When Will Ferrell first started comedy, he didn’t think it would work out.
During an interview with The Off Camera Show, he talked about getting his start in comedy. And he shares a couple valuable lessons that DIY musicians should listen to.
Will Ferrell’s first lesson: be smart about pursuing your dream.
When he first started out in the 90s, there was a big boom of comedy. So he tried it out, going to stand-up nights at local restaurants.
But he made sure to keep his head on straight.
“I was still very realistic in the sense that ‘What if this doesn’t work?'” he said.
He’d come home after doing stand-up and his mom would ask him how it went.
“Thank God I have a college degree,” he would say.
A college degree or learning a trade is smart. Having a worst-case-scenario backup plan is not being afraid of failure, it’s being prepared for it.
Because making a living from your art is difficult and rare, especially making it work long-term (but still possible).
Will Ferrell’s second lesson: just have fun.
When you have that safety net to fall back on, just in case, it can release the pressure, which is true for Ferrell.
This means you’ll just have way more fun playing music.
“So I just approached it with like, ‘This is probably not going to happen, so might as well just have a blast,'” Ferrell said. “And because I gave myself that break internally, I think it — unbeknownst to me — opened all these doors because people could read that I was so free with what I was doing.”
Have a blast. People will notice. Joy is infectious.