I love making people laugh. I love laughing. It is such a wonderfully open feeling. Head thrown back, mouth open, breath engaged, and silly, weird, personal noises flowing forth to the heavens.
How lucky for me that I have been able to be a part of such a wonderful comedy as Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot. Hooting and hollering, people doubling over, literally falling in the aisles, that is the best kind of reward an actor in a comedy could hope for, and it is happening right now in our theatre every night.
The sound of this laughter is music to my ears. In fact I think it is medicine for what ails me. It is indeed the best medicine. I happen to be going through some interesting and tough times right now that I don’t need to bore you with, but medication is currently necessary in my life.
So thank goodness that I have been working with a group of people that make me laugh, and that I make laugh. It makes me forget for a moment or two about the other things that are not quite right in my life. And now, we as a group are working together to make other people laugh, and in some ways, that is even better. If you have had the privilege of standing in front of a group of 200 people and making a joke, having that joke land, and then hearing the response of laughter bubbling through the smiling faces in front of you, then you have some idea of what my job right now feels like. And I get to do it for a couple of hours every day. Whew, what a lucky man am I.
Laughter, in its best form, comes from a surprise. When a story or a joke or a TV show or film zags when you thought they were gonna zig, boom, laughter. Those surprises, the ones that bring the big belly laughs, the doubled over, hand smacking the knee laughs, those are my faves. I Love Them! And Ken Ludwig knows how to set those up, and how to knock them down. And audiences eat them up.
So yeah, every night when I come to the theatre, and go through my self-evaluation check list, I realize how lucky I am to be able to leave behind a little of that list as I prepare to go out and try to make people happy. To bring them that refreshing feeling of breathing deeply and letting out a vocalized noise that sounds almost like screaming is music and medicine to my ears. Laugh long, laugh hard, you are probably healing yourself, and you are definitely healing the person that is lucky enough to hear you laughing…