Forks Over Knives – Official Trailer
Forks Over Knives – Official Trailer
Big news: I will be interviewing Sissy Spacek at Roy Thomson Hall May 13th. Looking forward to it.
Stand Up For The Girls
CIBC’s Run for the Cure in Sudbury has aligned with Stand Up For The Girls May 31st. I’m happy to report that half of the VIP tickets were sold even before the event hit the streets!
As of today, all VIP tickets are SOLD OUT- 22 tables of 10!
In total, 560 tickets are being sold and they are going fast.
For more info, or to bring ‘Stand Up For The Girls’ to your city, please feel free to drop me a line.
So far, Stand Up For The Girls and Laughlines have helped raise over $650,000 for breast cancer research.
“Stand-Up for the Girls”
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By the way, International Women’s Day in Ottawa was a blast.
I enjoyed three sold out shows with Laurie Elliot and Kristeen Von Hagen.
Who says the nation’s capital can’t rock it out?
Relieving Stress with Humour
Speaking of rocking it out, here’s a quick pic of me with the gang at The Ministry of Labour earlier this week ‘Relieving Stress with Humour’ in the workplace.
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By the way, one of the ingredients from my keynote, ” Relieving Stress with Humour” is exercise.
YES, I’m still on my 3 minutes of exercise / week regime.
No, I’m not kidding.
People think my video is a parody because I’m a comedian. Don’t believe me? Check out the BBC special The Truth About Exercise.
Taming Hecklers : School yard Bullies : Why aren’t we using this method?
In my keynote, ” Taming Hecklers: Dealing with Difficult Personalities”, I talk about bullies. When school yard bullies aren’t dealt with, they turn into office bullies.
This is not meant to be a funny video but hopefully, it will get some conversations started.
Stand Up For The Girls this past Wednesday was amazing. I need to thank everyone that was there but first of all, I want to tell you about one of the most courageous things I witnessed at the show.
Lorraine is not a professional comic by trade but she had stand up comedy on her bucket list. She always wanted to give cracking jokes a whirl so she contacted me a few months ago. We worked together a little bit but the majority of the credit goes to Lorraine.
My biggest piece of advice to her was ‘ be prepared!’ The nerves are going to hit you BIG time when you hit that stage for your premier appearance so KNOW what you are going to say. Automatic pilot is the only thing that you can rely on. I always remember Joan Rivers talking about ‘automatic pilot’ in her early comedy days when the gigs were mostly strip clubs. Yes, the last thing men want to see on stage is a woman standing on stage TELLING jokes. I told Lorraine the story and I told her if Joan Rivers could get through it, she could get through it.
I called Lorraine a couple of weeks before Stand Up For The Girls and asked her if she would like to do three minutes as an ‘opening act’.
I figured three minutes was more than enough time for her to get her feet wet. There were a bunch of her co-workers coming down so I thought at least, she would have support in the audience. What I didn’t know is that Lorraine didn’t tell them that she was performing.
What Lorraine didn’t know is that her sister flew down from Atlanta just to see her do three minutes.
Lorraine looked a little nervous before the show started and she quietly waited upstairs with the rest of us hardened comedy vets. You think that ALONE would have scared her. But nope..Lorraine was determined to check ‘stand up comedy’ off of her bucket list.
The show started, I warmed up the crowd and I introduced Lorraine. I told the audience about Lorraine’s ‘ list ‘ because I thought it was symbolic of what Stand Up For The Girls represented…the healing power of comedy and the importance of never putting things off.
Lorraine took the stage. She launched into her first joke. I waited. The audience roared with laughter. She had them eating out of her hand. She was smart, unique, confident, prepared and most important, funny! Congratulations Lorraine. It was a great way to kick off our show.
I would like to thank Mark Breslin, Jeff Silverman, Sam Duva and Piero Suppa for lending us Yuk Yuk’s that night.
I would like thank the staff at Yuks including; Fred Mundy, Fatima, Jessica, Ryan, Vivian and the gang who made the evening so smooth.
I would like thank Katherine Craig- a former manager of Yuks who was so supportive of this event in past years but sadly and suddenly lost her own battle to cancer. I know she was laughing with us Wednesday night.
I would like to thank Leigh Jasmine and Ellen Des Rues at CBCF for their commitment and hard work in making Stand Up For The Girls 2012 possible.
I would like to thank volunteers; Katie, Brenda, Sue and Ann for selling tickets and pink poodles! Woohoo.
I would like to thank all my friends in the media who helped me spread the word. You guys and gals are the bomb!
I would like to thank the comedy talents of; Lorraine Van Zon, Anna Gustafson, Martha Chaves, Jen Grant and Evan Carter. Evan was our token male and shout out to Movember- hey, we are all in this together. Sadly, Lisa Gay Tremblay couldn’t make our event due to a family emergency but all is well now and we will have her back next year!
I would like to thank all my family and friends and folks who took the time out of their busy, busy schedules to make it down to Stand Up For The Girls 2012. I am so blessed in my life.
Finally, I would like to dedicate Stand Up For The Girls to all the brave men and women who have been effected by breast cancer. You are not alone. You were especially, in our hearts and souls Wednesday night.
I would like to make Stand Up For The Girls a national event one day so if you would like us to come to your city or you would like to inquire about sponsorship, drop me a line because that’s what I would really like to check off on my bucket list.
Four Funny Ladies – On Tour- April 4th From the Stage to the Page – Life Lessons from Four Funny Ladies hits the road for comedy and fundraising.
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THE PRICE : 1 book per person ( $20) of which $5 will be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation or the charity of your choice.
I was fortunate enough to open for Joan Rivers at Roy Thomson Hall this week. Before the show, I met her backstage.
She was actually pretty quiet, nervous probably. It’s amazing to see that even after doing comedy for 40+ years, those pre-show nerves never quite leave you. I was a bit nervous too and I was only doing a fraction of the time she was doing off the top of the show. I would interview her on stage after her act for half an hour in front of more than 2000 people and that’s what I was more pre-occupied with.
Everybody asks me what Joan Rivers looks like close up. Well yes, she looks like she’s had work. A lot of work but she would be the first person to tell you that. She’s also seventy-eight years old!
So I went on first. The audience was great. They were in a fabulous mood.
Whereas most comics want you to introduce them with 80 credits, Joan Rivers who has 8000 credits basically says, ‘ Aw heck, just bring me up.’
Joan Rivers took the stage and the audience loved her. She was up there for fifty minutes. It was an assortment of signature machine- gun- one -liners combined with some very funny and very sad stories about her life (most of which are covered in her edgy documentary A Piece of Work. I highly recommend that you see it. Just check out the trailer.)
If you think for one second that Joan Rivers wants you to feel sorry for her, think again. No way. She reminds me of one of those army commanders leaning over a soldier who is crumpled on the ground with dirt caked on his face. ‘Get up! Get up! What are you?’
After Joan finished her set, I joined her on stage and we talked for thirty minutes. I had nothing to worry about. She was warm, humble, engaging and hilarious.
So here are 7 things that I learned about Joan Rivers:
1) Joan Rivers is a friend of Camilla and Charles- she has a crush on Charles. She says he’s funny, charming and still holds a door open for a lady. Joan says if she could have actively pursued Charles back in the day, Camilla wouldn’t have stood a chance!
2) Joan sleeps about 5 to 6 hours a night. She doesn’t really have any hobbies. Her work is her hobby and she loves it.
3) I asked Joan what’s the first thing that she bought when she knew she ‘made it.’ That was after her debut on the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson looked over at her and said, ‘ You’re going to be a big star.’
She said she bought herself a mink.
4) I asked Joan why did she thought Johnny Carson was so mad at her for not taking The Tonight Show gig after he retired? ( Carson had selected Joan Rivers but she turned it down because Fox offered her her own Late Night Show for FIFTEEN times the amount that NBC was going to pay her. NBC figured that you would just be GRATEFUL to work at their network!)
Joan said when she called Johnny and told him that she was taking the Fox gig, he slammed the phone down on her. She called him again and he slammed the down the phone again. In fact, Carson never spoke to her after that. When Joan’s husband, Edgar committed suicide, Johnny didn’t contact her. When Johnny’s own son died in a car accident, Joan sent Johnny flowers. Carson didn’t respond. Joan said Carson probably wouldn’t have treated her that way if she were a man. She said she thought Carson was mad because she represented yet another woman leaving him.
5) Aside from now being blackballed from NBC, Joan’s show on Fox continued to have major problems. Joan’s husband Edgar did not see eye to eye with network mogul Rupert Murdoch. They continued to fight and Fox eventually told Joan that she would have to fire her husband. When Joan refused, Fox fired them both.As she reveals in the documentary and on stage, the failure was too big for Edgar. He committed suicide. Joan said she wasn’t home, when someone called the house with the news about Edgar. They told Melissa, her daughter and asked her to pass the news onto Joan.
6) I asked her who was the craziest celebrity she ever interviewed on the red carpet? She said he wasn’t crazy but he was probably one of the nastiest- Russell Crowe.
7) I asked her what Donald Trump was really like. She says he’s very professional and turned up on the set many times of Celebrity Apprentice at 7 am. She also thinks he would make a great president…eeek. And we’re done.
Seriously, it was a terrific evening and I hope that we can do it again. She hates to hear this but Joan Rivers is a pioneer and a trailblazer for female comics. As stated in ‘ A Piece of Work’, Rivers says that Phyllis Diller was doing comedy until she was 92. Joan Rivers hopes to beat that record.
You just never know. While most of us were still waking up and getting out of bed,Joan Rivers was already heading to the airport to catch a flight to Vancouver for her next show.