David Granirer and Stand-up for Mental Health — Culture Days 2019

David Granirer and Stand-up for Mental Health — Culture Days 2019

– [David] When I was first starting, it would be just like sheer terror. Now it’s just fear. It’s fear, but I know I can deal with it. I got into standup comedy
just ’cause I wanted to do stand up comedy. I wasn’t thinking of it as a vehicle for talking about mental health. It was just like, man this is cool. I want to do it. When people laugh, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. It’s the best high there is. My name is David Granirer. I run a program called
Stand Up for Mental Health where I teach stand up
comedy to folks like myself, who have mental health issues. I think the reason comedy’s so therapeutic is that it’s like therapy. So, I’m a counselor and when
I’m doing therapy with someone, I’ll say, talk about something
painful from the past, and I’ll say what do you wish you’d done? What do you wish you’d said back then? So, they can get control of their story by telling it their way, and
putting their own ending on it. It’s exactly the same in
Stand Up for Mental Health. What I’ve observed personally is, they come out, they have
way more confidence, they function way better in society, they’re more social,
they’re more outgoing. Some people tell me, they
say, you know something? I never leave the house
except to come to this class. So, it’s something that people
really, really want to do and it really benefits. I think arts and culture help people, ’cause they’re expressive tools. Anything that gives people
a way to express themselves is good both for the audience,
and also the person doing it. The audience comes to our shows, and they see people on stage
who are funny, likable, friendly, with labels like
schizophrenia and bipolar. These are all adjectives
you wouldn’t normally associate with someone with
a mental health condition. They see if from a totally
different perspective. The best compliment I ever heard was that guy with
schizophrenia was hilarious. How often do you hear
the term schizophrenia and hilarious in the same sentence? Almost never. That’s the bottom line. I think Stand Up for Mental
Health works a lot better because I have my mental health issues, and one of the things I tell
the class on the first day is I’m one of you. I have depression. I take meds. I’ve been in psych wards. I’ve had therapy. I’m not an outside observer, and I think that makes all the difference. You can’t change the past,
but you can get the last laugh and that can be really therapeutic. I called the crisis line
and I got voicemail! In which case, they shouldn’t
call it a crisis line. They should call it a somewhat urgent, but let’s not get carried away line. (audience laughs) They said on the voicemail,
for better service call back at 5 A.M. and I’m thinking, I don’t know what’s worse. Being suicidally depressed, or having to get up that
early in the morning. (audience laughs) I can’t even think self
destructive thoughts until I’ve have my first coffee. (audience laughs)

Daniel Yohans

1 thought on “David Granirer and Stand-up for Mental Health — Culture Days 2019

  1. DARJAM111 says:

    I took David's year-long class on Stand Up for Mental Health some time ago. It was very beneficial to my mental health and well being. Thank you for what you do, David! You are an inspiration to all. Darcy M.

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