Category Archives: Personal

Support my funny friend’s serious project

You know how some funny people are always “on” from the moment they wake up until their head hits the pillow? Eliciting laughter is as natural and necessary as breathing for them. Funny is part of their DNA.

I’m a lifelong fan of laughter, but I admit I am gratified when a funny friend shuts off that internal comedy valve and reveals a bigger picture of their life and priorities.

My friend Lisa Alvarado delivers great stand-up on stage and has been fun to write with. I first met Lisa at show years ago. (That night was especially memorable because it was the first time my now-wife Teresa saw me perform after we’d been dating for a year.) Lisa was smart and quick and verbally knocked out a few very drunk hecklers. The comics that followed her were grateful.

While not one to joke 24/7, Lisa is always “on” with ideas of what to do between shows. And it’s not always comedy.

Two years ago, she befriended an audience member named Michael Schmid who has Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS) and was, by then, in a wheelchair. Michael had a crazy dream: He wanted to do stand-up comedy before the disease took away his speech (and eventually his life). Thanks to Lisa, his dream came true.

Long story short, Lisa has been working on a documentary about Michael, his journey, and his comedy debut (which happened in November). She created a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money needed for post-production services and marketing of the film which is called “Don’t Wait: The Michael Schmid Story.”

“Don’t wait” is Michael’s advice to everyone who has something they want to do in this life. Don’t wait.

Lisa helped Michael realize a dream. Now you and I can help Lisa realize her dream–to finish the documentary and get it in front of as many people as possible.

A donation in any amount can be made on her Kickstarter page, where you can watch a video of Lisa and Michael together.

Thanks to Lisa for being a funny comic, a good friend, and an advocate for people like Michael.

A season of thanks…and remembrance

It’s that time of year to appreciate … well, everything! I’m so thankful for the opportunity bring laughter to many corners of the USA and beyond in 2018. It’s been one of my most well-traveled and fun years. In addition to zigzagging from Alaska to Florida, Texas to Maine, and New York to California, IContinue Reading

My votes for a job well done

Sometimes “showbiz” is a lot of “ME-biz,” as in the oft-quoted adage: “It doesn’t matter what they say, as long as they’re talking about you.” Some of that getting them to talk about you requires schmoozing skills and a fair amount of ego. I’m not shy on either of those, but I have lived longContinue Reading

My fraternity family reunion

Good times can be measured in many ways. Starting a story with “remember when…” is one of my favorites, and often generates loud, familiar laughs. This weekend was a reunion for my UC Davis Chi Phi fraternity, Sigma Delta chapter. This is where I got much of my gumption to step on a comedy stageContinue Reading

A comedy lesson from a man of the cloth

This weekend, I re-learned something wonderful about comedy. I was at a wedding filled with groups of families from different parts of the US, whose next generations spread across the world but who all met to celebrate the pair making themselves into a couple. I figured the ever-present religious divide might be a challenge. TheContinue Reading

The wedding belle

When you have a great day you should acknowledge it…appreciate it…and share it to make the moment last. It’s like the glide of a paper airplane. There’s the initial trajectory and distance, and then little gusts of air create some unexpected happy loops to extend its trip. Saturday was one of those great days. MyContinue Reading