There are reputedly lots of people in the entertainment industry with ADHD.
Why is that? Good question, let’s discuss that.
Let’s consider the high of performing. Taking chances provides a buzz that is addictive to us. And one of our go-to self medications is adventure/adrenaline.
And the instant gratification of success on stage is, well, pretty instant … and pretty gratifying.
Not sure what effect failure would have, does that ever happen to us? I suppose it does, but if we’ve had a taste of success, then failure wouldn’t be “failure” so much as it would be delayed gratification, delayed until we got it right. Nothing more than a setback.
Not that we’d fail very often, failure being relative, we might offend, and insult, but still, we’d entertain. That’s success, not failure.
In the case of humorists, comedians and the like, ADHD has a few things going for it.
Funny is surprise. What I mean is that the things people find funny are often things that lull someone into thinking they know what’s coming, and then they get a surprise. Inside the mind, the funny thing is something that causes the brain to follow familiar synaptic patterns, then suddenly causes unexpected synapses to fire.
We tend to think of dozens of possible connections quickly and we unusual recognize the ones that tickle us and assume they will tickle others equally. Often we’re correct.
And we are impulsive and spontaneous, and sometimes inappropriate. We may say things we’ll regret, but we take the chances and we get the big laughs.
We are rewarded for our behavior when it comes to entertainment, unlike other aspects of life, where our behavior more often than not lands us in trouble.
These things stand us in good stead, whether we are doing standup comedy, improv, making public appearances, or hosting events.
I’ve mentioned often enough that we are not identical entities, not doppelgangers, so no, not all of us will be suited for this sort of thing.
But if you’re setting your sights on a career or hobby in entertainment, turn your fun dial up to the ADHD setting and let it rip.
And now, I have to go get ready, I’m hosting another open mic, like every Friday. I’ve been doing it for a few months now and I think my M.C. dial is stuck on ADHD. I’m not really sure though, I haven’t actually tried to turn it down.
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Last reviewed: 7 Sep 2014