TEACHING SOCIAL SKILLS TO THE SOCIALLY CHALLENGED
A stand- up comedian gets up on stage before a room full (or empty!) of strangers, and for at least five unforgiving minutes, tries to make everyone laugh. This is unlike any true, appropriate social situation and yet the skills necessary to become comfortable and get consistent laughs on stage are the same as the skills needed to become comfortable in a real life social scene. For people who have been unable to learn social skills within a group, in the ‘normal’ fashion, stand-up comedy can be the answer.
Global autism expert Lynette Louise knows these lessons well. While raising eight kids on her own (six adopted, four of whom were on the spectrum of autism) she paid the bills while performing karaoke and stand-up comedy. She often jokes that she would never have adopted so many kids if she hadn’t been a little crazy herself. In her one woman musical comedy CRAZY TO SANE, she shares her personal journey with honesty and hilarity. Lynette will happily surprise your audience with these interesting facts:
- Confused in Conversation: Why was a joke funny yesterday but today everyone looks at you strangely? For people with social difficulties (i.e. autism) it’s hard to generalize. Understanding the differences between how a comment (or joke) was delivered, who’s in the room etc, while in a group is often overwhelming. Without a clear goal it’s easy to quit. There is a huge difference between ‘wanting to fit in’ and ‘wanting to have a tight and funny five minute set’.
- Who Cut the Cheese?: In a group setting anyone could be the culprit! However, standing alone on stage it is easier, in fact necessary, to isolate your mistakes. When the energy shifts and the audience seems bored or annoyed, you know who’s to blame. And if you don’t want to make the same mistake again you have to figure out what it was and why.
- Intentionally Creating Likability: In order to stand alone and successfully preform comedy to a group of unknowns, it’s important to get them ‘on your side’. This doesn’t mean being sweet and kind, but it does mean being likable. As a stand-up comedian you create your persona, and in a desire to be well received it is a wonderful opportunity to discover the part of you that connects with others and is likable!
- Funny about Follow Up: Follow up calls and appointments with comedy club owners, bookers etc., will help put the skills learned on stage into action. It is a wonderful next step before attempting hanging out in a group. Again, having a clear goal regarding what you want to get out of the conversation helps when learning social basics.
The world of stand-up comedy is filled with socially challenged folks. Autism, ADHD, Bi Polar, Tourette’s Syndrome—this is a surprisingly effective therapy when married with intention and support. Lynette Louise will happily gift your audience with the understanding to supply that support. Laughing all the while!
Global autism expert, Lynette Louise, raised eight children –six adopted and four of whom were on the spectrum of autism. She was able to guide all but one out of autism and into independence. Lynette travels internationally, performing and speaking on the subject of autism and the efficacy of neurofeedback (biofeedback for the brain). Offering play therapy, family dynamics counseling and neurofeedback– she effectively helps parents become confident experts in their family’s healing. She is the author of the inspirational and honest new book MIRACLES ARE MADE: A Real Life Guide to Autism.