Shore Winds Christmas party – New York

Comedy for Christmas Cause

CWC teamed up with Knights of Columbus Council 178 to put together a show and a special gift giving Christmas party for the residents of Shore Winds Center in New York. It was a wonderful afternoon of cheer & gratitude. Loneliness was nowhere to be found in the room as spirits were raised and stress relieved.

Following the party, a woman approached our team and said “I have been in a wheel chair for 8 months and today I danced! Its a miracle… because of you I danced!” We are still emotional from the love in her eyes…. that was by far the greatest compliment and Christmas gift one could ever get.

Thank you to Alex Liccione, Tony Liccione. Mish’al Eskander and Knights of Columbus Council 178 for your time, energy, passion and LOVE! Happy Holidays to all!

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CWC in Gulf News

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The Clowns Who Care Project

The “Clowns Who Care” Project is a volunteer initiative whose sole purpose is to bring joy, love, light, awareness and support to centers for children and adults with special needs, senior centers, charity organisations and hospitals.

 How it started

Back in 2002 I was awarded a scholarship to attend the Clown Conservatory of San Francisco and as part of the certified program we studied clown therapy and produced a full clowning in community tour of centers for children and adults with special needs, hospitals and senior homes. I immediately knew that I wanted to continue this type of work no matter where my life took me.

Then one day, while in New York, I went to visit my great Aunt Joan at the senior center she was residing in and was so deeply saddened by the loneliness I saw and felt in most of the residents that I wanted to help cheer them up, bring love and light to them for the holidays.

I went home and started working on a character geared towards seniors with new songs, jokes, choreography and comedy segments that they would appreciate. That one show turned into a tour of almost 20 Senior Centers in New York State. It was the most meaningful time of my life.

Upon moving to Dubai I knew I wanted to continue this work.

I launched Dubomedy Arts on April 1, 2008 and quickly partnered with the man who would become my husband, Ali Al Sayed.

Once the comedy school and local creative platform started running I told him about the clowning in community outreach I had done previously and he agreed that we should continue it in the UAE. We called it The Clowns Who Care Project.

As there aren’t many senior centers here we began to focus more on children and young adults, especially those with special needs.

Over the past five years we have visited, performed and lead workshops at Senses Residential and Day Care for Special Needs, the Dubai Autism Center, the Al Noor Center, Mawaheb for Beautiful People Palestine Children’s Relief Fund Events, Special Families Support’ Group events and the Abu Dhabi Hospital.

We also provide free professional entertainment, produce events in support of and help create awareness for numerous charities, including our first annual Funny Girls Go Pink, all female stand-up comedy show, in support of breast cancer awareness, which was held on October 29, 2012.

We have a number of upcoming events and visits lined up including a trip to Uganda at the beginning of April, where we will perform and lead workshops for the children residing in the Live It Up! Orphanage for rescued children. Our intention is to not only perform and celebrate their anniversary, but also to train them as well as their teachers and leave circus equipment and comedy lesson plans so that they can continue the work we started.

 What they do

People often ask me what happens during one of our visits to a center.

Our visits consist of a performance, a group activity and individual attention. The performance allows the residents to laugh, de-stress and feel comfortable around us.

Following the performance is a physical group activity, such as a dance, music or a workshop where we teach things like comedy or circus skills.

This portion is crucial because it acts as physical exercise, which increases circulation and decreases tension. Sweating also release toxins as the brain releases endorphins, which fight depression. Also, learning a new skill boosts confidence.

The last stage of the visit is one-on-one interaction. This is important in helping with their social skills.

We ask each of them to tell us a story or teach us a joke or skill they have. Being able to teach another person increases their self-esteem and they in-turn realise they have something to teach and offer others.

We believe in tiny miracles and that simply listening and playing without judgment is crucial.

 Getting involved

To find out more about the Clowns Who Care Project and how you can get involved visit their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/clownswhocare#!/clownswhocare/info or contact the Dubomedy group via Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dubomedypage, Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dubomedy or email them at LOL@vivadubai.com

Dubai’s Comedy Community supports Palestine Children’s Relief Fund

BREAKING NEWS! – Dubai’s comedy community comes together to support Palestine Children’s Relief Fund UAE during this much needed time of help!

On Sunday, Nov 25 the incredible Dean Obeidallah (as seen on CNN, The Late Show, Axis of Evil Tour) will perform as part of DIFC Comedy Nights at The Gramercy. The show will be hosted and produced by our friend, colleague and long time supporter; Jamil Abu-wardeh. 10% of ticket sales will go to PCRF.

The following night, Mon, Nov 26, will be a PCRF Comedy Benefit Show as part of Dubomedy’s Monday Night Funnies at Blends, The Address Dubai Marina. The show will feature a blend of stand-up, improv, sketch comedy, JaMina Beats and a special presentation by PCRF. Entrance is by donation. All donations will go directly to PCRF to help those in need in Palestine. Performers include Omar Ismail, Jamal Iqbal, Ellen Gayle-Harewood, Alex Liccione and the “UAE’s King & Queen of Comedy” Ali Al Sayed and Mina Liccione.

To learn more about PCRF please visit: www.pcrf.net

Dean Obeidallah performs at The Gramercy Sun, Nov 25

PCRF Comedy Benefit Show at Blends. The Address Dubai Marina

Turning a sad day into a beautiful day- Playshop at Mawaheb

We all have certain days of the year that remind us of sad things that happened in our lives. Whether it be painful memories of a tragic incident or happy memories spent with a loved one who has passed away. We had wanted to visit Mawaheb studio the first week that they were back to school and we always go on a Tuesday. Upon looking at the calendar we realized that Tuesday was 9/11. 9/11 is indeed a day of remembrance and for some of us a very sad and reflective day. There’s an old saying “the best way to cheer oneself is to cheer another” and that is just what we did. As always, it proved to be a wonderful day of laughter and gratitude. So on those sad days, we encourage you to take a moment to reflect then take the next moment to help someone else. Take your pain and transform it into something joyous….. the rewards are greater than you can ever imagine.

Mawaheb from Beautiful People is an art school for teen and adult artists with special needs. The staff, teachers and students are extremely talented and passionate. Their art is from the heart. If you’d like to check out their studio, purchase art work or learn more about them click here: http://www.facebook.com/Mawahebart

Comedy acting class – the students watch each other present their funny solos

We worked on balancing skills. Here we were teaching the students the flick kick and catch trick.

Time to juggle!

Class clowns 🙂

EID Party & Farewell to Johnny at SENSES Center for Children with Special Needs

On Thursday, August 30 we headed over to SENSES Center for Children with special needs to join in the EID party fun. Johnny Miller had organized another wonderful party for the children that included music, dancing, treats and of course, laughter! The party also acted as a farewell to Johnny as he is heading off on his Magical Musical Tour where he will be visiting centers for children with special needs around the globe! Now that’s what we call using your art to help heal the world! We wish Johnny all the very best on his new adventure and look forward to seeing him as he passes through Dubai. For more information about Johnny’s Magical Musical Tour and how you can support his mission please click on the link:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Johnnys-Magical-Musical-Tour/136766783093923

Some photos from Eid Party & Farewell to Johnny – Thursday, August 30 at SENSES

The entertainers jam! Few is Much duo on guitar, Johnny on harmonica & Mina on taps!

Dance party! Alex and the girls get their boogie on!

SENSES gave Johnny a special gift!

Hey Mister Tambourine Man!

Thank you so much SENSES & Johnny for the beautiful gift & lovely words!

The music man and one of his biggest fans!

Want to join CWC?

Would you like to become a CWC volunteer? We are starting a new mailing list that will update volunteers on upcoming monthly CWC events, free training days, hospital and center visits. If you would like to get involved please send us an email to LOL@vivadubai.com with the subject “Clowns Who Care”. Please do let us know if you have a special talent that you would like to share. Some examples include: singing, music, dancing, circus, story telling, art project guide, baking cup cakes, children’s script writing, photography, organizing rides for volunteers and/or guests…..the list is endless! You can also join us on our Facebook page for daily inspirational posts and to stay in the clown loop. Our page can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/clownswhocare

Welcome aboard! It doesn’t take much to make a difference 🙂

CWC visit Palestine Children’s Relief Fund

CWC visit Mawaheb for Beautiful People

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We LOVE going to visit Mawaheb for Beautiful People! Before summer break we passed by for another workshop. This time around we held a Comedy Improv & Circus Arts workshop. Loads of laughs! We are looking forward to our next workshop in September! Many thanks to Alex, Abel, Andre and Mina for volunteering their time and positive energy!

CWC visit Mawaheb