Did you fans and haters know that I was on the cover of DigBoston’s summer preview? I’ve been wanting to post about it for weeks, but held off so I could get all my thoughts together, which if you know me at all, is a rare and giant step for me. But, here we are now, thoughts collected and all:
There is this quote that my big sister use to say to me growing up, which has been ringing in my head for the last couple weeks: “Be A Red Sox fan, not a Yankees Hater!” It was her opinion that the people who try to bring talented people down with harsh words, and a “hater” mentality, are immature and small minded in comparison to those who focus their energy on finding a passion to support. In short, those who focus their energies on finding something to hate are much less happy than those who focus that same energy on finding something to passionately love. This attitude has really been resonating since I had the pleasure of gracing DigBoston’s weekly cover with my young, but ambitious, comedic presence. I was so happy that someone had thought my struggle to break into the Boston Comedy Scene was interesting enough to write about, and obviously even more flattered to learn that a publication in Boston picked the story up, and was going to feature it to help promote a couple upcoming shows at local comedy venues.
Maybe it’s inexperience; maybe it’s confidence; maybe it’s the fact that I have had a lot of opportunities to be in the newspaper when I was an athlete, but I was absolutely, and blissfully unaware, of the negative effects this “opportunity” (as they called it) would also offer me. I truly assumed everyone would love it! What’s not to like? It’s a hot picture. The article is well written, and accurately captures my comedy style, and greatest desire to connect with people. How cool that I had an opportunity to talk about my most favorite thing in the world, making people laugh! I was proud of the outcome of the article, and I still am. The first thing I did was send the link to my Dad, who knows how challenging it has been for me to try to break into the scene; he immediately applauded the writer for articulating some of my challenges, and creating a voice which was consistent with mine. I’m not sure if the article was lost on people, but the writer of the article perfectly depicted MY struggle to find success in the comedy field, and MY ambition and drive which is fueling me to continue chasing my dreams. This was not a story about already succeeding in Boston comedy; nor was it claiming that I was the voice of the entire Boston Comedy Scene. It was a couple of words about my personal climb to, hopefully, the top.
Unfortunately, the day the article went public, it was sarcastically shared to a group of a thousand Boston Comedians with the caption: “BREAKING NEWS: New Queen of Boston Comedy Crowned!” The 580 comments which followed were disappointing, to say the least. It was ironic to see an article which was attempting to capture some of the challenges of breaking into Boston Comedy, create even more barriers and challenges. It seemed to me that people were even more excited than before to deny me opportunities to do 3 or 5 minutes at shows. How confusing and frustrating for a group of experienced “leaders” in an industry to want you to show that you want to get better before you get popular, but not give you any opportunity to do just that. I foolishly expected that my peers, and those with more experience, would remember back to some of the painful rejections they faced early on in comedy.
Part of the reason I do comedy is because I enjoy finding humor in sadness, and compassion through my experiences. I don’t know the answer for why each of us chooses to do comedy, but I can confidently say that I was surprised that as one of many voices just trying to express my struggles, I assumed more people in this community would identify with some of those trials. One of the most amazing human emotions I learned through personal experiences in my life is empathy, and I thank my parents for that ability more and more each day. I never felt a disappointment that I didn’t see pained my father in his eyes. I never lost a game without my mother’s contagious and overly positive perspective encouraging me that I wasn’t losing alone. Maybe this ability has made me a more popular comedian. Maybe the ability to understand pain is how I am able to connect with complete strangers.
I have to admit that I felt hurt, and betrayed. Aren’t we all working towards the same goals? Don’t we all have a passion for the same art? Don’t we all just want to make people laugh and feel good? And if the people are laughing at you, or at me, or if they’re entertained by an article about comedy, aren’t we all doing our job? Haven’t we all experienced similar biases, challenges, and struggles? I suppose this is the Boston Comedy Scene’s big moment to deny me of what I love. I’ve never had a hard time making friends. I’ve always been able to walk in a room and meet people, except for at open mics and comedy shows. Outside of comedy I am a social butterfly, and I don’t think that makes my desire for being “popular” greater than my desire to be better at comedy. I think it makes my desire for connecting with human beings greater than being the best comedian in Boston Comedy.
For the last weeks I have agonized about comedy. Why don’t they like me? Why aren’t they accepting me into their community? Why is it so hard to befriend these humans? What are the steps to success here? What I didn’t give myself the opportunity to realize is that there were so many comedians who reached out to me in such positive and inspiring ways to show their support. That’s where our energy should always be focused. Why do we waste precious time wondering why someone doesn’t believe in us, or love us, or see what we have to offer the world, when there are so many other people who do?
“I wanted to reach out to let you know that I know first hand what it feels like to have people talk shit when something good happens to you. Ignore it. It’s dumb. Do you. The Dig feature was awesome for you. Don’t let insecure fucks ruin that for you. I’ve got your back.
“You are awesome. Congrats!”
“I love your comedy, and I love your attitude. Do not change that. Keep working hard, and the work will speak for itself.”
“Hey. Just FYI, you kick ass.”
“I would have been a quivering puddle by now if I was in your shoes with this Boston Comedians Group. Just keep doing your thing, and be proud of the article and cover because it’s fucking awesome.”
“Thanks for creating a buzz about Boston Comedy! I loved your DigBoston article! See you around soon.”
I’m only going to focus on the positives moving forward. I’m not going to pay any mind to people who use their “power” to combat their insecurities. I choose to use empathy and compassion to combat my own. If this challenge has shown me anything, it’s that I have way too many people in my life who support my dreams, and enjoy my comedy, to give up on it, and quit. I don’t need everyone in Boston Comedy to validate me by thinking I’m funny, or deserving, or praise me at open mics. I need to just stay on my own path, continuing to connect with the people around me, and push to be a better person, and comedian.
To all those individuals who reached out to me: Thank you for respecting one of the most important passions in my life! Thank you for recognizing what comedy means to me! Thanks for always wanting this for me, and celebrating each milestone with me! I am so far from where I want to be, but I’m really enjoying each, anxiety ridden, step. If you aren’t scaring the shit out of yourself every day, how are you going to grow? I guess it’s a good thing I have so many people who love and support me in my life. Without you people I don’t know that I would have the confidence, or the strength, to withstand a weeks’ worth of internet bullying! I can’t believe I’m important enough to get cyber harassed! The most important perspective I’ve gained from this is that I’m so proud the people I surround myself with are Tricia Auld fans, not Boston Comedy haters.
“Hi Tricia, I just wanted to say congratulations on the article.
Keep doing your thing. It is so evident how much joy you get from your comedy, don’t let anyone take that from you.
Here’s to another year of great laughs and doing what you love.”
Spending useful energy to be a hater, or to be a fan, is a personal choice. I’m going to keep choosing to celebrate other people’s wins. I’m going to be a Red Sox fan, not a Yankees hater, because that’s how I was raised. Maybe that’s why I have so many friends, and I’m so popular? You should try it.
Check out my DigBoston Article here: https://digboston.com/breaking-in-tricia-auld-and-the-struggle-to-breach-boston-comedy/
I want to experience every single thing this life has to offer. I’ll never let fear, doubt, or other people’s opinions get in the way of taking risks. I’ll always take advantage of any opportunity that is thrown at me. And why shouldn’t I? Why should anyone? We are all out in the world just trying to make our own way. I have learned so many things by throwing myself into fires, and I’ve always managed to keep going. I like to believe, in part, because I have so many fans, but also because the challenges have made me more and more confident. Each rejection, and disappointment, has made my convictions in my ability to make others laugh too strong to weaken, and I wouldn’t change those experiences for all the Boston Comedy gigs in all the world.