Be Somebody’s John Wing: the Value of Interventions

Confront your Fears!

In 2005, as I approached my 30th birthday, I decided to end off my 20s by confronting my biggest fear: public speaking. And what better way to challenge myself than by trying stand-up comedy? Terrifying, right? But I was determined to step out of my comfort zone and take on this daunting task.

I signed up for an amateur night at Yuk Yuks, giving myself six weeks t

o prepare material and steel my nerves. The night of the show arrived, and as I sat nervously in the overflow seating area, doubts began to creep in. Surrounded by seasoned comedians, I felt out of place and unworthy.

Just when my nerves threatened to overwhelm me, Canada’s top comedian at the time, John Wing, approached me. Sensing my nervousness as my whole table was shaking and my face was white as a sheet, he offered some guidance as well as some breathing and visualization exercises to help calm my nerves.

And it really helped to bring my nervous energy down.


It was my turn to go up on stage and the nerves returned with a vengeance.

Showtime or Go Time?

As I walked towards the stage shaking and sweating uncontrollably, I noticed a big, illuminated EXIT sign with a big green arrow pointing in the opposite direction of the stage. This was a sign! (it quite literally was a sign). This was an omen. This was the universe telling me that what I was not meant to be a public speaker. Done! I turned down the long, dark hallway towards the exit and as I got close to the door, I discovered that John Wing was blocking it. He said “the stage is that way big guy! You’d always regret it Al. Now get up there and kill it! You got this.”

With his encouragement ringing in my ears, I pushed aside my fear and took to the stage. And you know what? The crowd laughed at every joke, and I realized that I was capable of more than I ever imagined.

Looking back, I shudder to think where I would be if John Wing hadn’t intervened that night. I would never have ended up as a career keynote speaker because I had of walked out that exit, I forever would have associated public speaking with pain.

The Power of Positive Interventions

But his simple act of kindness and belief in me changed everything. It taught me the about the power we have to lift others up. Whether it’s offering a kind word of encouragement to a colleague, stepping in to mentor someone in need, or even stopping someone who’s about to perform an unsafe action at the workplace, we all have the ability to make a difference in someone’s life when we intervene with good intentions.

Offer a helping hand, lend an ear, or simply remind them that they are capable of more than they know. You never know how much of an impact your support and belief can have on someone else’s journey.

Be somebody’s John Wing!

BOOK ALERT!! My new book coming out in September 2024!

© 2024, Allan James Moore. All Rights Reserved.