Laughter Rx

A Dose of Laughter

 
Netflix and chill has become very popular. Binge watching is quite addicting. However I want to remind you of a little gem in the heart of Ann Arbor. The Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase has been in business over 30 years. Its a little hidden downstairs (now located on 4th St) just like some of the hottest comedy clubs in New York. It’s a top notch comedy club. The only specialty there is comedy. The headliners that come through are awesome. Wednesday nights is open mic night. It’s when local comics work on new jokes, some people try comedy for the first time and famous comics drop by for some stage time. Its only $5 to get in on Wednesdays. You get to see a different line up each week. You can even find free passes for open mic night just ask me how ; )
You’ll find me there to catch a show almost every weekend. I have become addicted to the laughing. Sometimes if I am available I will come back the same weekend because the comic made me laugh so much. Its a great feeling! We can all use more laughter it’s healthy for you. I wish the doctors prescribed it. I feel better about supporting a local business and also local artists. It’s a win win in my book. Who am I ? I am a local comic. I am grateful for for The Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase and the people who support it. I have met and worked with some of my favorite comics there.
If you’re looking for something different to do with your friends, or date night or any special occasion like birthdays, bachelorette parties and anniversaries come on down to the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase. You’ll be glad you did! Everyone walks out saying “We should do this more often” That’s not a joke.
A night out watching comedy is shockingly less expensive than traditional dinner and movie. You still need to have dinner prior because its all drinks and snacks there. The popcorn is my favorite.
The owners are there watching the comics and laughing, the staff walks around with smiles on their faces and even the bartender Jay comes out during lulls and cracks up. We have a blast. Its a quaint little joint filled with laughter! It’s where some of us get our start and grow and hope to become the headliner someday. I’ve seen people record their sets for big time network submissions like Jimmy Fallon and Conan and some also record their comedy cd’s there.
You may have read about a film I made called Pretty Funny Nicole it was partially shot there. The place means a lot to myself and a lot of others who have moved on to do greater things like winning Last Comic Standing, Star in Hollywood films and have their own Comedy Central Specials. I also wrote a chapter in my book (not released yet) called A2 and My Comedy Breakthrough.
Check out their website at aacomedy.com
Then grab your friends and catch a show. I guarantee you’ll laugh because that’s our job!
We hope to see you there!
@PrettyFunnyNicole

May I be excused from Jury Duty

IMG_0919I got summoned to jury duty in downtown Detroit. I showed up at the Third Judicial Circuit Court.
I was told to be there at 7:30 am and we all sat in holding area. Nothing starts until 9 am.
I understand some people feel honored to do this civic duty. That’s great. Personally I do not.
I do not see the reason it is forced upon us when it is not something I want anything to do with.
I have been in courthouses and in front of judge’s numerous times. I do not wish to do it again. I do my best to purposely stay away. It was scary to see some of the people who did enjoy doing this.
I witnessed a mother outside the courtroom hearing her son was already taken and going away 30 years. I didn’t see the man and yet it broke my heart. Of course everyone will say he must have deserved it. I don’t feel comfortable making that decision. I am still thinking about this. It’s not a television show. It’s not the movies. It’s people’s lives and I find it heartbreaking. I perform stand up comedy and talk about the show Making A Murderer. I watched 1 minute and 58 seconds of it and had to turn on Winnie the Pooh. Its true. I couldn’t handle the feeling I got and in under 2 minutes changed it to something cute and happy.
I felt anger, anxiety and fear being there. I showed up at 7:30 like they summoned. I didn’t ignore it like many people do. I took it seriously. I just don’t understand why I don’t have the freedom to not partake in it. During the hours of waiting I made a decision I was going to tell the Honorable Judge I was not comfortable with being there and did not want to participate. As a law abiding citizen don’t I have a right? I convinced myself honesty was the best policy and there was nothing wrong with speaking up for myself. I got selected on the jury. I was feeling warm and nauseous. I didn’t want to be in this building any longer. As he went through list of questions leading to why we should or shouldn’t be on the jury I raised my hand every time. The first time was due to schedule and availability. I said had had busy schedule the following day I couldn’t afford to miss it plus I was not comfortable being there and didn’t want to do this.
Next questions followed. I raised my hand in hopes I would disqualify myself. Yes I know people in law enforcement. Yes I know lawyers. Yes I’ve been arrested. Normally I would not volunteer this information in a room full of strangers but I admitted my past crimes and tried to explain why I believe I have a felony record. Finally he said I’m going to excuse you.
Thank you!
Before I got excused there was an older gentleman who got excused due to his record. It surprised me. He looked very kind and humble. When he raised his hand and admitted he had had a felony over 30 years ago thats when the Judge said “you’re excused”. Now he didn’t look as thrilled to be excused as I had been. It almost looked hurtful. I ended up seeing him check out at the main office and I smiled and said “I was excused right after you”. I was hoping to let him know he wasn’t alone. He looked sad. So we started walking out together and ended up talking at least 20 minutes by the exit. I heard his story and shared some of mine. I could tell he was a kind man. He wasn’t always. He had been a dealer, an addict and a criminal. He did his time. It was decades ago. He changed his life and found God. We both shared stories how we should be dead but we know there was something bigger looking out for us. We both have found peace and humility. We exchanged cards. He is a parking attendant at DMC. He belongs to Truth Church in Detroit. It sounds like a lovely church that does a lot for its people. He told me how they take them on vacation if they can buy the plane ticket they pay for ALL their other expenses! His face lit up as he said “it’s not a retreat or conference! It’s a vacation”. I felt his joy. It made me smile for him. I don’t believe in accidents. I was sent to jury duty to meet this man. His name is Myron. I am grateful to have met him.
We both made mistakes and learned from them.
We are both changed people.
Doesn’t it make sense why I don’t want to judge someone else?

If you see Myron at DMC or know anyone at Truth Church in Detroit make sure to say hello.
You will be glad you did : )

Facebook A love/hate story

More than a billion people have been seduced by the convenience of facebook. It has replaced absence in each others lives. It has reconnected long lost childhood friends. It has reconnected old romances. It has given opportunities to people that may have never have happened without Facebook. I have booked acting jobs from audition posts thanks to Facebook. Some of us have made new friends on facebook with out having met in person. We chat, connect and highlight our most exciting and saddest moments. There’s great recipes and funny jokes. People share their meals which I think we can all agree is overkill.
I have experienced all of the above.
Today I am going to meet with a lady who I don’t know personally. She messaged me on Facebook and said “I think I live in a house you previously lived in (Canyon Lake, California). I have some belongings of yours ” My mom did previously live in Canyon Lake and like lots of children I use her home as a free storage facility.
We began corresponding. I wanted to know what was left behind incase it was junk my mom left on purpose. She said “record albums….lots of Madonna, Bananarama, Duran Duran and more! Your report cards, your school reports, a trip to Egypt and

Europe diary, a name tag from Robinson’s department store! I just couldn’t get rid of it until I found you! Funny thing…. I have a friend who thinks she did stand up comedy with you……It’s like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon or something!”
I am completely touched by this. Heck yeah I wanted my albums. I spent my allowances and then some on those. It ended up being a treasure chest of memories from my childhood. I always loved writing and it had so many school reports on all the things I still love- France, surfing, beauty and etiquette. I have since visited France a couple times. My cat is named Gidget. I ended up working as in educator in beauty industry. So going back and reading these is pretty amazing.
Also in the box was the playbook of first real production I was cast in- The Diary of Anne Frank. Souvenirs from my earlier trips to Holland, Vienna, Catalina, Egypt and more.
It shows Facebook really has some great qualities.
I admit I often hate Facebook.
As a struggling actor and comic it often feels like everyone else is getting booked while I am sitting at home on Facebook. I hear this a lot. Friends say “this is why I don’t go on Facebook.” I call it Fakebook. It reminds me of those awkward years in Jr High. Who’s popular and who’s unpopular? Now as a grown adult we have to relive those feelings? As adults we still get our feelings hurt. If it weren’t for my work I would definitely close my account. I should anyways because I could probably get more jokes written if I wasn’t so busy self promoting on social media. It takes up A LOT of time. Not to mention the selfies and filters we choose to make things look perfect. I could use a selfie class. I refused to take selfies for the longest time, but once you start its addicting. Its just easier. I love when people say “You take the best pictures” I reply “You mean I post the best pictures. I pitch the ugly ones ”
The ugly side of Facebook is it promotes a lot of negativity. When the tragedy happened in Paris on November 13th people changed their profile pics to have a temporary French flag filter to show their support. Beautiful. However, I saw a lot of false, ignorant and hurtful statements that “friends” share to show their “support.” Discriminatory posts which in reality are “opinions” on what they thought was the root of all the evil in the world.
Facebook has become a school of untruths.
Learn the facts if you are going to share random things you know nothing about.
Here’s another example and true story about the Fakebook world. I was recently in New York with a broken heart. I love every minute I am there, but I could not waste an opportunity to post how exciting my life is. Wink wink. Mostly since most of my travels and adventures were before I was on Facebook. I had the waitress pose with me in a picture and it really looked like I was having fun. I was. It just looked better with people around.
As a comic I share this and will make a joke out it. From now on I will do this as “my thing” Real friend or Fakebook friend? It’s funny but sad because we live in a very pretend world.
I share this with people so they don’t feel alone. Don’t believe everything you see.
Use Facebook for the good but remember its only what people want you to see. Some of us don’t post our sadness, fears or ugly pictures.
Kimmie is my new friend because of Facebook. She was able to return these priceless belongings to me. She could have thrown them out. She was so determined to find the owner and she did thanks to Facebook.
Her kindness has left me more grateful and reminded of the good in others.
Including my friend Facebook.
You have redeemed yourself to me.

I Found Love

It’s going to be 4 years in January since I took a brave step that changed my life.
I thought it would be a good idea to take the stand up comedy class to help me over come my nerves in auditions. Everyone asks “did it?” Not at all. I did fall in love with the rush you get from the laughter and immediately got hooked. However I found myself nervous more than ever because I perform on a regular basis. You have to to get better.
I still get nervous. I can’t talk to people before a show. If they are talking to me I have a blank stare, smile and really don’t hear a word they say. Shhhh don’t tell anyone ; )
As I look back it has helped me in many ways though. I do find I have more confidence when auditioning and performing. Once you can go onstage and humble yourself to open up in front of a room full of strangers you can’t help but change.
I grew up in Southern California, in a very superficial world. I was a child beauty pageant queen, a cheerleader and model. I spent most of my life trying to “look” perfect. On the inside I had no real confidence. My life choices didn’t help with that either. I dated men who really wanted me for looks and fun. I spent 20 years caring about expensive clothes and maintaining a certain weight. I must admit the confidence I have found from getting on stage and trying to make a room full of strangers laugh knowing sometimes they are going to sit silently and just glare has helped me overcome the need to be perfect. I feel I get more laughs if I don’t look so good. Even in the beauty industry I work in I feel women were more drawn to me as I put on a few pounds. Maybe its in my head. I think we need to spend more time living and enjoying life than trying to look like the Hollywood image of what we should look like. Plus its a lot more fun.

I am now single and living on an actor/comic budget so I can’t afford the things I used to have and do. I ditched the sugar daddies and freed myself from unhealthy relationships and I’m making it on my own.
It feels amazing!!!
If you told me 5 years ago I would be doing stand up comedy I would have laughed in your face and said you should do comedy. I am not promoting it as something you should do. Believe me it is brutal at times not to mention addicting. Its not a bad addiction. I have been addicted to worse things. This is more of a thrill seeking adrenaline rush.

Comedy is becoming my passion. I didn’t want to want to do it full time but it keeps sucking me in! I have worked harder this year than previous years and can really see the benefits. The best and really only advice people give you is “Get out there. Get on a mic as often as you can.”
Its true. I have emceed at the 3 major comedy clubs in Michigan and am booked on several great shows these days. Even if I need to take a break for work, vacation or exhaustion…… I really miss it.

Isn’t that when you know its the one? So I have found LOVE.
I told you eHarmony was a waste of time and money, but least its given me 10 minutes of great material.

Handicap Fraud

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In an age of i This, i That, i Matter. We have become a me, me, me society for real.
We need more than ever to remind each other the most joy in life comes with being selfless.
That’s hard to do when life is a race in keeping up with the latest this and that.
Recently, I was visiting my mom who is caring for her mother. We were taking my grandmother to her dialysis but couldn’t find an available handicap spot to park. Fortunately I was with them this time, so I got out of the car with my grandma and we got dropped off at the door. My mom says this was common problem.
It made me very upset once I found out most of the people taking these spots were walking out just fine. I see this happening on a daily basis where I live.
In Michigan this is a common thing. Especially in the winter. Who wants to walk in the bitter cold on the icy grounds? Not me. Not you. However we do it because it is the right thing to do. Its the Law.
What about the people who actually need these spots? I have seen them full at the grocery stores and especially strip malls where these spots are limited.
Have we become so insensitive that its a dog eat dog world?
Just because you can get away with something it doesn’t make it right.
I spoke with the local Police and also a lovely couple in Farmington Hills who volunteer to catch these Handicap Parking offenders. They have an incident every time they are out helping the truly disabled.
This is a mediocre issue to many but it is a huge problem for some.
I would love to see more people care. However I know not all disabilities are visible. Be aware of that as well. Leave it to the authorities
There is a special division called Handicap Parking Enforcement for a reason. Report violations to local police. There are fines as high as $500 and and up 30 days in jail.
Is walking an extra 15 feet that impossible? Who doesn’t need a little more exercise in their lifestyle? Most of us are overweight and over sedentary as it is! Try a Fit Bit it will tell you how un-active you are on daily basis. Mine is downright insulting at times.
Be kind. Be considerate. Be healthy.
Handicap spots are there for the disabled .
If you are not disabled DO NOT PARK THERE.