Excuse me, are you listening? Laughter is Good!
Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dear Readers,

 
I am sure that you have heard plenty of laughter quotes.  However, mine is from the old timer, Milton Berle. 
 
Berle said, “Laughter is an instant vacation." 
 
When I laugh, I immediately go to a different place - a happy place.   I am not sure if it is the laughter that makes me feel better or if it is just the act of using more muscles throughout my body, moreso, my face.  Laughter is a powerful tool to use as an antidote to stress, conflict, depression and pain. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others and keeps you grounded.  Basically, laughter just makes you feel spectacular inside.  
 
With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. I make sure I keep comedies on my list of movies to watch.  I seem to really like Adam Sandler.  I do not know why but he is a silly comedian.  On the other spectrum, Katt Williams, seems to make me laugh so hard that sometimes I cannot bring myself back for a couple of minutes.  I have a weird sense of humor but we are all different.  What ever it takes, just do it!
 
There are many things that I have decided in  2016 and one is to add more humor in my life.  There is enough going on in the media and life that is depressing.  Laughter can reduce tension and stress within a room.  The silliness of it all makes us feel better.
 
So on May 7th, 2016, I headed to Grand Rapids for the "Annual Comedy All Star Mother’s Day Festival”  at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI.   It was Mother’s Day weekend and it was the perfect gift. There were over, 3,000 people from around West Michigan and beyond that attended.  There were  6 top award winning comedians, many who have been featured on the big screen. It was a pretty  upscale event,  I felt a little underdressed with my jeans.  However, I was grateful that I was wearing a jacket.  Most of the people at the event were decked out.  I was rather surprised and impressed with how some of the people were dressed.
 
In a nutshell, the event was hilarious.  All of the comedians brought their “A” games to the venue.  It was  hosted by Gary "G-Thang” Johnson who kept things running smoothly and had  the crowd in stitches in between acts. G-Thang  is an actor and writer, known for "Disaster Movie”,  “Moneyball” and “According to Him & Her Live at the Improv!"
 
Event Comedians Included:
 
COCO is a stand-up comedian from Detroit with a stand-up comedy career spanning an impressive 20-plus years, with an equally impressive radio career (spending more than a decade at FM 98 WJLB), at one time regularly hosting a Wednesday comedy night that christened her Detroit's "first lady of comedy."  You can hear her morning broadcast on 105.9 Kiss-FM's Mason and COCO in the Morning.
 
Adele Givens has television appearances which include "The Hughleys”, “Moesha”, "The Parkers”, "Comedy Central Presents”, "Def Comedy Jam”, "Def Poetry”, “Martin”, "Tracey Takes On…” and "The Steve Harvey Show.”
 
Damon Williams is a writer and actor, known for "Why Do Men Cheat?" The Movie, BET's “Comicview” and "Def Comedy Jam.”
 
Cool Aide is a stand-up comedian from Detroit currently touring with Lil Duval, Cool Aide is racking up an impressive list of credits. Besides BET Comic View, you might have seen Cool Aide on Bill Bellamy’s "Who’s Got Jokes?".
 
J. Anthony Brown was a staff writer for the nationally syndicated, late-night talk show, the “Arsenio Hall Show”.  His impressive list of credits include “Showtime at  the Apollo” and Evening at the Improv”. His movie credits include “Drumline” and “How to Be a Player.”
 
Henry Welch has been a part of BET’s Comic View, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and Showtime’s The Big Black Comedy Show.  
 
Lavell Crawford is best known for playing Huell Babineaux, inBreaking Bad. Lavell also played the role of Gus Patch in the Netflix original movie "The Ridiculous 6.”
 
Glen D. Gray Jr., CEO of J.R. Gray Designs & Entertainment, put on a show that provided non-stop laughter based on real-life topics through sketch comedy, stand-up and improv. The audience found laugh-out-loud humor in everything from politics to dating and pop culture.  
 
Looking forward to the next event where making me laugh is the ultimate outcome. 
 
Love people,
 
 
Rina Risper
 
P.S.  Remember to do what makes you happy more often.
 
This column was printed in the May 29, 2016 - June 11, 2016 edition.
 

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