I couldn’t help but feel excited for Zo as we made our way to Pine Box Rock Shop. It was a small venue, but the crowd was always lively and ready to laugh. Zo had been talking about trying stand-up comedy for years, but fear had always held him back. After having Felonious Monk on our radio show, Zo made a promise live on the air that he would finally give it a shot. And here we were, ready to see it happen. As we walked into the venue, I could feel the energy buzzing. There were a few other comedians milling about, some nervously pacing while others seemed calm and collected. Zo was somewhere in between, fidgeting with his hands and muttering under his breath. I gave him an encouraging pat on the back and he shot me a nervous grin. The open mic started and we watched as the first few comedians took to the stage. Some of them were great, making the crowd roar with laughter. Others struggled, their jokes falling flat and the audience growing restless. Zo was up next, and I could feel my heart rate increasing with anticipation. He took to the stage, the bright lights illuminating his face. I watched as he took a deep breath and launched into his set. It was clear that he was nervous, stumbling over his words and often rushing through his thoughts. But as he continued, he started to relax and find his rhythm. He told jokes about his family, his job, and the crowd, understanding the debut, seemed to be eating it up. As he wrapped up his set, the audience erupted into applause. I could see the relief and triumph on Zo’s face as he walked off. We headed back to the bar, buzzing with excitement and congratulating him on a job well done. It was a moment I would never forget, watching my friend conquer his fears and try something new. It reminded me that sometimes the only thing standing in the way of our dreams is fear and that pushing past it can lead to incredible things.

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