Aug 122014

Photo credit: MA1216 Nightmare on SangamonUnlike most standup comedians starting out in my generation, Robin Williams wasn’t my comedic hero growing up. He certainly was an influence on me, that’s for sure. For me though, I was always aware that his brilliant comedic style and performances on stage was merely a stepping stone for his true calling.

Instead, the body of work I came to love and respect was his comedic and dramatic acting roles. For that, I consider Williams one of my all-time top favorite actors on the big screen.

Now, in light of his tragic and shocking death, I can say he has become one of my heroes and has forever changed any previous opinion I had of him.

Yesterday afternoon I attended a court hearing for my 14 year old boy, Braedon. I will attend another hearing next Monday.

There is a good chance you have read earlier posts of mine on Facebook in regards to this last year. While these posts were vague, they were all about my extraordinarily painful year with my son and our family.

The posts were vague because It was simply too difficult to come to terms with my struggles. (Which I am still healing from.) Outwardly processing them in an update was just easier. Especially since I saw so many others going through difficult times as well.

My personal pain stems from the fact my oldest son suffers from mental illness. Like every challenge in my life, it must become dialog, then material, and finally comedy I can embrace on stage. It is my personal comedic process, but it is also my healing and coping process. A process I can say with great confidence, most comedians use, including Robin Williams.

I was planning on writing this some time ago and put it off. I wanted to be in a place of strength to write it. Ironically, timing is everything; so there is no better time to address the last year than after hearing the sad news of Robin William’s death. More importantly, the news that he sadly took his own life.

Since my son first attended school and began interacting socially, he has been battling the demon of depression and mental illness. His mother and I, along with the people closest to me have dealt with his special needs throughout his young adult life.

As I look back, I honestly thought he was just socially awkward. We all did. As time went on, it became clear, this wasn’t the case. Braedon became more and more depressed and for a short period of time, even suicidal.

He has always struggled with school, authority, and anger. I thought it was a lack of discipline and structure. Last year as he became a teenager, it got to a point where it was too much for his mother to handle.

At the time, I was in a relationship with a wonderful and loving woman. We were in a position where we could help. Both of us made the decision together to have Braedon come live with us. We saw it as an opportunity to change his life. He could finally get the structure and discipline he needed. While it was the most challenging role I’ve ever taken on as a father, Rachel and I were making a difference. He was placed in a great school with an amazing I.E.P. team, he was receiving regular therapy and making great strides. Like I said though, we felt he just was troubled.

The biggest problem with mental illness, it is an invisible disability. It doesn’t present itself every minute of the day and it cannot be clearly detected. It isn’t like me, you see me pushing around my three-wheeled man purse walker and know right away, I have physical limitations.

With mental instability, it comes and goes. Some days it is apparent an episode is occurring. Yet at other times, it isn’t a factor at all. Most often, however, it hides somewhere in the middle. As a parent, I have to ask myself, is this my son’s illness or is he just being a typical teenage boy? I have to somehow miraculously make the right call and sometimes in the middle of a heated confrontation. Making the wrong call, it can easily escalate into a point of no return.

Diagnoses will also change over the years too. He’s been labeled with O.D.D. (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Those are just the expert opinions. The list of unofficial labels has been never ending. All of which were wrong, by the way. It takes sometimes years for a correct diagnoses. You must constantly reevaluate the one suffering and even the teams that closely work with them. Now throw into the mix, the extra complicated layer of puberty, and my son’s raging hormones and I can assure you, even the experts can get it wrong.

The other major problem with mental illness is the ignorance and lack of awareness and education on the subject. Family members often are in denial or worse, so ashamed they keep it a dirty family secret. No one wants to admit a member of their family has mental illness. I didn’t. I was in denial for a very long time. Actually, it wasn’t until it was too late and our family life fell to pieces that I became educated and came to terms with it.

Our community, our own family members, our spouses and partners all fall victim to the confusion and blurry lines of this illness. Relationships of all types are destroyed by a lack of understanding.

It is often disregarded as bad parenting, or an out of controlled kid, or even neglect. “Nothing a good ass kicking can’t solve, right?”

Wrong. I can assure you as a father going through it firsthand. When faced with the choice of harsh disciplinary action over compassion and understanding; handling it negatively leaves you with indescribable guilt. You can’t approach it as if they are purposely acting out. No one consciously chooses to act out in a way that will potentially harm themselves or others.

I became filled with rage and thoughts of pure hatred for my own child. It is truly the most heartbreaking and traumatic thing one can feel for their own flesh and blood. The pain I put on myself, my family and loved ones is something that changes everyone forever. Then to be seen by people on the outside as a bad parent when you already feel more guilt than anyone else can ever put on you. Well, that alone can cause a mental break.

I got high blood pressure. (Which I never have had issues with before) I lost patches of my hair. Not balding or thinning either, but actual patches of hair fell out because of the extreme stress, and the deepest sadness and remorse I ever felt in my life.

Oh, and yes, I gave up. I gave up because I couldn’t handle it any longer. I have no excuse here. I gave up because I was no longer making sound fatherly choices. All of my choices were reactionary and destructive to my two boys, my partner and our home life.

Our home was no longer a home of love and compassion, it was no longer a place where anyone felt safe. It was no longer filled with laughter and great memories. It was just filled with sadness.

I sent him back to his mother’s so I could heal. A decision that was not popular with my partner, and one I made on my own without ever considering the grief it might cause the ones I love most in my life. I decided this without realizing there were others who were going through this with me and who also deserved to have a voice in the decision.

I ultimately feel I was looking out what was best for my son and his wellbeing but to this day I still feel the guilt of the choice and still have no idea whether I made the right one.

All I knew was that I needed to heal so I could love him again, be compassionate and try to get him the help he truly needs. Sometimes a parent makes choices that look horrible to those on the outside looking in and unfortunately only time will tell if what I did was right.

My son has finally been correctly diagnosed and will be getting residential treatment along with the correct therapy and skills needed to have a future. This program is a long intensive two year program with no guarantee of success.  The type of therapy he is going to get does have great results with those who have his condition. However, either way, it is the only real opportunity for success he has.

These types of resources are simply not available to people with mental illness over the age of eighteen. That is a sobering fact. When you become an adult, you either have the money to get professional help, become homeless from the lack of skills to survive on your own or you get locked up. One and four people in the United States have some form of mental illness, too. It is an epidemic without any long term strategic plan to deal with it.

So why is Robin Williams now all of a sudden a hero and an inspiration to me? I’ll be glad to explain. Robin William’s suicide will shine a much needed spotlight onto mental illness and depression.  Unfortunately it takes events like this to bring it to the national stage.

Like everything, it will only last for a short time before people forget and go back to their lives, but I’m striking while the iron is hot. There needs to be a real honest discussion, education and reform.

It is a sad day to have lost such a brilliant and genius mind. Thank you Mr. Williams for bringing so much laughter into our lives.

As a comedian of 23 years, and one who has devoted my life to the same craft, I must thank you most of all as a father. Your last act, while tragic, will help more families find the courage they need to seek help. There are people in real pain who need a helping hand out of the darkness. I am one of those people, and so is my son.

If someone as profound and brilliant as Robin Williams who from our perspective, had everything he could possibly want out of life couldn’t climb out of the darkness; than it should be a wakeup call to us all. It takes more than just money, strength and humor to cure this illness, and Robin Williams just proved that. For that, he deserves a final standing ovation.


Fore more information and resources I recommend looking up your local chapter of  N.A.M.I. (National Alliance on Mental Illness) at:



Apr 232014

NoRisk_poster_4_26This Sat is an important performance for me. Last summer I sat down in my back yard with my good friend and amazingly talented comedian Chris Smith and had a conversation about the industry. Through this conversation we developed a tour concept based purely on the idea comedy isn’t sold as an art form, comedians are products.

Unknown comedians like ourselves who aren’t household names never get to perform our full shows in the top comedy clubs in America or in big theaters because people buy tickets to see comedians they have heard of. They don’t want to pay for something that may or may not be funny.

There are lots of talented comedians and Chris and me are no different. For the first time we are launching a tour that is guaranteeing audiences will be entertained by this show or we will refund 100% of an audience member’s admission price. No strings attached.

It is for real, we are that confident .  We are also filming this first show to develop a commercial demo to use to get dates secured for the summer. I  need the support of my fans to make the journey up to Ridgefield, WA and be a part of something I know will finally get me the recognition so many have said I deserve. Welcome to the NO RISK COMEDY TOUR debut performance.

$15 adv. $20 day of show
Tickets by phone at 360 887-7260
Doors open at 6:15 PM Showtime 7:00 PM showtime.

Old Liberty Theater: 115 N Main Ridgefield, WA


The No Risk Comedy Tour

 NEWS  Comments Off
Apr 092014

Please watch this. It’s only 4 min of your life but what has been a life long journey for me. Then share this with everyone you know that spent their life chasing something because they loved it.

Follow us at: and @NoRiskComedy

The Debute first show:
Sat April 26th at The Old Liberty Theater in Ridgefield, WA.
Doors open at 6:15 PM Show starts at 7:00 PM
$15 advance and $20 at the door

Nov 202013

After an amazing preliminary week two (where I took top spot for the week) in the Seattle International Comedy Contest. I’ve returned to Seattle, WA to compete with the top 10 from both weeks and again I’m off to a slow start. I took 7th (third from last) in the first performance at the famous Seattle Comedy Underground.

Here is the interesting part.  I drew the basic same position in the lineup as I did last week. In the first round and on the first night, I went up 9th. This was right after the secret piss break intermission for the judges. In last night’s show I drew 6th but we only have ten comedians now. I was again going up right after the piss break for the judges. Not that it matters and I don’t feel it was why I placed in the position where I did.  I don’t think it had anything to do with in fact. Coincidentally, I also placed in the same spot as last week’s first show. In my first round, I took 13th, three from the last spot. As long as I have time to break down the coincidences; I tripped going up on stage last week which became a bit of a scene. I safely made it to the stage last night but after my show I had an incident with a woman who followed me back to our private green room, and it is this particular incident I wish to discuss in today’s post.

The woman who followed me back, she tried to find the right words and with watery eyes. Now I’m thinking maybe she was about to tell me I was an inspiration. This was not the case. She explained she works with children who have special needs—ah fuck! Here we go. I was informed that because she works with special needs children, she felt passionate about advocating for them.  To make it easier on me, for the rest of this blog entry, I’ll refer to this woman as, “God’s special helper.” Anyway, G.S.H tells me she enjoyed the bulk of my material but she felt obligated to let me know we don’t use the word retard any longer and I should remove it from act forever. Mind you, this was in the green room with four other comedians sitting in the back with me and watching this slow moving train wreck heading right towards me.

You may be asking yourselves right now, how I would react to such an awkward confrontation? Well I calmly let her speak. I did not interrupt, and in fact as she complained to me about how this is a word which has been abolished from the English language, I took a sip of my beer.

After what seemed like five long and painful minutes. After paying her respect by listening to her struggle for the right words just to explain her position and her disdain for the word used in my act, it was my time to speak.

Calmly I explained, I understood why she might be offended and I respected her for making such a difficult career choice but that I have a right to dictate how I tell my story because I am disabled and I am the one who lives with my challenges. I continued to argue my position.  “While you may be upset, you also do not have a right to speak on any of your client’s behalf  because you are not disabled.” I told her, she simply couldn’t tell me what offended them and only they had the right to speak with me about it. “You have the right to be offended but NOT offended for them.”

GSH then got more worked up. “I have been working as a care taker for 40 years and I do have a right to be upset for them.”

My rebuttal, “I am actually disabled and have been for 42 years of my life. I do not get paid for my struggles in life and neither do any of your patients. They live it, I live it. It is offensive to me you would speak on their behalf and then try to tell me what I should and shouldn’t say and we are obviously not going to agree on this issue. So if you feel this passionate, you could complain to management.”

The moment ended with agreeing with this option and then she left.  The comedians seemed stunned and I just kept thinking, I hope she isn’t a judge.

Here what bothers me: It is inevitability ALWAYS someone who works with the disabled or a family member of the disabled that get offended. It is ALWAYS something they must declare too. It isn’t the work of the lord if you have to tell us what you do. Sacrificing comes without bragging rights.   So you clean their asses,  and feed them. Now all of a sudden you think you should speak for them and think for them. THEY’RE NOT FUCKING RETARDS! Isn’t this your argument?

These labels are NOT abolished from our language. Neither is nigger or fagot. So as long as I am alive and have an opportunity to tell my side of the story, I’ll remind you all that you were the ones that first came up with these words. In fact, it was the medical industry who started using this offensive term. I didn’t come up with the word retard, I didn’t come up with the word crippled but I sure in the fuck have a right to use them to make my point. Did you know lady, when I was a child and being helped by one of your colleague GSH’s, it was at a hospital called, “Crippled Children’s Hospital”? Yes. It was on the top of the fucking building in big brass lettering.

People just can’t wrap their mind around the fact that just 33 years ago, the medical community was extremely misinformed about the disabled. They were frightfully ignorant and these were dark times. My parents were told I would always be sickly and I might die. I was put in a hospital bed as a small 5 year old child in lightless hallway. I was left alone, covered in wires and strobes and left to cry and scream at the top of my fucking lungs while they observed me behind a glass window to see if stress would induce seizures. That’s RETARDED!  And to this day, I vividly remember the mid-evil practice.

Oh, and the bit I do, I mention “retard strength” in an argument with a bully. Why, because that is how children actually talk.

I think the most disgusting fact in this entire ordeal I went through is that she had to point out how offended she was with the word retard but completely ignored at one point in my last bit,  I also used the word “Fagot”. I guess the word fagot is fine though because fagots aren’t, “One of God’s specially chosen children.”  Just in case you are still confused, I was often described as “special”. If we are going to discuss offensive and derogatory terms, I’ll start with that word and will continue using the words crippled and retard until all you retards are dead.


Oct 222013

It’s kinda a funny story. Okay, not really. All this time I thought my DVD, “Truth Hurts” was available to buy online at MY LITTLE STORE, Which by the way,  that’s my store. Well, I guess I never uploaded the product info. So all this time I was thinking, shit, why isn’t anybody buying my product? Maybe because they couldn’t. Sure a small glitch, not as big of a glitch “Affordable  Health Care Act” is going through, but a glitch never-the-less.

Anyway, TRUTH HURTS is now available for purchase as a hard copy DVD (comes with all extra features) and the money goes directly to me.  or you can purchase it as a digital video download on You can also purchase individual tracks or the entire fucking audio album over iTunes, cdbaby, and Amazon. With this many options there is no reason why you shouldn’t be garbing a copy today.

I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you to get this in as many formats as possible. Please do me a favor, don’t be a dick bag and make copies of it, spreading it all over the web. There isn’t much I can do to stop you from doing it. I’m not a record company , I’m just an artist who hopes you respect my intellectual property. Thanks in advance for not being a dick bag.

TRUTH HURTS Digital Video Download.
Now Available on



Audio Version Available on

TRUTH HURTS Available on cdbaby

Audio Version Available on iTunes

TRUTH HURTS Available on iTunes



Jul 142013

Truth Hurts DVDLast Thursday afternoon 11 boxes arrived on my doorstep. “Truth Hurts” is in my possession!  Next Saturday July 20th is my DVD release party.  This is a party. I will be doing my first live podcast of “From The Nook” and interviewing Jimmy Newstetter who performed brilliantly in my extra features sketch, Crystal Kordowski and Chris Smith, who were my amazing opening acts. I’ll have some of my favorite comedians doing showcase sets; I’ll be performing new material and we will be viewing a special features clip. We aren’t doing a cover so just come and enjoy a night of celebration and be the first to get a signed copy of my new DVD.

I’ll see you all Sat.

Apr 302013

Where in the hell do I begin.

I’ve been at this for a long ass time. I first stepped on a stage in 1989.  I have had lot of ups and downs over the last 23 years.  I have had my success and my failures and in the last two years, I’ve really found comfort on stage.  I’ve been labeled too many things to give a shit.  Bookers have been reluctant to book me but I have always had an amazing relationship with my audience. I have always had passion, love  and a special connection with both my fans and for those who are seeing me for the first time.

In my 23 years, I have had a few major milestones. The first was in 1991 when I became the youngest ever to win to the Portland Laugh Off at just 19. This put me on the road professorially.  The second was the 2007 recording of my first DVD, Cripple xXx. The third was after an eight year banning at my local Comedy Club, Harvey’s, I was able to return for a one night only special event performance.  The show sold  out and I gave a once-in-a-lifetime performance which earned me a standing ovation and rekindled relationship with the owner. I must have nine lives in this career because every time people think I’m down for the count, I get back up and show my critics, this was always the only thing I was meant to do.

On March 27th of this year, I recorded live at Star Theater in Portland, OR for my newest speciel, “Truth Hurts” and  it was another epic memory in my ever-evolving career.  It is a night  I will never forget, and now you will get a chance to see the official trailer.  For the first time in my 23 years, I finally had a camera crew capture the connection I so desperately strive to get with each show.

This year has been a fantastic year for me. I leave tomorrow morning for Wilmington North Carolina and the 2013 Cape Fear Comedy Festival. If you are in the area, join myself and 100′s of other extremely talented comedians and watch us do what we love to do.

See you on the other side and I hope you enjoy.




Mar 262013

I’m sure by now you already know that I will not be doing a podcast episode this week.  If you don’t know why, you haven’t been in the loop for the past 6 months.  It is weird to say this but tomorrow night I’ll be on the stage at Star Theater performing my new DVD, “Truth Hurts”.  It has been a  gauntlet week of comedy showcases, podcasts and live talk shows just to promote this truly magical experience I’m about to embark on.  I don’t want to blow this out of proportion.  I just know, for me, it is a benchmark play in my career. Maybe I’m not a famous comedian but I’m a lucky one.  I’m a comedy luck dragon. All stupid jokes aside, this will be an unforgettable night of comedy for me… and it is almost upon us.

Chris Smith, who is opening up for me tomorrow night and who has been headlining all week on his first west coast tour.  He has been outstanding in every performance.  Thank you for the love, support and friendship. I’m glad you could share this with me. You all will want Chris to be your uncle at your next Thanksgiving dinner. Crystal Kordowski, you are truly good from the inside out.  I have to say though; you are warped beyond repair. Who really would want to fix that? Not me.  She is hosting people and if you have never seen her.  She is queen mother of honesty, truth and justice. She will tickle your ass with her feather of broken thoughts. It is shaped like a finger and tastes like peanut butter and breast milk. Let Momma hold you until you feel better.

See you on the other side.