I'm Not So Funny Now

In my head I am funny. Downright hilarious sometimes in fact- I sometimes make myself laugh out loud at the witty and clever things I say to entertain myself in my head. In real life however I accept that not everyone might find me so amusing.

I try to be lighthearted in writing my blog and online and in my approaches to PR companies describe it somewhat embarrassingly as "Aiming for smiles with the occasional LOL."  Can you see me cringing right now?

I famously stole a few laughs from the marvellous Dom Holland who was performing at my local theatre a few years ago. At the time heckling seemed harmless and Dom responded well and did not seem phased by the over-chatty dumpy blonde a few rows from the front emboldened by a glass of Chardonnay.

But the tables have turned and this week it is me who will be on stage. I have been asked to give a keynote speech at the Britmums Live Conference in London where 700 bloggers will gather to learn, network and be entertained by a parade of what Boris Johnson described as "a stellar line-up."

 And me.

The organisers of the conference have asked me to read out one of my blog posts which in the comfort of my own home seemed entertaining and funny.  I will have to stand up, make the walk of shame from the safety of the darkened auditorium and emerge blinking into the lights. Hopefully I'll not trip up as I make my way to the lectern. Hopefully my dress will not be rendered transparent. Hopefully sounds will come out of my mouth.

I am terrified, not only that I will end up a sweaty incoherent mess but that no-one will laugh. Practicing in front of my friends one said: "Don't forget to leave a pause for laughs." But what if they don't? What if  I completely corpse? What if all I can hear is my 2 friends at the back overcompensating for the ear-blistering silence by shrieking the kind of false laughs normally reserved for terrible game-shows?
Does this woman look funny to you?

I have some inkling now of the courage it takes any performer to take to the stage. And I want to apologise to Dom for trying to be funny during his show. And Dom, if you want to come and get your own back I'll be live (or dying) onstage at The Brewery, London on Saturday evening. Wish me luck!