Georgetown University Career Spotlight

I am currently featured on Georgetown University’s website under their “Alumni Career Spotlight” section.  Here is an excerpt.  Read the whole interview.

What is the best career advice you have received?

Darren LaCroix, professional speaker and president of Humor 411, told me, “Jeff, when people call you stupid, keep going—you’re almost at lucky.”Over the years, a lot of people have taken shots at me for pursuing a less-than-traditional career path after graduating from Georgetown. “When are you going to grow up?” “Don’t you feel like you’re wasting your college education?” “What do your parents think of your job?”  Now, I get a lot of comments like, “you’re so lucky to be able to make a living doing what you love.” There was a very long time, an insane amount of work, and a bunch of unprofitable years between stupid and lucky.

What would you recommend to someone interested in working in your field?

Distance yourself from the reaction you get on stage—both the good and the bad. Reveling in the good reactions will cause complacency, and believing the bad will cause depression. As an entertainer, you are the brand. When you have a bad show (and you will), you have to deal with the fact that people did not like you—not the widget you make, but you. That hurts. Learn from it, but do not dwell on it. Move on.

Along those lines, judge your professional development against yourself, not your peers. With entertainment, just like any other industry, it’s easy to look left and right and see people who are much further along than you. Again, when you are the brand, professional jealousy can very easily slide into personal depression. Keep your forward momentum going strong from what you can actually control—you and your career.