What ASAP class are you a part of?
How did you hear about ASAP?
“Well, my commander's name is Armando Kuppinger. So, Major Kuppinger called me one day and said, ‘Do you think you might want to get in[to] the Comedian Bootcamp?’ and I said, ‘Why would you think I want to?’ His wife…[was in this] program and it [did] wonders for her as far as [being] therapeutic [and] as far as PTSD. I thought that I would do it, too."
What can ASAP do for other veterans?
“I can only speak as far as [my own] PTSD, [but] if you do have PTSD, the ASAP program is wonderful. These...various [arts opportunities] that they provide, kinda take your mind away from the stresses of, you know, the thought of being in the military and what you're like after you get out. So it's very therapeutic.”
What have you brought to ASAP?
“I don't know what I bring to the table. I mean, some people in my class think I'm funny and ...I just see [my time in Comedy Bootcamp] as being me. My mom was loud and crazy, and so am I; I am just like her. I think for me, I'm bringing a realism to the class, you know... I'm not fake in there. What you see is what you get.”
What has Comedy Bootcamp with ASAP taught you?
“Comedy Bootcamp has taught me to express [my] feelings through laughter, and if you can express feelings through laughter, maybe some of those characteristics will overflow.”
What is your favorite memory from Comedy Bootcamp so far?
“My favorite memory was my second week in there. I mean, it was real funny, and my classmates thought it was real funny because I did a joke about drill sergeants, you know, taking orders from drill sergeants back in the day. [They would] tell me, ‘Go beat your face!’, and I knew that they meant [do] push ups, but the joke was [that they meant hitting yourself repeatedly on the face]. So, it was funny, you know?”
What was your favorite routine from your classmates?
“I can't remember any specific jokes, however, I do remember...this one preacher comedian [a Comedy Bootcamp alumnus] was saying, before anybody even knew that he was a preacher, [that] his job got the best benefits: good benefits package, and all. And then, he comes out and says he's a preacher, and that was hilarious!”
What suggestions do you have for ASAP moving forward?
“I can't really see anything that they need to do differently [with] the Comedy Bootcamp. The instructor, Tim from the Funny Bone, knows his business. I mean, he really knows his business and he teaches a good class! He teaches us how to do taglines and all that kind of stuff. It's just my job to come up with jokes every week; that's [the] challenge!”
How has it been working with the ASAP volunteers?
“Oh, they are fantastic! They are fantastic. I don't know the guy’s name, but...every time I pull up in the parking space, he is the first one to greet [me] every Saturday and tell [us] where to go. He is a real nice guy! Then, when you come outside, there are some ladies in the hallway directing you where to go, [too]. I'm like, ‘This is better than the airport!’”
Is there anything else you want to add?
“ASAP, y'all rock! I’ll tell you, especially, I just want to thank Major Kuppinger for even suggesting that I be in the program because he knew I had PTSD, and he thought that [ASAP] would help me. I would like to thank Ryan [Goss] and Sam Pressler. Those are two fantastic guys. If you look at them, [you’ll] think, "Man, they are [like] the next Facebook [creating] guys--the next people that are going to invent something fantastic, you know? Thank you ASAP!”