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“Fake it till you make it” got me on stage, on tv, and into a starring role in my own movie

Source |  |  BY:Kumail Nanjiani, Actor, Writer & Comedian at Kumail Nanjiani

Fake it till you make it.

This was the best piece of advice I ever received. I don’t know who told it to me. But I remember specifically making the decision to follow it.

I had just moved to New York after doing stand-up in Chicago for 6 years. I was standing in the back of a very hip comedy show. I had seen a parade of comedians perform who I had only seen on TV prior to this. By some stroke of luck, I was about to go on stage next. They all looked so confident. They all felt like they really belonged on that stage. I felt like I didn’t fit in. For one, nobody in the audience knew my name. They’d be disappointed when I was introduced and it was some random guy with a hard to pronounce name instead of someone they’d watched in a sitcom last night. And right as I was about to have my freak out, I remembered that piece of advice.

Fake it till you make it.

I decided to follow it. I decided to pretend like I belonged on that stage. I decided to fake confidence. Instead of them telling me I didn’t belong, I’d tell them I did.

It worked. I had a great set, and I was invited by one of the famous comedians to open for him on tour.

Then that comedian got a tv show and he asked me to write for it. I had never written for a tv show before. I had no idea what I was doing. So what did I do?

Fake it till you make it.



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