I throw that hashtag on a lot of my posts. I like the sound of it because it’s inclusive and it’s absolutely true - on multiple levels, including in ComedySportz.
As human beings, we play by nature. The classic example is kids - you don’t have to teach a child what to do with a toy or how to run around outside, climbing rocks and trees. They do it because everybody plays.
As adults, some forget or fear play time. We are too busy, serious, “adult” - whatever that means - to take play seriously. But that’s a mistake.
"Play is so deeply ingrained in terms of our own evolutionary drive to survive,” Dr. Bowen White, physician and founding member of the National Institute for Play said. "Play helps us connect with other people because we are open in a way that allows them to feel, maybe, this is a safe person to be with and maybe even fun to be around."
One of the great adult play-ers was legendary comedian and actor, Robin Williams. And one night, he played with ComedySportz in Milwaukee. This news clip with co-owner, Bob Orvis, tells the story when Williams showed up and played the second half with the team.
He wasn’t the only brush with a famous player ComedySportz has had over the years. Jason Sudeikis credits his start as a comedian to CSz in Kansas City.
“There was this amazing theater called ComedySportz,” Sudeikis said. “This was just me doing it for fun...It was amazing. It was hilarious...I was mentored by all these wonderful guys that I eventually got to be in a sketch group with.”
Wayne Brady is another alum who did a lot of work with ComedySportz before his more well-known work on Whose Line is it Anyway? This clip shows one of his classic improvised songs from a CSz show.
So does this mean you have to be a celebrity or want to be one to play with ComedySportz. No, no, no...one thousand, billion, googolplex times no. Back to kids for the example. They play for the reward of fun, the expression of joy, the beauty of a shared laugh. I see this every week at the elementary/middle schools where I teach ComedySportz. Take a look.
If joy, happiness or fun are part of your 2019 promise to yourself, you owe to yourself to play more. It's an essential part of who we are.
I hope you’ll come play with us.
Level one and two classes begin on Tuesday, January 15th. You can sign up here.