Tim Intravia On Not Being Afraid to 'Stink'

Career Dispatches

Tim Intravia On Not Being Afraid to 'Stink'

By Tim Intravia

August 13, 2012


Tim Intravia
As much as I'd like to take this opportunity to just plug my solo show "From Busk Till Dawn: The Life of an NYC Street Performer" (frombusktilldawn.com), going up as part of FringeNYC in August, I'd rather delve a little deeper. I was recently cleaning up my computer, getting rid of old files, and I came across every draft of the show I wrote over the last six years. I've been working on this show for that long, and only now is it really coming to fruition. Lesson learned: Some things take a lot more time and patience than you think.

Looking more closely at the drafts, I realize how different and awful some of them were from what you will see. Some involved the kinds of things I despise about solo shows, some of the jokes were not jokes at all, and some plot lines were shallower than a kiddie pool.

At the time I wrote those drafts, I probably thought they were great. That makes me smile because the innocence and passion I poured in was so sincere. But it is also a hindrance to my writing sometimes. I often look at new writing endeavors and ask myself, "What's the point of starting this if it's going to be five years before it's any good?" In 10 years I might look back at this version of "From Busk" and think the same thing I now think about the version from five years ago.

I can tell you this: The first two years I did standup comedy, I thought I was the next George Carlin. I recently found some of my old material and listened to the tapes. Needless to say, it was not good. I can't believe how much I've grown, how much funnier I've gotten, and how my views of the world and my sense of humor have changed. But the truth is, I wouldn't be where I am without those previous drafts, awful scripts, and horrible sets. It's like jogging: The first time you go, running a quarter mile is the hardest thing ever, but pretty soon, you're on to 2 miles, then 5Ks, then half marathons.

So instead of regretting those years that my writing or performing was awful, I appreciate them, respect them, and realize I wouldn't be where I am now without them. Someone once said to me, "Don't be afraid to stink; give yourself license to do so." I certainly did then. I don't think I do anymore, so come on out to the show and let me know if I'm right. And don't you worry about stinking either, unless you're on the subway next to me. Follow me @timintravia.


Tim Intravia On Not Being Afraid to 'Stink'

By Tim Intravia

August 13, 2012


Tim Intravia
As much as I'd like to take this opportunity to just plug my solo show "From Busk Till Dawn: The Life of an NYC Street Performer" (frombusktilldawn.com), going up as part of FringeNYC in August, I'd rather delve a little deeper. I was recently cleaning up my computer, getting rid of old files, and I came across every draft of the show I wrote over the last six years. I've been working on this show for that long, and only now is it really coming to fruition. Lesson learned: Some things take a lot more time and patience than you think.

Looking more closely at the drafts, I realize how different and awful some of them were from what you will see. Some involved the kinds of things I despise about solo shows, some of the jokes were not jokes at all, and some plot lines were shallower than a kiddie pool.

At the time I wrote those drafts, I probably thought they were great. That makes me smile because the innocence and passion I poured in was so sincere. But it is also a hindrance to my writing sometimes. I often look at new writing endeavors and ask myself, "What's the point of starting this if it's going to be five years before it's any good?" In 10 years I might look back at this version of "From Busk" and think the same thing I now think about the version from five years ago.

I can tell you this: The first two years I did standup comedy, I thought I was the next George Carlin. I recently found some of my old material and listened to the tapes. Needless to say, it was not good. I can't believe how much I've grown, how much funnier I've gotten, and how my views of the world and my sense of humor have changed. But the truth is, I wouldn't be where I am without those previous drafts, awful scripts, and horrible sets. It's like jogging: The first time you go, running a quarter mile is the hardest thing ever, but pretty soon, you're on to 2 miles, then 5Ks, then half marathons.

So instead of regretting those years that my writing or performing was awful, I appreciate them, respect them, and realize I wouldn't be where I am now without them. Someone once said to me, "Don't be afraid to stink; give yourself license to do so." I certainly did then. I don't think I do anymore, so come on out to the show and let me know if I'm right. And don't you worry about stinking either, unless you're on the subway next to me. Follow me @timintravia.
 
Subscribe to Back Stage

More Features

ADVERTISEMENT

Unscripted Blog


Visit Unscripted »

Sponsors

Back Stage Video

ADVERTISEMENT