I just submitted my Late Night Writer’s packet for NBC Universal. I found out about the packet during the submission period, and was not fully prepared to create topical, witty, and complete jokes within less than a week.
In fact, in the three days between when I found out about the opportunity and the submission deadline, the first two consisted of mostly panicked resignation. I didn’t feel like I could get it done in time. I wanted to submit something that I thought was powerful, political, and purposeful yet could still entertain. The pressure I inflicted upon myself incapacitated me.
Conciliatory thoughts filled my head, attempting to rationalize myself out of trying. Things like; “You can always do this next year,” “You want to submit your best work,” and “Maybe you’re just not meant to be a comedy writer.” They felt reassuring and validated my feelings at the time.
However, on the third day, after already resigning to not finish my packet, I decided to spend the day reading one of my favorite books, Hero by Perry Moore. I won’t spoil the book for you, but I had a major personal catharsis about this moment in my life. I believe there are small moments in your life that can define your character. Sometimes you might make choices that you don’t like or regret, but you live with them. I wanted this choice, today, to finish this packet, to be a moment where I prevailed and pulled through.
So I did. I spent the entire day creating a respectable late night packet, finishing two SNL-style sketches, late night monologue jokes, and late night desk bits. It was long and exhausting, but I wanted and NEEDED to do this to prove to myself this is what I wanted to do. Maybe if my work wasn’t that good, I would have a different response (that I tried, and maybe don’t see myself getting better). But I thought my jokes could be seen on any of the late night shows, especially since they were infused with a twist of me.
Maybe I won’t get a call to interview with the NBC Universal Late Night program, maybe I will next year or the year after that, or maybe never. Regardless, yesterday was a personal victory for me. I overcame my doubts and worries to write really promising material. I could not be more proud of myself for that.