Two weeks ago today, I got a text I didn’t want to get.
From my “friend up north” who asked me if I knew my friend Kevin was dead. I called her and confirmed and began wailing like a sick cat. I just couldn’t believe it. Well, actually I could. I’m gonna write about Kevin in due time; I’m still processing the news. Suffice to say I’m “not over it” and perhaps can only “go through it”. Suicide has been part of my art and real life for a long time. Going back to 1973, when my cousin/half-brother (My father’s second wife was my aunt), Larry Kenton jumped to his death of one of the Park La Brea towers. He was 25. I immediately went into a 2 year emotional coma, just starring at The Match Game and spending my entire therapy session just bawling my eyes out.
The Laughter Foundation
Then in 2010, after losing everything; my home, my business, my city of London, my careers (because they were all in London) and being stuck in a similar tall tower of potential death, while my mother was in the next room in her last year and because I only had National Health insurance from “my queen”, the British government, I couldn’t get a therapist in LA I so desperately needed. I committed myself to jump off the building “in four days” and told my family and they helped me find a really good therapy intern for $10 and gave me an old bicycle which I used to get around LA, because the City of Los Angeles stole my car. Long story. I started The Laughter Foundation to assure comedians would have health care and booked The Hollywood Bowl April 1, 2011, a show which – although had comedians lined up and committed such as Roseanne Barr – never happened. Money to produce it fell through.
And, of course, I cannot forget my own use of a gun to my head in my comedy act, whereby I’d tell audiences across North America and later Great Britain and Europe, that it was “my last show” because I was addicted to comedy and the laughter and that’s how I ended up producing big shows for Turning Point Scotland, a drug and alcohol charity launched by Princess Diana. (I never say “late”; she’s probably on her way.)
So, last night I did this show and it was a truly great experience. Produced by Roland Bondoc, Suicide Hotline is a live once a month show at Time Warp Records in Mar Vista. It’s an oddly very entertaining show, which is part story-telling, part Vaudeville, part true confessional and of course, part comedy. Wow. What a combo. I talked about Kevin and my own battles with “suicidal ideation”, which is a condition of psychological fantasy. I’m still processing the experience of last night’s show, which as they say nowadays: “It’s all good”.
You’re guaranteed to laugh and be moved in this spellbinding show.
To find out when the next monthly Suicide Hotline show is on, contact Roland Bondoc or Time Warp Records. It’s a free show!
For The Hollywood Dog, this has been Steven Alan “WHOOFY” Green!
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