown’s book “The Power Of Vulnerability”
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!