October 20, 2011
|good day working the room|
MARINA del REY,CA (RPRN) 10/20/11 — By Casey Kehoe
— A panel discussion featuring well-known veterans of “Stand Up” who have decided to use their talents for bettering the world was held on the opening day of the “Digital Hollywood” conference at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey. The theme was “Performers Who Make a Difference in the World”.
Senior in the group was Bud Friedman who founded the Improv in New York City 48 years ago. His daughter Zoe Friedman, a former executive at Comedy Central acted as moderator. Panel members included Ben Morrison A Crohn’s Disease suffer and activist, Mike Burton who is bringing Comedy to our troops stationed in remote bases in Afghanistan, Craig Shoemaker C.E.O. of Laughter Heals, and Rebecca Corry who’s “Stand Up For Pits” is raising funds to place and rescue abused pets.
Ben Morrison recalled that when he was diagnosed with Crohn’s, a gastrointestinal disorder his insurance company refused to pay for a colonoscopy. This prompted him to create “Pain In The Butt”, which started in New York City’s East village and has since spread all over the country. As he said “through comedy you can get people to talk about anything” and besides “if you’re trading fart jokes with your friends…you win!” At that moment fellow panel member Craig Shoemaker admitted that he too was a sufferer of Crohn’s. Shoemaker who is a practitioner of “Laughitation”, laughter as a yogic practice, led the audience in a laughathon. He believes that if we can learn to “laugh at the obstacles in your life” we can minimize their impact on our well-being. Someone in the audience chimed in that “laughter was the socially acceptable orgasm”. Bud Friedman added that like laughs “it’s better to get one than to give one”
Mike Burton recounted that while being ferried to a remote base via Black Hawk helicopter and surviving a near miss with a rocket propelled grenade one oblivious comic was marveling at the beautiful poppy fields. He quipped that if one of the bases was over run while performing there that “they would probably kill the Jew first”.
But the real star of show was Angel a rescued Pit Bull that had been used as a “bait dog” in a dog fighting operation. While Rebecca Corry was explaining about her cause “Stand Up For Pits”. Angel climbed on to the dais. She even shared a moment with Mr. Friedman.
IS IT TRUE?
All the panelists agreed that new media live streaming social networks and the proliferation of smart phones and tablets will serve as a tool for reaching a diverse global audience. It is evident that Stand Up Comedy can be a powerful tool for raising awareness and cold hard cash.
TRANSFORMING THE WORLD THROUGH COMEDY
November 16th Event to Take Place in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles
Headliners Include Russell Peters, Marc Maron, Jeff Ross and Bobby Slayton, others TBA
Jeffrey Jolson is Hollywood Today founding editor-in-chief and a RushPRnews partner and contributor since 2006. Jeffrey, of the Al Jolson family, also founded HollywoodReporter.com and Grammy.com. Hollywood Today reporters have written for Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Forbes, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, AP, E!, Popular Science and Popular Mechanics.
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