Who needs improv training?

Who needs improv training? Well me, for one. Although I have been doing improv for over 20 years, I am still learning. Last night at Laughing Matters workshop, I had a wonderful time and learned some neat new stuff.

Meanwhile, I’m able to pass on my expertise to help an ever more diverse clientele.

In the next month we will provide improv based training to:

The Shawnee County, Kansas Sheriff’s Department;

The Vestry at Grace Episcopal Cathedral;


Johnson County Kansas Development Supports; and

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Disease Control and Prevention

Who’s next? It could be you! Contact me, marv@laugh2learn.com What have you got to lose? All our training is unconditionally guaranteed.


The Spice of Life

If variety is the spice of life, my life is pretty doggone spicy this week. Monday began with a team building gig at North East Kansas Multicounty Health Department. Monday evening found me playing my professor role, as I delivered the last lecture of the semester to my Master of Public Health class at the University of Kansas Medical School. The middle of the week slowed down a bit, but Friday I conducted a 90 minute team building program at the Johnson County Health Department’s annual holiday party. Today I will play Santa for a friend’s child’s birthday party, then play a professional hit man in a short film for a student in the

KU Film Student

University of Kansas Film department,

then Sunday it will be St. Nicholas for Sunday School at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, Topeka.

A friend posted on Face Book that the Santa gig was a case of type casting. I haven’t told anyone about the hit man gig for fear I’d get the same response.

This will be my second film for students in the KU film program. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding. I love being around intelligent, creative young people, and KU’s film program seems to have plenty of those.

Speaking of intelligent, creative people, today is also granddaughter Zosia’s birthday. I think there is a good chance Grandfather Santa will visit her party as well.

So there you have it. Spice: Laugh2Learn trainer, professor, Santa, hitman, St. Nicholas and most important; grandfather.

Ahhh spice indeed.

My 9/11 Reflections

Like many other American churches, on Sunday, September 11, 2011, my home church Grace Episcopal cathedral of Topeka will hold a 9/11 memorial service. Unlike most churches, for our service we have invited the Topeka Islamic Center, and Temple Beth Shalom to join us. In 2001 these three faith communities joined for a prayer service. I am so proud of our parish for this inclusive approach. Imagine, Christians, Jews and Muslims praying together in Topeka Kansas.

It reminds me that the terrorist of 9/11 didn’t do what they did because they were Arabs, nor because they were Muslim. They did what they did because they “knew the truth,” with such certainty that anyone who disagreed with them was not only wrong, but evil, and if evil, worthy of death.

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols also knew the truth.

Several years ago, I wrote and created a “live” John Brown performance. After 9-11 I quit doing it because I realized that the only difference between John Brown and the 9-11 terrorists was the name they called their God, and the cause they believed in. I had seen John Brown as a hero because I agree that slavery is evil. But I realized that like John Brown, the 9-11 terrorists believed their acts were justified because they believed  what they saw as Western Imperialism is evil. They also believed they were doing God’s will. Basically the people we should fear are not Muslims, or for that matter Christians, but anybody who is so convinced they are right they believe those who disagree with them are evil; that the end justifies any means.

So are we to accept injustice in the world and do nothing? absolutely not. Dr. Martin Luther King tells how to deal with injustice in his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.” If you haven’t read it, you should. If you have read it, read it again.

Final thought: September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday. The following Saturday a Senior Class performance was scheduled. Several people asked me if I would cancel it. I didn’t for three reasons.

  •  One: “The show must go on;”
  • Two: I felt that cancelling the show was what the terrorists would have wanted. They wanted to disturb us and interrupt our lives. I was unwilling to give them that victory.
  • Thee: Laughter heals

We had a small house, and there were almost as many people on stage as in the house. But we laughed. Oh how we laughed. Take that terrorists!

Laugh is not my middle name, but my first  name.

Finally, I truly believe every thing I have written here is true. If you disagree with me, more power to you. I may be wrong.