Things never turn out how you expect them to. I guess the perception of one person can be clouded by the situation they find themselves in. Kind of like the sound of your voice, it seems different on film or recordings compared to hearing it out loud, either way its cringe.
Writers lay in wait to find out if their stuff is well received, sometimes they never truly know but a live performer gets feedback almost instantly. An audience will react immediately with an applause or just a gasp or even worse silence which can be deafening. Some of the best gags may even go ‘unlaughed’ straight away but have a way of burning into one’s mind even days later. We’ve all laughed at something out of the moment.
The true power of performance or art in general is how it makes an audience member feel long afterwards. It’s a special feeling to reminisce about a show or story you were a part of some time ago. To be remembered is probably the highest of accolades for anyone in the arts. Then again they only saw or read that story on their side of the fence, I guess it all leads back to perception. Others will even argue that having their work move someone in any kind of way is the greatest of rewards.