The Comedy Green Room May 2022 Newsletter
Comedy Game Show(down):
Comedian/Producer Dan Donnelly will be bring his "Comedy Game Show(down)"formerly know as "And a Scotch Egg's" will be part of the HumourFest in Quebec City on May 28th. https://www.humourfest.com
Dan started the show in February of 2018, and it has been a monthly staple of the Toronto Comedy Community. Mr. Donnelly has been performing since November of 2015. The author, David Reuben, met Dan Donnelly early in his stand-up career, he stood out with his hard work, positive attitude, and interesting material.
This talented young comic has performed at clubs, other venues across Canada and the United States--including Absolute Comedy (Toronto, Kingston), YukYuks (Toronto, Victoria), Levity (Hamilton), Helium (Buffalo, NY), and Flappers (Burbank, CA) --as well as in the UK and Switzerland.
Dan has been invited to perform at the Finger Lakes Comedy Festival (Ithaca, NY), the San Diego Comedy Festival, and the Burbank Comedy Festival, where he was named one of 2019's "Best of the Fest."
And a Scotch Egg's Comedy Game Show(down) is Canada's only live comedy competition game show! Each month two teams of comics compete in a battle of pop-culture wit and wisdom to see who can win the game...and with it the people's ovation and fame forever!
Inspired by the classic comedy panel shows of British TV, each episode of CGS combines pop-culture trivia, irreverent commentary, improv, and debate for a live experience unlike anything else on Toronto's comedy scene!
Show info, tickets, and recordings of previous episodes available on Dan's website: www.andascotchegg.com
Mention you found out about Dan Donnelly on www.thecomedygreenroom.com
This month's "Comedy Spotlight" is Ms. Simmone Park!
A world traveler, humanitarian, motivational speaker, and stand-up comic!
Back in mid February of 2022, Ms. Simmone Park happened to see The Comedy Green Room’s Newsletter on a Facebook comedy group. Simmone, a world traveler, is now based in Honolulu Hawaii. This Toronto born and bred lady is quite the dynamo. A world traveler, humanitarian, motivational speaker, and stand-up comic.
Simmone and I started communicating via e-mail and I felt she would be a perfect “Comedy Spotlight.” Ms. Park agreed to be featured on The Comedy Green Room, and our telephone conversation in mid March 2022 certainly reinforced my feeling that Simmone Park is a very accomplished young lady.
Ms. Simmone Park was born in Toronto, ON and grew up in East York and Scarborough. She had a typical Canadian childhood with two older sisters. Naomi was particularly funny and young Simmone wanted to be just like her.
Like any child growing up in an immigrant family, Simmone had a good upbringing scattered with a few very traumatic experiences, all of which became part of her stand-up act. Growing up is tough and Simmone developed self hate and struggled with coming to terms with her dual identity as a Korean Canadian. Ms. Park is honest and vulnerable which allowed her to open up about her journey of overcoming racism as a child and finding self love.
According to Simmone, “self-hate is definitely one of the reasons I choose to expose myself on stage. Speaking about my trauma is a form of healing for me because in the past, I was so ashamed or devastated by the trauma that it maintained a hold over me. By releasing it through jokes on stage, it lessens its stranglehold over me. So, what starts off as self-hate can eventually turn into self-love with the help of a microphone and a stage.”
“Racism in life used to really affect me. My early childhood experiences
with white supremacy and racism totally shaped who I am today, and I continually work to chip away at all that is not really me. I use racism in my comedy all the time, and I hope it comes out in a way where people can stop the hate. All the “isms” can show up from the crowd when I get on stage, and the longer I do standup, the better I get at dealing with it quickly and in a way that shuts that person down.
Racism definitely affects me less as I have gotten older, because I am smart enough to understand that any form of hate has to do more with the person giving it than me and that those people do not love themselves. Well-adjusted, happy people do not have to hate. So, I almost feel sorry for them. What I love about comedy is that you can even get a racist to put their guard down and listen because I just might be funny. I don’t know if any other platform can be so disarming, which is also what I think makes stand-up comedy such a powerful tool and platform for facilitating true change.”
Ms. Simmone Park is a smart and articulate young woman who studied International Business in Canada and Germany, with a focus on cross-cultural communication and negotiation and completed courses with Philanthropy University, powered by Berkeley-Haas. She has lived, worked, and/or studied in ten countries and traveled to fifty countries to date. A lover of giving back, Simmone has helped to source supplies and physically build homes, schools, and sustainable communities in Trinidad & Tobago, Guatemala, El Salvador, Kenya, and Panama.
After a violent assault at gunpoint in 2015, Simmone didn’t stop traveling, never spending more than three months in any given location out of fear of her survival. Simmone states, “because I fought the guy and technically robbed him, I denied any PTSD… but it was there. I even had a Vietnam war veteran tell me I had PTSD, and I still denied it. I only came to terms with having PTSD 5 years after the event, once I got to Hawaii, settled in, and started seeing a therapist.”
However, in 2017, Ms. Park was back in Toronto and decided to enroll in the Second City Stand-Up Comedy Course. Shortly after graduating from the Second City Stand Up course with Judy Croon, Simmone entered the “Next Best Comic” competition and beat out over twenty comedians across North America to place in the Top 3 and was the only female finalist to perform at the iconic Chrysler Theatre in Windsor, Canada.
She then moved to Seoul to do comedy and started volunteering with a non-profit that helped to rescue North Koreans. Having worked on many comedy fundraisers with Judy Croon, Simmone created her own, and despite not knowing anyone nor speaking the language, she gained numerous corporate sponsorships and raised enough to fund the rescue of two and a half North Korean refugees. She then traveled to Thailand and fasted for three days in solidarity with North Koreans who continue to starve to death, raising additional funds to save three North Korean refugees. Simmone then went on to perform two days at the Bangkok Comedy Fringe Festival.
The author, David Reuben, asked Ms. Park why stand-up comedy?
“Honestly, I was the type of person to always go for the hardest thing and I love a good challenge. I heard that stand-up comedy is THE most difficult of the performing arts, so I wanted to do that. My first stand up set was August 12, 2017, although it should have been my Second City graduation showcase on August 15, 2017.”
According to Ms. Judy Croon, Simmone’s stand-up comedy teacher, “Simmone is a fearless comic who will try new material at an important show, she is a great writer who does personal material that the audience can relate to.”
Ms. Simmone Park may have been destined to try stand-up comedy. In fact, she lived in Beirut, Lebanon for work in 2009. Russell Peters was doing his Middle Eastern tour and Simmone went to the show and talked her way into meeting him backstage. Fast forward to 2015, Ms. Park was leaving for California to find herself and ran into a comedian who had worked with Russell Peters at Pearson Airport (although she didn’t know it at the time). The two met up in Los Angeles along with the Security Person that let Simmone meet Russell in Lebanon in 2009.
Fast forward to 2017, Simmone started a physical training bootcamp in Ajax where the same comedian she met in 2015 just happened to workout. He was doing a big show on August 12, 2017, and Ms. Park got to open the show, her first ever comedic performance. The author, David Reuben, always says that the world-wide comedy community is a small tight knit group, and you never know when a break could come.
Comedy is a tough business, and it takes a certain type of person to take all the ups and downs of stand-up comedy.
Simmone states “Ha, my dad was born in North Korea, so I am as tough as they come. Generally speaking, I don’t quit, and I have very tough skin. I have climbed literal mountains with zero training (Mt. Kilimanjaro being one of them). I have been through a lot in my life, and I now realize how strong and resilient all these experiences have made me. Hard, pressure, diamond or whatever the saying is. I take on a lot of things and I stop doing them mostly because I get bored and move on to the next thing. What I love about stand up is that you can keep changing up your material. What keeps me going is that one time you hit your jokes just right and get that raucous laughter from the audience. It is crack. I mean, I have never tried crack, but I imagine the highs are similar.”
Ms. Park got hooked on travel at age 15, “My parents would allow me to spend the summer in England and Italy with my best friend’s family. After 4 years in a row in Europe, I was hooked. I specifically chose International Business in University because they made you learn a new language and spend a year in University where that was the primary language. So, if you have early childhood trauma involving white supremacy and the KKK, definitely go to study in Germany! lol. I have made some terrible choices in my life.”
The last few years Simmone has been settling in Hawaii, where she feels safe after the physical attack in 2015. “Hawaii has so many gorgeous hikes so I love to get out in nature as much as I can. Hiking, laying on the beach with a good book… the little things in life for which I am so grateful. I haven’t spent a ton of time in the ocean, but it is amazing here and I try to get in as often as I can. There is something very grounding and healing about the ocean.”
The future is limitless for Simmone Park. She headlined the world-class Bluenote Hawaii in January 2022 with her show, “Once you go Asian…”, then took it to Da Playground in Maui in March 2022 and is in talks with Big Island and Kauai as well. She performed at Aloha Comedy Festival at the end of February and was grateful for the opportunity to perform at the iconic Hawaii Theatre. She was asked to judge a competition for the festival as well.
“Honestly, the dream is to do stand-up full time. I have never fully committed to my art because I have always needed a “job” to live outside Canada full time. I can only imagine how quickly I would progress in my art if I were able to dedicate ALL my time to it, so I am going to work on making comedy my career instead of just a passion.”
You can catch Simmone Park regularly at the Bluenote Hawaii in Waikiki.
To Find Ms. Simmone Park on Facebook
To Find Ms. Simmone Park on Instagram
Check out some of Simmone's comedy including her second city graduation set, Gotham Comedy Club in New York City, and her Spanish Comedy Debut!!
Mention you found out about Ms. Simmone Park on www.thecomedygreenroom.com
Over the years many young comics have come to my open mic and booked shows. Know one worked harder and hustled more then Mr. Mike Harrison. Mike always gave 110 percent. He was always on time, did the amount of time allotted to him and supported the establishment.
Today, Mike Harrison is a New York based international headliner with his album "Freak Laugh”, a Dry Bar special coming out in the summer of 2022, two award-winning sketches, and one of the top podcasts in North America.
His comedy album “Freak Laugh” debuted at #1 on I-tunes. “Where’s my White Privilege?” short sketch was featured as one of the funniest shorts at Just for Laughs 2021. His short sketch “Delusional Man" was one of the top ten sketches in the 2021competition for best Sketch by the Toronto Sketch Community.
To see a "Freak Laugh" Preview:
Where’s my White Privilege?
Mike’s podcast “Character Debate” got nominated for funniest podcast of 2021 by the world-wide comedy awards.
Say hi to Mr. Michael Harrison at your local comedy club. He is sure to show up! And subscribe to his YouTube channel and his podcast "Character Debate".
Mention you found out about Mike Harrison on www.thecomedygreenroom.com
All Cops Ain’t Bad:
The author, David Reuben, would like to welcome “All Cops Ain’t Bad” to The Comedy Green Room family.
I recently had a zoom chat with Daryll Triplett and Michael Williams two of the great people behind this charitable organization.
Their purpose is to bridge the gap between our cops and the community. We want to show the world that we are “only human”.
They also coordinate and provide support and relief to all current and retired First Responders with an emphasis on “Cops” and “Victims of Police Brutality”.
“All Cop’s Ain’t Bad” bring healing to our Communities and their families through comedy, counseling, peer mentoring, individually and in comedy concert settings, filled with lots of laughter and love.
The goal is to raise awareness through community events, media outlets, social media, service organizations and churches, screaming to the top of our voices that… “All Cop’s Ain’t Bad”.
For more information on "All Cop's Ain't Bad"
Mention you found out about All Cops Ain't Bad on www.thecomedygreenroom.com
Big Daddy Tazz:
Big Daddy Tazz continues to read to children of all ages, Currently he has read over1080 books in over 780 days. Tazzy is one of the sweetest and kindest humans in the Canadian Comedy Community. For more information visit https://bigdaddytazz.com/tazzy-reads/ or become friends with Tazz on FB https://www.facebook.com/tazz.norris
Mention you found out about Big Daddy Tazz on www.thecomedygreenroom.com
Diary of a Locked Down Comedian:
Ever wondered what a comedian does when the world comes to a standstill due to a global pandemic, and the entire arts industry grinds to a halt? Wonder no more! Paul Adams has diarized his experiences of lockdown, coffees, books, and his love of music in his debut book, "Diary of a Locked Down Comedian". For more information visit: www.PaulAdamsComedy.com/diary or Amazon UK
Mention you found out about Diary of a Locked Down Comedian on www.thecomedygreenroom.com
I first met Paul Adams through his father, comedy writer Charlie Adams. Charlie was the first UK comic on The Comedy Green Room. Charlie suggested I check out his son, stand-up comic Paul Adams.
We hit it off and Paul was invited to perform at The HogTown Comedy Festival (TM) in Toronto ON Canada. Paul decided to move to Toronto and performed in comedy clubs and bars throughout Canada and the USA for about 2 years. Paul's clean and funny comedy style was a refreshing change to the Toronto Comedy Community from 2004 to 2006.
Mr. Paul Adams new book Diary of a Locked Down Comedian is a funny, charming, and insightful look into his pandemic experience. Check it out!
The Nubian Comedy Revue: Presented by Mr. Kenny Robinson
Sunday May 29th @ 8:30pm Yuk Yuk's Toronto
To buy tickets:
Mention you found out about The Nubian Comedy Revue on www.thecomedygreenroom.com
Canadian Comedy Hall Of Fame:
The Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame's voting is opened and this year it easier then ever to vote:
Check out this years voting PDF to find out the different ways to vote:
To find out more about the Canadian Comedy Hall Of Fame:
Mention you found out about the CCHOF on www.thecomedygreenroom.com
The Comedy Green Room would like to welcome “The Funnies” to our Comedy Family. Each month an independent artist will be featured!
The brain child of Mr. Hans Yadav, "The Funnies" is a newsletter that curates the best web comics from the best indie comic artists in the world. 95% of the newsletter's revenue goes directly to the artists, to support them in doing what they love.
May Comic: Don't Hit Save
Artist: Jeff Lofvers
For more information on “The Funnies” or to subscribe visit:
https://funnies.page/?ref=thecomedygreenroom and get your exclusive promo code!
Mention you found out about The Funnies on www.thecomedygreenroom.com
Laughter Is The Best Medicine:
More important than anything else is the health and safety of every single person on the planet. And a big thank you to the frontline workers in this fight against Covid-19!
To celebrate the 21st anniversary of The Comedy Green Room, The goal is to increase the blogs visibility. gain followers, submit articles, and add more “Comedy Tips” to our resources.
Remember to be kind to yourself... Do something that makes you happy every day.
The US-based International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has announced a new Spotlight Award for its 2021 competition that will be given annually to a song and its songwriter(s) from a different country. The inaugural award, presented by ISC and SOCAN, will be highlighting standout Canadian Songwriting Talent!!
For more information on the International Songwriting Competition visit https://www.songwritingcompetition.com
Mention you found out about (ICS) on www.thecomedygreenroom.com
The Man from Philadelphia:
A Kevin Christopher Movie: Coming Soon
The author, David Reuben, first met Mr. Kevin Christopher [Herod] in the early 2000’s. Like all great entertainers Kevin changed his surname! LOL Kevin was a young and hungry stand-up comic. Kevin was hitting all the open-mic shows and trying to get noticed. And noticed he did; Nominated for Second City Tim Simms Encouragement Award, moved up the latter of the Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Chain and got noticed by The Nubian Comedy Revue.
Recently I got the chance to reconnect with Kevin thanks to are mutual friend Mr. Roy Daye. Today he is an author, cartoon voice actor, musician, and producer. The Man from Philadelphia is Kevin’s new movie.
The Man from Philadelphia is a story about a time when an entertainment business manager named Markus, is publicly fired from his role as boy band manager for the mismanagement of finances. Upset that he found these young men and transformed them into glorious performing pearls only to be discarded, Markus enacts a plan to bounce back with two new musical acts, one female model, actress, song bird and the other act being a rap duo.
As the quarterback of the two new musical act’s introductions to the world, Markus, played by Comedian Kevin Christopher, planned to have the rap group burglarize his sweet innocent R&B acts family-owned jewelry store, hoping the 6 o'clock nightly news catches wind of it and intern help boost sympathy publicity for his R&B act and maybe a couple of months gangsta jail time props for his rap group.
The plan backfires, the new acts flop on the same day he signed them, but Markus isn't one to keep things bottled up he's gonna talk and talk and talk it out poetically a'la Edar Allan Poe style with his fingers crossed for his win!
For more information about The Man from Philadelphia:
Mention you found out about this Movie on www.thecomedygreenroom.com
“BE SAFE BE SMART”
Take Care Of Your Mental Health
Check for your local Mental Health Resource
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