A Lucky Break At Last!

Monday September 12th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL

Ok, I give up. I’m stumped like the Venus de Milo. I can’t figure life out no matter how hard I try. Just when it feels like I’m closing in on some answers, some inexplicable quirk or glitch shows up to let me know I have none. I’m a slave to circumstances, like it or not.

This particular time, I think I’m going to like it. I’m scheduled to teach another session of comedy classes at Harper College in Palatine, IL starting next month, and the publicity department sent out a press release to help drum up interest. I didn’t think twice about it.

I’ve found the staff at Harper to be on the ball professionally and just plain nice people to deal with. People like Scott Cashman and Stephanie Burak are my direct contacts, and they talk to me like a human first and a teacher second. I really enjoyed teaching last fall‘s class, and was flattered they asked me back to do it again this year. The vibe is positive.

As it turned out, an article about the class ran in the Chicago Sun Times yesterday and it was not only seen by all kinds of people I know who contacted me to inform me they had seen it – it was also apparently forwarded to UPI and has gotten some national exposure.

I heard it appeared on The Huffington Post among other places, and the word keeps on spreading. I’m getting interview requests from radio stations, and I’ve been invited to be a guest on the Fox 32 Morning News in Chicago in two weeks. I can’t believe how this has snowballed, since I’ve been trying to spread the word for classes for seventeen years now.

When I first began teaching at Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee back in 1994, we received all kinds of media coverage. There were several print articles and news coverage on most of the local TV stations. Nobody was doing anything like it, and it got attention.

Chicago has been a different story. I did manage to get coverage on the WGN TV news a few years ago, but I think that was because they knew my friend Rick Geiser who works on the radio side. He also does publicity for Zanies, and he was able to pull a few strings.

This is completely different. I think for once my timing was right. There were all kinds of heavy stories about the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and they put it in the paper to ease the tension a little. People need to laugh when times get tough, and this is one of those times.

Maybe it was also the fact that an actual academic institution is offering a comedy class. Zanies is a comedy club, and for whatever reason that angle hasn’t gotten me very far in a while with the Chicago media. Harper College seems to be the missing ingredient and I’m not complaining at all. I love teaching at both places, and they attract a different clientele.

I would be flattered to teach at both places, but Harper won’t be for hard core comedian wannabes. It will be for regular people who want to learn ‘secrets’ of how to be funnier in every day life. There are a few secrets, but most of it is learning the fundamentals of what humor is, and going from there. After seventeen years, I’m finally an overnight success!


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