Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Feature of L.A. Comedy Club: Psychotherapy

In the Los Angeles Times we read that Jamie Masada's Laugh Factory will be using an in-house psychologist to help the stand-up comics who perform at this venue to de-stress.

One of two clinical psychologists will be on hand four nights a week at the club to treat stand-ups; the free, no-appointment-necessary sessions will take place on a therapy couch that, appropriately enough, used to belong to Groucho Marx.

"This is serious. This is something we have to do," Masada says in a recent interview at the Sunset Boulevard club. "From Richard Jeni putting a gun in his mouth and blowing himself up [in 2007] to Greg Giraldo taking drugs and overdosing [in 2010], I just can't stand to watch all of my family, one by one [self-destruct]....

"Research shows that there is a higher degree of depression and bipolar disorder in comedians," she [Clinical psychologist Ildiko L. Tabori],says. "Laughter is a defensive mechanism. It's one of the more mature defense mechanisms, but it still masks whatever it is that's going on inside."

"Weeds" costar Kevin Nealon, who performs at the Laugh Factory, says many of his colleagues are drawn to stand-up as a form of validation. "A lot of comics, they're onstage getting attention and approval. It's one of the reasons they do stand-up," he says....

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