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I offer humorous storytelling comedy and therapeutic laughter edu-tainment presentations for church banquets, minister meetings, caregiver meetings, workforce training, corporate associations, business conferences — any stressed-out audience looking for clean, unique, comic relief entertainment!
Whatever your profession or position in this world, it ain’t getting any easier, is it? We could all join in with Freddie and David, maybe not on tune, but at least in empathy, in singing “Under Pressure” about now couldn’t we?
I am passionate about encouraging people to strengthen their relationships through the power of laughing together and to “not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 ESV).
Solomon wrote, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). Abraham Lincoln during the heaviness of the Civil War asked his advisers “Gentlemen, why do you not laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me day and night, if I did not laugh, I should die.”
I am an ordained minister who has been in vocational ministry throughout my adult life and currently serve as a pastor (www.wmbf.org), a frequent beach wedding officiant (www.durkac.com), my man cave happens to be a wedding chapel (www.durkacweddingchapel.com), and I am an actual Certified Therapeutic Laughter Instructor (as you read scroll down you’ll be able to read how that happened).
Laugh More, Stress Less…
Thinking funny has always been a challenge for me, especially as a pastor who has frequently had to hold-back humor in even the most dyer of circumstances. (To make matters worse, I don’t even look or sound like I’d be funny. I look and sound more like a chaplain for the Sopranos.)
I grew-up as the middle child of a family of five adopted children, and some psychologist suggest that middle children learn to rely on humor to keep peace among siblings. In the 1990′s I was involved with Toastmasters International and a Humorous Speaker competition winner who won awards for humorous presentations on local, regional, and state levels.
While serving as a hospital chaplain I became a Certified Laughter Leader offering therapeutic presentations for patients, care-givers, workforce programs and for just side-splitting laughs through banquet comedy that involves voluntary audience participation in therapeutic laughter exercises with a mixture of hilarious story comedy for a unique evening of wholesome funny entertainment!
It was while working as a hospital chaplain during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that I noticed that patients who suddenly found something to laugh about also seemed to turn the corner in their healing process. That experience led me to an extensive study in the medical benefits of humor and laughter, even becoming a Certified Therapeutic Laughter Instructor, and a frequent banquet comedian.
He He He, Ha Ha Ha, Ho Ho Ho…
One day while working with Hurricane Katrina victims, as a hospital chaplain, I was struck by the quick turn-around one patient took, when he suddenly found something to laugh about.
On a follow-up visit, he began to tell me about how he was thinking about something a comedian once talked about. As I was listening to him tell the story, I wanted to jump in and finish for him – because was reciting an old George Carlin comedy bit, called “Stuff.” The bit was one of my favorites!
He shared how he realized that all he lost, was just stuff. He said he got to thinking that he really is thankful that none of loved-ones were lost. I was simple nodding my head, trying not to interrupt. Then he started to recite the comedy bit again, and this time he stopped and said, “Rev, you’re smiling…You don’t know who George Carlin is do you?”
I said, “George Carlin? Of course I do. Before I was ‘Rev’ is was ‘Irev’ – I grew-up in the 70′s near Toledo, Ohio – I know George Carlin.”
He then said, “Well, then you would remember the bit he did on ‘Stuff.’ We both rushed to recount that comedy bit and laughed in his hospital room as we took turns reciting the lines to that comedy bit!
That encounter set me off on a serious two year study of the dynamics of humor and laughter and its place in our emotional, physical, and spiritual well being.
In that process, I became a Certified Laughter Leader and discovered medical research and therapeutic practices of laughter that goes beyond entertainment.
I have since taken my message of laughter and humor to local and national media outlets, written the book “Merry Medicine for the Soul,” and am always happy to speak to any audience that wants to laugh more, stress less! As you scroll down you’ll find some video clips and testimonials, too.