Just recently, on the evening of October 10, our small city of Kamloops had a very special guest arrive at The Rex. He is David Granirer, counselor, author and stand up comic among many other things. He has brought the art of stand up comedy to a whole new platform.
David, who recently won a Governor General Award and was named one of the 150 Canadian Difference Makers in mental health, continues to battle his own mental health issues. He has been teaching stand up comedy to people with mental illness or mental health issues as a way of building confidence and fighting public stigma since 2004.
Currently residing in Vancouver, BC, David has coached many to the stage in over 50 cities across Canada, the USA, and Australia. The hook? Each performer uses their own challenges to create their unique material.
The Rex was packed with supporters when David, community member Tara Holmes and producer Glenn Hilke took to the stage to introduce our brave Kamloops comedians. With David sitting close by in the wings for support, our comedians delivered, and they were really funny! David himself delivered funnies in between performances, entertaining us with anecdotes about life that we can all relate to. I would describe David as modest, talented, and intelligent.
Here is what he had to say about his experience in our city:
“The people in Kamloops were awesome and welcomed me openly. Some of the comedians I worked with here have mental health issues and other barriers with their vision and speech, so we all had to work hard to be successful. The comedians worked their butts off and spent tons of time practising prior to performing. It takes a lot of courage to perform on a stage. There were a lot of passionate people involved with the event.”
The evening event ran about two hours long, complete with snacks, smoothies and activities. After the performance, people took pictures, networked and mingled. The producer of the event, Glenn Hilke, hopes we can host David again in May 2020:
“As the producer for the Kamloops Stand Up For Mental Health (SUMH) project I just want to say that this was one of the most satisfying, rewarding and challenging projects that I’ve worked on. To see the amazing turnout of over 200 people in support of not just the issue of ending stigma to mental health and addiction, but as well as in support of our six comics was awesome! I look forward to the 2020 (SUMH) edition sometime next May, hopefully back at The Rex. Thank you to our patron Manshadi Pharmacy and all our media and community sponsors and supporters. We’ll be in touch !!!”
David regularly gives funny mental health keynote presentations to hundreds of organizations, using comedy to bust stigma and help his audiences to see people with mental health conditions from a totally different perspective: strong, courageous, funny, and likeable:
“We use comedy to give mental health consumers a powerful voice and help reduce the stigma and discrimination around mental illness. The idea is that laughing at our setbacks raises us above them. It makes people go from despair to hope, and hope is crucial to anyone struggling with adversity.”
David Granirer is the author of The Happy Neurotic: How Fear and Angst Can Lead to Happiness and Success.
If you would like to support Kamloops in hosting another comedy event with David, please share this article and let us know who you think would be a great candidate to take the stage!
This blog is supported by The Big Edition