Award-winning comedian, actress, television, radio host and bestselling author Carla Collins is on a mission to help everyone laugh and relax at a time when we so desperately need it.
On Wednesday, June 24 at 6pm PST/9pm EST, Carla will host the world premiere of “SHELTER AT ‘OM: Comedic Meditation.” The event is a unique experience – 30 minutes of hilarious stand-up comedy to fire up your endorphins followed by a relaxing, authentic guided meditation (no yoga involved!).
Even though the marriage seems unconventional, research shows that people who engage in joyful laughter produce brainwave frequencies similar to that which are seen as they practice meditation. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Carla has been conducting private Comedic Meditation sessions all over Canada, as well as America, Denmark, Argentina and New Zealand. Her premiere event will be live-streamed around the world from Los Angeles’ popular Whitefire Theatre and 50% of the proceeds will go towards supporting the 40-year-old venue, which has suffered heavily during the pandemic.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 24 at 6pm PST/9pm EST
WHERE: online at whitefire.com – instructions with purchase
TICKETS: Tickets are $9.99. https://www.whitefiretheatre.com/
When did you first become interested in performing stand-up?
I’ve been fascinated by comedy since I was a kid and often competed in public speaking contests with a speech on humor. I loved all types of comedy from the 3 Stooges to Carol Burnett to Oscar Wilde. I first started doing stand-up immediately after graduating university but lacked the thick skin to stick it out. I quit after a few months and preferred the safety of working in TV and radio. About 8 years ago, I returned to my first love of doing standup because I’m older now and no longer give a damn what other people think!
Audience members love comedy shows. How do you develop one?
Writing every day and getting up on stage as much as possible. Right now during the plague that’s impossible so I’ve doubled down on the writing and have done Facebook Live and Zoom shows every week. As Malcolm Gladwell says you need to put in your 10,000 hours in order to achieve mastery. I think the trickiest part for most comedians is finding their own unique voice and creating material that is original yet universal.
Did you have any mentors or people who encouraged you along the way, to pursue a career as a comedian and actress?
My family always encouraged my career and passions. My Mom was my biggest champion, she came to every show and even started to open for me! She was my best friend and kindred spirit but passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. I consider every show an homage to her. My little brother is much funnier than me but he’s a school teacher so I just steal all his best material 🙂
How did you come up with the idea of comedic meditation?
I think I’ve always tried to marry comedy and spirituality as both fascinate me. I had been writing my own guided meditations for my fitness clients for a while because I didn’t like the ones online. I wanted to create something that would take away the preciousness and intimidation out of meditation. Laughing first and getting out of your own head seems to help. Both laughter and meditation produce a gamma brainwave so it’s not as weird a marriage as you might think.
Is there a difference between a comedy set and a solo show? If so, what might that be?
Although more and more the lines are blurred between standup comedy and theatre, there is a distinct difference in the laughs-per-minute count which is higher in standup comedy (or certainly should be!) Solo shows can be comedic but also very serious in nature and are closer to a scripted monologue or play with a distinct narrative. Standup tends to have more set-ups and punchlines and improv. We tell stories too and may discuss important themes but ultimately our main objective is to make you giggle.
Without giving anything away, what might an audience member expect to experience when viewing “SHELTER AT ‘OM?”
Hopefully a lot of laughs in the first 30 to 45 minutes on current topics ranging from Covid-19, climate change and Karens to random silliness like Chihuahua cosplay, “channeling” an infinite energy source called Fernando and tales about my older gentleman lover. After you’ve released endorphins laughing, my phone sex operator adjacent voice will take you through a delicious, authentic, original guided meditation so you can sit or lie back, close your eyes and relax in the privacy and comfort of your own home. The soothing meditation music is by local artist Aman Itomi.
Your show will be live streamed without a live audience. How do you know when to hold for laughs?
I’m a fast talker, so I’m not sure I held for laughs during shows in front of a live audience! It’s different and weird but I’ve been doing online shows now for months so I’m getting used to the new rhythm. It helps that I have a background hosting radio and television without the feedback of a crowd. It also helps that I drink on stage!
You are generously giving a portion of “SHELTER AT ‘OM” proceeds to help the Whitefire Theatre with their expenses during the pandemic. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about the show or about you?
We kept the ticket price extremely low $9.99 so everyone can experience this new combo platter. I’ll be wearing a spectacular over-the-top outfit by local designer Jorge del Busto which alone is worth the price of admission! Also, this may be the one show that translates best via streaming during our new normal. Many times when I did a live comedic meditation night people were so blissed out by the end they wished they could just roll over and go to sleep. Well, on Wednesday after the show, you can! For more information or tickets go to http://www.comedicmeditation.com.
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