Bombing is an essential part of any performing. Especially comedy, primarily stand up for me. I've never really bombed at an Improv show because they are usually after a completed class, and the audience consists of family and friends. And I have not done many of them.
But there is a weird revelation I get when I'm bombing on stage by myself. I get an odd confidence where I don't really care that these people aren't liking what I'm giving them, and I'm still able to talk about whatever I want. FUCK THEM, if they don't like it, I have five minutes to do this because I feel good after I've done it. And sometimes I feel really good after I bomb. It's humbling and it locks you into the present moment, you are surviving up there. Before I think I'm hot shit hilarious and I'm going to kill and I DON'T. And you realize that you have to work harder at it.
Stand up is the only art form that is learned by doing it. You can write jokes all day long but once you're on stage with a light in your face every funny thought or observation leaks from your mind straight to your rectum. You can take Improv classes anywhere, same with sketch writing classes, you can play guitar in your basement... Stand up is only learned by doing it at people in a public format.
Some funny people are too scared to try comedy, because they see an audience as a threat. That can be the case depending on the venue, but for the most part people will clap for you and give you respect for having the sack to go up there.
People bomb in life everyday... Like asking a girl out who rejects you... There is no real threat there either, you're in the same spot you were before. You're going to be safe in your bed later tonight anyway. That's how I view things I don't want to do but know I should.
I see so many "older" people that tell me "I always wanted to try stand up." or "I'm taking this Improv class because people have been telling me I'm funny for fifteen years." Don't be that person! It's often times sad. But if you're doing it then good for you, at least you did it before you're dead.
I have nagging thoughts when I don't get on stage often in Improv or Stand up. Same with writing, I have to write at least every couple of days or I feel like I'm failing myself.
So if you wanna try it, go to an open mic and sign up and DO IT. Stop telling your friends you're going to do it, or tell everyone you would be good at it. If you actually DO it you will feel better. I always feel better... Except when I bomb horribly, but those are important building periods to go through.