In any line of business, mistakes will become inevitable.
You know the day or the project that does not go quite as well as you thought it would?
In the world of entertainment, many comedians talk about the day they bombed during one of their comedy routines and fans booed them angrily off stage.
One cannot avoid those days no matter how hard one works.
The key then becomes putting the past behind you and responding to adversity with more preparation, more determination and more confidence.
The late comedian Charlie Murphy had an up and down career as a stand-up comedian.
Despite the trials and tribulations of following in the famous footsteps of his younger brother and comic icon Eddie Murphy, fans still remember the elder Murphy as an extremely talented, gifted and funny artist who gave television and movie fans some of the most memorable comedic moments of all time.
He passed away while participating in the wildly successful comedy tour and reality show “The Comedy Get Down” with D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin and George Lopez.
But the respect many have for him comes from the fact that he overcame badly reviewed comedy shows to become one of the most respected comedians in the game.
In 2005, Murphy got booed off the stage in St. Louis, cussing the audience out in the process claiming that, “I already got my money.”
A similar incident happened at the Grambling State University homecoming comedy show in 2010.
After bombing at a show once, he called his little brother Eddie hoping to be consoled after his bad night.
Eddie basically called Charlie out for acting weak, informing him that all of the comedy legends of the past bombed shows like him, Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx.
He told Charlie to stop acting like a female dog and get off of his phone looking for pity.
The story about bombing by Eddie puts many things in perspective.
If legends like Eddie Murphy, Pryor and Foxx can have a bad night and still reach icon status, then there is no reason that a little adversity should stop any of us from reaching greatness.
Furthermore, comedians like Steve Harvey and Bernie Mac also have and had horror stories about bombing on stage and vowing not to let it happen again.
During a show for “The Original Kings of Comedy,” Harvey told a bunch of old jokes that everyone in the audience had already heard.
Very few seemed to be impressed.
Did Harvey sulk about his lackluster performance?
No, he just reworked his material, came up with new jokes and refused to let failure on stage happen to him again.
Thanks to my colleague, journalist Isiah Carey and the staff of Fox 26 in Houston, I have become a regular on the late-night show, “Isiah Factor Uncensored.”
Making appearances on an almost weekly basis, I have been asked to give insight on issues ranging from politics, social issues, relationships and entertainment.
I have also earned a reputation of wearing some of the best looking fedoras on the planet while on television.
However, my reputation probably never included stumbling over my words and not speaking clearly and smoothly.
Unfortunately, I recently had my first bad day while appearing on “Isiah Factor Uncensored.”
While others thought my performance was not as bad as I thought, it was still not up to my caliber.
But there is no use crying over spilled milk.
No matter how good a person thinks they are at their craft, each person will have a horrible day and areas that need improvement in.
The past is the past and there’s no changing it.
However, people can make sure they never make the same mistake twice.
And while being one’s own biggest critic can lead to anxiety, it can also lead to humility, perseverance and continued hard work.
Those who think that they are always great or always right will probably never put in the work to remain in their current position or to elevate to the next level.
No matter how great Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant was at basketball, they never stopped working to improve their weaknesses.
While many star athletes receive praise and adulation for making game-winning plays, many still work hard because all they can think of is the time they did not make the game-winning play or failed to come through in the clutch.
But likes sports, life always gives you another game on the schedule.
Sure, the losses hurt.
However, that bitter taste of defeat can quickly turn into the sweet taste of victory if one seizes the next opportunity to achieve greatness.
Basketball experts no longer dwell on the time when Magic Johnson inexplicably dribbled out the game clock in an NBA Finals loss to the Boston Celtics.
Many basketball writers and commentators usually only talk about Johnson’s five NBA championships, his college national championship and his Olympic gold medal from 1992.
When the Lakers lost again to the Celtics in the NBA Finals, Johnson just worked that much harder in the gym during the offseason in order to exorcise his Celtic demons.
After the Lakers defeated the Celtics in the Boston Garden for the NBA championship, celebrating with champagne in the visitor’s locker room seemed extra sweet for the five-time NBA champion.
Harvey getting heckled during a stop on “The Kings of Comedy” tour probably just made all of his future blessings that much more gratifying.
That hiccup on tour 20 years ago seems like a footnote that very few probably even remember considering his run of success on television, radio, film and business endeavors.
Just like the celebrities we look up to, we can also dust ourselves off and continue to pursue greatness even when our performance is not great.
Johnson recently told Esquire, “Never be satisfied. I wasn’t satisfied as a player and even today, as a businessman running my own company; I’m still not satisfied. I don’t care what happened in 2018; I want something bigger to happen in 2019. I want to deliver more every day, every week, every month. I’m never going to feel satisfied as a CEO, as a man, or as a person.”
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