laughter makes us better

I’ve performed improv for several decades now. One thing I know for sure is, it’s still scary because it’s so completely unpredictable. You go up on stage with nothing and, in most forms of popular improv, are expected to make people laugh. How in the world does one do that? There are as many answers and pathways as there are people. If you’ve been to see improv, you know that a number of those pathways and people don’t make you laugh. It’s easy to fail.

At ComedySportz we have a philosophy that helps: “I’ve got your back.” The onus is shifted immediately from the individual to the team. What do you have to do? Support your teammate - - NOT be funny. Make your partner look great and you all - including the audience - win.

It’s the same here at Parkinson’s Place Las Vegas (PPLV). We’ve got your back, much in the same way we have each others. The seven of us that started this are coming from different directions. We’re drawn together by our humanity, love and desire to help each other and everyone affected by PD in Southern Nevada. We know we’re better together and we want you to be part of this.

One of the more delightful invitations in the world is laughter. The mere sound of it is attractive. We are moths to the flame when it comes to ha ha. Laughter is at once healing and infectious. We do a lot of that within our group and we’re inspired by others.

Patricia Monreal is one of those others. She runs a group in Las Vegas called Dancing and Laughing for PWP. It’s exactly what it sounds like and it’s phenomenal. Watching her begin by boldly sitting out in front of her class and howling with laughter is an incredible jolt of energy. What is she doing? What is she laughing at?

It doesn’t matter.

You can’t help but want to laugh with her. The effect is immediate. You feel better. Your body literally transforms. You can find TEDx speakers, academic articles and how-to’s - which might sound crazy until we remember how often we forget to laugh. We need it to survive.

The common idioms we use don’t lie:

“Laugh and the world laughs with you”, “He who laughs last, laughs best”, “rolling on the floor laughing (a.k.a. ROFL - some even adding MAO...which I’ll leave alone).

We’re built to laugh - but we need help. We need each other. We have to connect to laugh best. Certainly we can be moved to laugh on our own, but too much of that and we may be “laughing out of the other side of our faces”, so to speak.

We don’t have to be funny to laugh. But we’re often more funny than we know until we engage with others.

And in that laugh is a connection - a thank you for being there to share this with me. We look forward to meeting you, laughing and learning with you, and continuing to become better together.

— written by Robert Cochrane

Parkinson's Place