Andy Murray Syndrome

Okey doke.  So, I took a brief, self-imposed blogging hiatus (alright, it was only two days, but for me on the jaunt to 365 posts, that feels like a lifetime).  I did so in order to travel and to think.  I was traveling for a comedy thing and I was thinking about said comedy thing.  The comedy thing was a “showcase.”  This is a common “old school” method of casting and scouting stand up comedy talent.  I say “old school” because nowadays casting people will simply look on youtube for comedic talent, just as the music industry goes online searching for the next Justin Beiber.


As a result, these showcase type things are a thing of the past.  Often there is usually an audition, run up process, to the showcase where the actual “industry” are.  This was the situation for the above mentioned comedy thingy.  Now, I’m not going to go too much into the comedy thing, specifically, but here are the necessary specifics for what I’m going to talk about:


  • You show a video of your stand up to a casting person at the network for this audition-showcase.  Some people were chosen to showcase off their tapes, some were not.  I was chosen off my tape.


  • You had to fly yourself out for the audition / showcase.  I mention this because for me it’s one of the most annoying parts of the process.  Really?  The showcase can’t be done in LA?  Where everything feckin’ else is?


  • Important thing to know about me — I love doing stand up in front of a live audience.  Stand up in front of a table of judges or in front of a group of other nervous comics, not so much.  Unfortunately, you had to get through the awkward round of judges tables and nervous comics to get to the showcase in front of the live audience.


  • Lastly, once I heard about the judges table/ nervous comics portion of the audition, I went VERY reluctantly.  VERY, VERY reluctantly.


I went and did the audition.  It was awkward.  My set went well, meaning, if I had the chance to do it over again, I would not change much.  However, I did not advance.  The feedback was, “She was hilarious, but we were on the fence.”  I can not tell you how many times I’ve heard, “We liked her, BUT.  We were on the fence.  We agonized over NOT taking her.  She was close.  It was between her and one other act.”  What’s amazing is that in the audition process casting people are on the fence with me very often.  In my understanding of the English language on the fence means, “I could go either way.”  If you were to picture two yards and a fence in-between them, the casting person is sitting on the fence, and they could fall into one yard or the other.  Oddly, once they are on the fence with me – they NEVER fall into my yard.  It’s always the other yard.  You know, the one without me.

Keep reaching, Little Me, almost there. (Photo credit: vicksinhalingman blog. Link below.)


Now, this is not a pity party.  This is not about anyone feeling sympathy for me.  I could have NOT done the audition.  I could’ve skipped it.  It’s not about that.  This is about me trying to understand a very long string of ALMOSTS.  I think this very long string of ALMOSTS mostly applies solely to my comedy career, but when I think about it, I could apply it to writing too.  I ALMOST sold a book.  (Meaning it went to committee at a couple of big publishing houses.)  I ALMOST staffed on a very big and popular TV show.  (Meaning, it was down to me and about 5 or so other people out of hundreds.)  The reason that I’m analyzing this so much, right now, is because I do NOT want this type of mentality to overflow into my writing career at all.  For the most part, I think it hasn’t.  However, I worry.  When I think of my comedy career, sometimes I think I have…


Andy Murray Syndrome.


Andy Murray is one of the top tennis players of all time.  Tortured and emotional, Mr. Andy Murray,  he just can’t seem to go from being really, really good to feckin’ WINNING.


That’s the Andy Murray Syndrome – when your stuck between being really, really good and to quote Charlie Sheen, “winning.”


It’s a thin line between number one and number two.  And if you are consistently in the number two spot, after a while, you start to believe it is YOUR HEAD that keeps you out of number one.


It doesn’t matter if you follow tennis or not.  Here’s what you need to know.  This past Wimbeldon, Nadal got knocked out early.  Who knows why, it doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that Nadal has been an obstacle for Murray way more times then it is necessary to mention.  I’m not sure where Djokovic was, doesn’t matter, he was also out.  I mention him because he has also been a Murray-obstacle.  And then there was Federer.  Federer is a champion.  Federer has won Wimbeldon several times.  Federer is a Murray-obstacle.  Federer has beaten Murray many times.  There is only one thing that Murray had going for him against Federer.  Federer is a champion on the down slope.  He’s getting old.  He’s on his way out.  Murray is younger than him.  Murray should’ve beaten him.  So, why didn’t he?

(Photo credit: NY Times, link below.)


Here’s the first paragraph of a New York times article written about Murray’s Wimbeldon loss to Federer:


“Even on his good days, Andy Murray makes playing tennis look like the equivalent of swallowing cough medicine for two hours. And once things start going wrong, that cough medicine starts going down with a handful of thumbtacks. Normally, that’s when it is time to start channel surfing for a rerun of “Extreme Makeover,” but on Sunday it merely made your heart break right along with his, to share all of the cosmic affronts that played out over Murray’s tortured face. This Wimbeldon final could have been his golden moment, the one thing that changes everything. Instead, it was as if every one of Murray’s childhood dreams was run over by a bulldozer, which then backed up and ran over them again.”




So, do I have Andy Murray Syndrome in regards to my career?  I don’t know.


Now, of course, I know how this business goes.  I know that the woman who wrote “The Help” was rejected by over 60 publishers.  I know Mark Ruffalo went on over 800 auditions before landing his first decent role.  I know that, much like love, it’s always wrong, until it’s not.


Yet, I can’t help, but think that Murray’s HEAD plays a role in his torture.  I can’t help, but think that sometimes it plays a role in mine.  What about you?  Do you ever feel that your head / personal psychology / background / subconscious / Murphy’s Feckin’ Law gets in the way of YOU achieving your goals?



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Photo credits:  Andy Murray, asian-child

51 thoughts on “Andy Murray Syndrome

  1. I like Jeremy Renner. Not just because he’s cute, which he is, but because he worked so hard to get where he is. And I loved his response to a question I once heard asked of him on a talk show. “So how does it feel to be an overnight sensation?” Renner’s response was somewhere along the lines of, “Well, if 23 years of hard work, struggle, and living in my car off and on is overnight, then I guess it feels pretty good.”

    I’m paraphrasing–I don’t remember exactly how it put it. But it was something like that. Which I suspect is true for most artists of any kind.

    1. that is fascinating, carrie. i’m going to look into him more. very, very cool. and a little birdie told me that some congrats are in order on the book…am i right? i think maybe your agent/ publisher likey? consider me in your book pre-order numbers because i will definitely buy a copy and can’t wait to read it. xo, sm

      1. Thanks, SM. I already had the book contract; I was just waiting to hear from my editor, and I did last week, so it just moved me one step closer. Next I’ll be hearing from him what I need to hack. Yikes. A little nervous about that one…

  2. I think everyone feels like this from time to time. Those “overnight” successes are never overnight. I think luck and attitude has alot to do with success — and yeah, being good at what you do. I know my self-talk probably has much to do with me not achieving some of my goals. I guess the thing is to keep going because I we all “get there” eventually — Do the things we really what to do. It just sometimes feels as if it takes forever. Good post, moms — one which so many of us can relate — thanks.

    1. my pleasure. and i DO think the people who seem to skate through had a LOT of the right types of ‘counselling’ from parental figures or whoever else when they were kids, so their self-talk is different. do you know what i mean? the rest of us have to figure out how to recalibrate our self-talk, i believe. or at least that is my dr phil thought of the moment. ay! xo and thanks for reading, brig. sweet mo

  3. Rejection sucks. This is why I live in a nowhere town and write anonymously on the Internet. I give you a boatload of credit for putting yourself out there. In my line of work–which is not the career I want, but a job that pays the bills and doesn’t make me hate myself–we host children’s authors. I have yet to meet one that wasn’t rejected 4 million times before finally getting someone to publish them….and your writing is so superior to theirs (I know, different genre, but still your writing rocks).

    You also have to consider that mediocre sells in this country–just look at 95 percent of what’s on TV and Fifty Shades of Grey. And you, my friend, are not mediocre.

    I have great faith that it will happen for you.

    1. Seven, that is just about the nicest comment ever. Now, thanks to that comment, I will have to stick it out in this business another godforsaken ten years. So, it’s your fault. Lol. But, seriously, thank you for saying so. And you are COMPLETELY right in a lot of what you’re saying. It’s hard to remember that good is NOT necessarily what’s popular A LOT of the time. And as for you, and I say this knowing more comedians than there are grains of sand in ryan seacrest’s shorts, the way you write comedically is better than 3/4 of what i see from actual comedians. your 50 shades “recrap” is just the most recent example. anyway, thanks for saying this here. i’m not looking for any kind of pump up, just perspective and you gave me just that. much love, sm

      1. Holy crap! Now thanks to your generous comments, I’m going to have to read that gd second book and write more recaps until my inner light is snuffed out a replaced by a vaginal ball.

  4. Hi Sweet Mom…you are awesome…its not Andy Murray syndrome…its like if you didnt get things this time its because there is something better waiting for you…
    i have been wining office tournaments for past two years and this year i was out of the game on the first day..this Monday i had my first match for 2012 tournament…i lost my first match with the first guy who wasnt even good enough..i was shocked and i still am having a hard time with questions like “what happened?” “is it true? you lost?”

    sorry i haven’t visited for long…but im back now..will just go through the old posts

    1. good to see you back, lil miss. and no worries. i’m just glad to see you are here. life gets in the way sometimes. and i hear you about ‘winning’ – sometimes there are many other variables (that we just can’t control) in the way. much love, sm

    1. Loved this article. I’ve never auditioned, I’m not a performer, BUT the job interview? now that’s something I have endured many many too too many times. I actually had a guy say to me in an interview once, “why don’t you stay home and take care of your kids? don’t you have a husband?” OMfngG! I just stood up and said thanks for your time and walked out. I’ve interviewed for jobs I was nowhere near qualified for and ones that I could’ve done the interviewers job. Excruciating 10 person panel interviews, over the phone “don’t call us, we’ll never call you interviews, face to face holy crap stop looking at my boobs interviews. Like I said…excruciating!
      SM your writing is amazing and I don’t know anything about anything else, but your writing is amazing. And I’m glad I found your blog. : ) Love It!

      1. ok, that interview sh*t with the ‘husband’ question is just completely cray-cray. i think it’s awesome that you got up and walked out of there. seriously. job interviews are SO like auditioning. very, very similar. thanks for the kind words, honie, they mean a lot. they really do. much love, sm

  5. Yes, absolutely. I relate a lot to what you’re saying here and I have noticed in my own head when it happens and then I fight with myself about it and even then, Andy Murray Syndrome beats me! It’s crazy, the things our brains do, right?

    I hope you end up winning soon!!!

  6. I always called this the “Almost But Not Quite” syndrome but “Andy Murray Syndrome” really does say it perfectly. That poor bastard. My brain has traditionally played a huge role in my own torment, turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy as I choked right in front of myself. But over time I’ve realized how much luck—or fate, or randomness, or the roll of the dice, whatever you want to call it—plays a role in so many of these things. Maybe if the weather had been slightly more humid, the ball would have carried differently that day at Wimbledon for Andy. Maybe I reminded that person of someone they hated in high school and that’s why they didn’t hire me. Maybe my writing just isn’t their cup of tea because they’re just not that smart. So many random variables that I’m absolutely powerless to do anything about. It actually makes me relax a little, knowing that there truly is only so much I can do, and beyond that it’s just whether or not certain variables converge in my favor or against it. So at this point I’m not quite my own worst enemy anymore. Now we’re more like frenemies.

    1. the variables thing is so true, which is why i don’t like auditioning in these types of scenarios unless they are set up like a regular comedy show with a real audience. but, i did it anyway, against all my instincts. sigh. the variables SHOULD make me relax, sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. ugh. your commentary is so well put, weebs, as always. i am frenemies with my own head, indeed. xo, sm

  7. EVERY “feckin” day. Especially today. I wish I had an adjective that isn’t overused to describe your superfantabulous awesomeincrederific post. You said it perfectly!!! You always do.

  8. I missed you Momma. I use your daily blog post updates as a yardstick to tell if my inbox is full or not. Long story no internet access on my laptop so I’m only using my phone for email which is set not to delete my mail off the server and my inbox maxes out quite regularly.
    So when I don’t get a mail from your blog I go find some free wifi somewhere, download my mail, and go look for what I missed on your blog. Only this time there was nothing on your blog. I was plundged headlong into the Twilight Zone (the creepy one, not the one with insipid, chauvinistic, sparkly vampires) and suddenly the last 2 days ceased to exist. It was like Groundhog Day with crying babies.

    1. i know i don’t like it when i have a blog – blip. especially, as i’m really committed to this postaday thing, but alas, sometimes life/ bs/ travel/ crappy auditions/ get in the way. sorry to feck up your inbox clearing. lol. i thought that was hilarious, btw. xoxo, sm

  9. Does my head get in the way? In a word—yes. In school, a lot of things came easily my way. Then I hit the real world. And I learned real fast it doesn’t care what you did before And what came before wasn’t necessarily good enough for now. Somehow, I keep trying with the writing. Even though it may be all Andy Murray for me.

    Novak Djokovik? Just slipped to the No. 2 ranked player in the world after his Wimbledon defeat. But he’ll be back because he wants to be No. 1 again. We have to find the same drive to get past our heads.

    1. i so hear you, jm. i so hear you. it’s a difficult climb. but, maybe worth it? notice the question mark there because i never know for sure. lol. anyway, if it makes you feel any better, i’m over here fretting the same way as i write. much love, sm

  10. So NOT Andy Murray syndrome. As an avid observer of the performance world, I’m quite certain it’s just a matter of time for you.
    In a weird stalkerish sort of way I’ve watched every youtube vid of you I could find. A good proportion of your material is genius. Dog, licking (this isn’t me) etc- I’ve repeated that at every dinner party I’ve been to since, and people fall off their chairs. I totally pretend I came up with it myself 😀
    Sit back and think of the long game, or marry rich, or go back in time and be re-born as a Vanderbilt, although that may have its drawbacks, remember Little Gloria?

    1. pinky, that’s very kind. and i know you say what you mean, so i take it as a compliment. because i know if you didn’t like that sh*t, you’d say so. lol. i’m the same way. anyhoo, yep, i suppose i haven’t done it for 26 years yet, just shy a decade from that. so, i’ll complain again in ten years, but probably before that. ay yay yay. hope you’re healing okay after the loss of your doggie-sweetie. much love, sm

  11. Just wanted to add… Mock the Week has just started and the entire audience stood up to applaud Andy Murray once a spotlight was shone on him and they realized he was in the audience 😉

  12. Edison said that ‘Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.’ I have my own version of that : success is 1% talent, 98% perspiration and…1% LUCK.

    Men are very good at believing that when they don’t succeed it’s because of ‘bad luck’. We women tend to soul-search, looking for the fault in ourselves.

    You will succeed Mum. It will happen when all of those three ingredients come together at the same time.

    1. you know, meeks, i think there’s a lot of truth in what you said. i think dudes handle this sort of thing COMPLETELY differently. and that mindset HELPS in a lot of these things. a lot of women, at least, tend to get internal and self blamey, i hate that i do that. but, i do think it’s a bit the way that i am wired. ugh. all i can do is keep on keepin’ on. anyway, thanks for the great commentary as always, meeks. xo, sm

      1. One trail-blazing woman is never enough. There has to be a whole heap of you to make the rest of us feel brave enough even to try.

  13. I read this yesterday and was thinking about it more this morning. While I do think a lot of things in life come down to chance, I DEFINITELY think we stand in our own way and that changing our thought process can be the difference between being good and great. This may sound hippie-dippy (wait, you live in LA and are from NY, I can’t shock you!), but a few times I’ve gone through this book “The Artist’s Way” and it’s worked wonders. Simply the act of writing 3 handwritten pages, first thing in the morning, for 12 weeks, jump started my creativity every time. Doing that sort of ‘mind dump’ seems to get rid of so many obstacles you don’t even know are there. I really want to do it again, but already get up at 6am for work. Eesh. 5:30am? Can I do it?

    Anyway, the other thing I wanted to say is that I think you’re SO talented! I found you via word of mouth, for one thing (the hilarious Angie Z of – one of Speaker7’s pals). You have more subscribers than almost any WordPress blogger I’ve ever seen, and in such a short amount of time! Unheard of! And it’s becuse you’re amazing!

    1. i’ve totally done ‘the artist’s way’ – guilty as charged. i agree about writing things to get ‘the junk out’ of your head, more or less. or talking it out with someone or whatever you have to do. i think working on changing the thought process in my head is a long and arduous one, but i’m working on it! and i swear i didn’t write this to get compliments, just to analyze what i was going through. but, regardless, THANK YOU for saying all the nice things you did. they truly mean a lot to me, they really do. much love, jules, much love, sweetmo.

  14. Andy Murray does not have a syndrome- he has a bad attitude- and starts throwing his toys out of his pram when things don’t go his way, that’s the secret to his “failure” at Wimbledon. You so dont have the Murray syndrome, you just have normal insecurities that we all have. The way I think about all this is- you have to do what makes you happy- be it writing, comedy, cooking whatever- and you WILL find an audience. We have a great local literary festival where I live (West London) and I attended a talk by Katie Ffjord ( a bestselling novelist) who said that for 11 years she tried to write for Harlequin romance (books). Did not get one published- not one. And now she sells millions… its just finding your niche where you fit in… and you gotta be in it to win it… ;o)

    1. such truth, mixtape, such truth. i think it’s REALLY hard to get off that ‘this is not working’ path, as katie had to with the romance novels. we are a stubborn breed, us humanoids and i’ve been doing comedy for so long, that it’s hard for me to step back from it. even though, i know it certain ways, it’s the right thing to do… great comment and thank you, much love, mother

  15. Part of Andy’s problem is the three players consistently ranked above him. The rest of it is his head. All he has to do is ignore that those guys are better than him and believe that he is better than everyone; that’s what they do. That’s what anyone who wins does. It also takes far more effort, work, and practice than anyone outside will ever understand. You’ve got the chops, you’ve got the right attitude. You’ll get there.

    1. great comment, purple. i couldn’t agree with you more about murray. my heart bleeds for him. seriously. as for me, still working on the head. it’s an uphill climb, but hopefully i’ll get there.

  16. I do think that mindset has a lot of influence, both positively and negatively, but it is also not the whole story. Sometimes life just sucks (but it won’t *always* suck).

  17. I believe that anyone who is actually good at something gets beat up in their own heads. Why? Because we are good and we have high expectations. I think you have hit on a huge point about popular vs. good. And popular wins a lot, see Snooki. You are good and you will hit your stride and someone will see you at that moment. Or you will see you and just know and that may be enough.

    I’m desperately trying to teach my children this lesson because kids today are raised with such extreme instant gratification expectations. They start thinking because they are teenagers that they are “too old”, they missed their shot. Gah….

    Hang in SM! Hang in.

  18. My head is so much in my way that I don’t really put myself out there at all. I have a friend who is the opposite of me. Her head is a freaking cheerleader. To quote her, “Every ‘no’ gets me closer to ‘yes’.” I try to remember that when I get “no” but it’s a real battle. You’re an inspiration.

  19. I have a friend who once told me that all the bad things that happened to me were generated by my “head”. He said that no matter how good things got or how close I came to success somehow I would always think myself into failure…that I am afraid to succeed.
    I think he is wrong on a lot of levels, however, the number one reason I do not agree with him is because I always try to be positive about everything. Personally, I just think the doo doo that happens to me is so that it doesn’t have to happen to someone else. I am OK with that.

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