Safe Choices

I believe in taking risks and going for the bold, spicy wing at a dive bar. My “safe” flavor is medium buffalo. I don’t want to always want to get the medium buffalo drums and flats but sometimes its appropriate for the setting.

In the beginning of 2013, I decided that I no longer wanted to make only safe, medium buffalo choices in my life. I took a risk and moved back to Atlanta to work in the film industry as a freelance production assistant.

My parents have always told me to ‘live large’, meaning that I am young, I should take risks and do what I am passionate about. They encouraged me to not have “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve’s” in my story.

After college I felt stuck in a life I didn’t like. It took time but I knew I had to make a body and spicy move. I felt like Atlanta was calling me home to try my hand in the film industry. I took a risk and worked for virtually free at a small production company. I enjoyed the 16 hour days on set and liked the challenge. I eventually got booked on some reality TV shows and felt momentum. During this time is when I got on stage for the first time to do stand up and had that habenero pepper burn to do more.

Film work slowed down to the point that I had to make tough choices. I had used up all of my savings and narrowly avoided maxing out my credit card. I loved being on set but  I didn’t love it enough to be a production assistant for the next 5 years till I could be a 2nd assistant director and be stressed about money 24/7.

I made a safe decision to take two retail jobs. I felt defeated that I wasn’t “making” it in film and I was making the “safe” decision to work for an hourly wage. I wanted to tell every customer who talked down to me how I was a hard worker and I wasn’t just a mild, soggy wing waiting to be dipped in Hidden Valley. They didn’t know my slow burn.

That safe decision forced me to look at the future, “Do I see myself being a PA with an unreliable work schedule for the next 5 years? Do I honestly want this career because I love it or because it’s cool to say I work in the ‘industry’?”

That honest moment with myself helped me realize that what I am passionate about it entertaining people and using my voice. I used to believe I couldn’t be in front of the camera or in front of the crowd because I was worthy or that I was pretty enough. Choosing the safe sauce afforded me the clarity to see my dreams. That clarity you get when a wing has such good heat that it clears your sinuses and makes your upper lip glisten with sweat.

I am at an even safer job now, a legal assistant. My boss and I went to Taco Mac last week for wings which is what made me reflect on my safe decision. Taco Mac is the best place for “safe” wings. It has consistent wings, decent sauce and good service. Will people be impressed by Taco Mac medium buffalo wings? No. Does it matter? No. It’s okay to have some things in life that are safe. Eating these basic wings made me realize that making safe decision is a good thing. Making safe choices allows me to take risks later on.


These wings and my decisions to live large and spicy are a

5 out of 5 clucks for experience

4 out 0f 5 clucks for sauce

3 out of 5 clucks for meat.


Published by Annie Lockwood

Annie is a stand up comic based in Atlanta. She is passionate about comedy, concerts, and buffalo wings.

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