What’s Your Arena?


Stepping into The Arena I knew I was about to fail – not just a little, but big time.

I had worked on material about being a Dad very casually for 2 years, in between focusing on becoming “The Speaker”, and only performed my new comedy routine a handful of times mixed in with my proven show of years past, and wasn’t ready once the cameras went on to only do what I’d never done.

For someone who isn’t about to get a Netflix Special, HBO hadn’t called in my first 16 years as a performer, and never thought my comedy as a stand-alone would go that far, this was really a stretch.

I called my show “Father Time” and knew I was jumping into a fire.  But I went for it anyway.

I’ve shared embarrassing stories and moments on this blog over the years for your learning and enjoyment, and this is one of the scariest of all.

April 2017: I accepted the request from the brand new Dry Bar Comedy, a comedy-special arm of VidAngel specializing in clean family-friendly stand up comedy, to film a 45-minute show.  I was terrified.  I knew this would be shared online and I would be crushed by critics, and especially the rabid fans of comedy purists: “Stand Up Comedy or Nothing!”  Since my delivery is story-form, mixed with music, impressions, parody, and I don’t even consider myself a comedian/comic, I knew I didn’t stand a chance.

And I was right.  You should go read the comments on YouTube, Facebook, or wherever jerks hide behind shadowy profiles internet-wide.

Of course, to end 2019, the company went ahead and released the entire routine without my knowledge – all of it!  Why?  I don’t know.  One clip from 2018 had gone Facebook viral, for good and bad, I even wrote on my other blog how some videos fared well while others didn’t…and now the entire special is free for the world to see!

I’m terrified to share this with you, but here it is, but think it’s important for your own version of “Go For It”.

As a refresher, here’s my reference to The Arena to start this post, a quote from Teddy Roosevelt:


“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


What’s your Promise?

To be all in, or sit and watch?

Often I take the route of, “I’ll just hang back here and see what happens to those out in the public, those in the arena, going for it.”

And then I wonder why my life is less than awesome, unfulfilled, as I see others accomplish their dreams.

But, once in a while, I become so courageous…I keep a Promise to myself to not just be a spectator…and I go all in.

What’s your “All In” for 2020?

You’ll be seeing plenty more fails from me in the future, but I hope this comedy special from my past that has just been released to the world gives you the courage to say, “I guess if he did THAT then I can do THIS.”

And go for it.

Promise me, and yourself, you will.



Leadership Expert * Author * Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer

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6 thoughts on “What’s Your Arena?”

  1. Jason, thank you for sharing this – And then I wonder why my life is less than awesome, unfulfilled, as I see others accomplish their dreams. It’s hard to believe that you even feel this way. I can relate and the fact that you do, and I can, well, it gives me hope. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I love everything about this story, and this post. Good for you for putting yourself out there like this. I can’t think of anything more challenging for someone in our position than to record a full standup special. And I can’t think of anyone else in our world who would have the guts to actually do it. Just you, and that’s what makes you so special. For the record, a whole lot of people loved it! Myself included. In fact, many many more people loved it than didn’t … but of course, to guys like us the negative comments hurt more than the positive ones feel good! I get it 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration.

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