I have lived across the street from UCB in Franklin Village for a decade. I LOVE comedy. I watch every single stand-up special on Netflix. I go see comedy all over the city and one of my closest friends in the whole world is a stand-up comedian. One of my favorite podcasts is taped at UCB in Franklin Village. When I take my kids for walks, we have to walk around the impossibly long lines at UCB in the evenings. I have never been to UCB.
Wait, what? I have NEVER been to UCB? Why? Honestly, I’m not sure why I haven’t gotten off my tush and gone to see something fun.
Have I been to IO (RIP)? Yes. Have I been to Groundlings? Second City? The Laugh Factory? The Freakin’ Improv in Brea?? Yes, yes, yes, and actually yes. But I was invited to go to shows at those places. I guess, I just haven’t been invited to go with anyone to UCB to see something in particular, so it never came up.
This article is not about UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade).
I have written articles about the only way for mid-level film festivals to succeed which is to INVITE someone. I have done several massive crowd-funding campaigns where the number one tip for success is to individually and personally INVITE someone to participate. Heck, I have two kiddos and the only way I get to see other adults is to INVITE someone over to play every day. I should have put together the significance of the invitation sooner, but I guess I just didn’t put it together that the INVITATION to participate is the only path to community success.
I could see someone’s Facebook post/invite or that they are interested in an event that I would enjoy and actually go out and do it. I could. I can. I do, sometimes. It may be weird. It may not be what I think it is. I might show up too casual. I get easily embarrassed trying new things.
But when I get personally invited to JOIN someone (not just support, but join them), I set aside time to get ready, arrive early enough to park, hype myself up to be outgoing, and walk in with confidence that I was meant to be at this event, I’m an honored guest, an invited attendee. This event is for me. I have the solidarity of trying something new with my companion or companions. I have a purpose or an objective to see or do something special with people. This event is for me to enjoy. This is already set up to be a successful event. A personal invitation to join is the only difference. Even if I go alone, I will feel less alone. AND maybe I won’t go alone because I’ll invite someone too?
Each time an event comes up, I could take this one step to make it a successful event – INVITE someone. A truly simple genuine invitation to join me in the activity. It’s vulnerable, I agree. But I do it. Call or text.
I could feed my anxiety about each event, or I can let my maternal-anti-anxiety reflex kick-in by being responsible for another person, which is the only way around it for some people. You know the Mom-friend who can only take care of spiders when doing it for someone who is more afraid? I call that the maternal-anti-anxiety reflex. It’s what happens when I help other people have a good experience against all anxiety ridden odds instead of focusing on myself and my enjoyment. Inviting someone to join me helps with that. So, being invited and/or inviting someone else makes for a good time!
Wanna try it? Below are a few invites I sent or received recently. These are just examples. Try pulling out your phone and inviting someone to join YOU this week. It is a skill that needs practice to feel easy. Practice it every week as long as you can until it becomes second nature. Sometimes you have to do something positive consciously in order to get it going and create the lasting impact that you need for true growth. Good luck.
“I have PGA screenings of “First Man” on Friday and “Mid 90’s” on Sunday at 4p, wanna be my date?”
“I’m chilling at home today, wanna come over and do nothing with me and the kids?”
“I’m going to see Joseph do stand-up in Silverlake on Thursday, wanna join me? I’m inviting John too”
“Taking the kiddos on a hike today, you free to come walk with us? Super easy hike”
“Can you and Ryan do dinner this week?”
“Is your schedule open for me to invite the Adams to dinner this week?”
“My film screens at 5:30p on Sat. Wanna come watch it with me?”
“I’m going to see Riot Act at it’s LA premiere on Friday, wanna be my date?”
What are you doing this week? Or what do you want to TRY?
Tell me about it @JennicaRenee