Have you ever felt like a giant problem was sucking up your life force and leaving you with no hope of finding a way out and then someone cracked a joke that broke the tension and gave you some fresh energy to change your perspective? I know from a lifetime of trial and error that it takes a special skill to find just the right humor that is not obnoxious but encourages people to look at their predicament in a new way. And now I want to apply my finely honed talent for the absurd to the problem of climate change.
I first became aware of climate change in 1982, while in high school, when the phenomenon was innocuously called the greenhouse effect . Since that time I've been guided in much of my professional and personal life by a deep concern for how to solve the problem without giving up my consumer lifestyle or taking items off my bucket list. In recent years, as the complexity and urgency of the issue has become more evident, I started to feel helpless and hopeless, like every choice I made raised the temperature .00001 degrees. The most painful step along this path to climate change induced depression was the realization that while I believed completely in the science, I was living in denial about what needs to be done to give us a chance of not getting cooked.
At this point there was no better way to start digging out of my denial hole than to laugh at myself. And so was born the idea to combine my passion for standup comedy with climate change activism. By this I do not mean telling jokes about the end of the world to inebriated people in dingy bars on the comedy circuit. My goal is a comedic stage show that recounts my personal journey from seeing myself as an environmental champion to having to accept that I am as much a part of the problem as bovine flatulence.
Writing the show has been inspirational for me in a way that none of my green business projects or environmental activist work can match. But like most inspired undertakings there is often a point where reality stomps on your toes. What I've discovered is that it takes a lot more time and money than I imagined to get a show like mine ready for an audience. Making the leap from full-time carpenter to full-time comedian/world saver is something I'm ready for but it's a big risk and one I can't afford to take right now unless I have the backing of friends, family and strangers. If you're willing to take a small part of that risk with me, meaning, make a donation, I'll be forever grateful!
If you've gotten this far through my pitch you are probably either a polite friend or possibly interested in what I am trying to do. If you need just a little more evidence that I have some comedic potential before making a donation you can check out a poor quality video of the first time I performed on stage by following this link https://youtu.be/47x8XlfjA8Q : please note there is some explicit language that may not be appropriate for all viewers.
Climate change is such a monumental challenge that we have to attack it from every possible angle. My belief is that comedy is another way to inspire people to take action that so far has not been used to its full advantage. With your help I can test this theory and see if getting people to laugh about our common predicament can help solve the problem.
With sincere gratitude,
PS. For those who need details before donating, here's what your contribution will help pay for:
rehearsal time, including mine and that of a stage producer
design and production of carbon neutral stage props and posters
rental of PA system and lighting for initial performances
better haircut, airfare and penthouse suite at the Cannes Film Festival (just kidding)
- Elle Ivy
- Chris Carrera
- Arik Prawer
- Elizabeth Watson
- Rachel Phipps