The Laugh Out Proud project took place this past May 14th-17th in the cites of Belgrade, Serbia, and Rijeka, Poreč and Zagreb, Croatia. The final show was held on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The founder of the event, stand-up comedian Marina Orsag, wanted to promote freedom, acceptance and diversity as antidotes to discrimination against the LGBT community. This reminds me of a great quote by John Lennon: “Happiness is a warm gun.” In this case, humor is an effective tool to bring to the attention of the public an important issue with a lighter spin.
With Horyou’s support, the Laugh Out Proud project was presented at the StandUp.rs, Center for Civil Initiatives Poreč and Studio Smijeha. The goal of the project was to educate people about the LGBT community through laughter in a good atmosphere. The question then was: How do we promote a message of compassion and tolerance through humor?
Orsag is the first female stand-up comedian in Croatia. As the host of the show, she invited two other comedians that are also part of the LGBT community. She opened the show by performing a series of sketches before introducing her two guests.
Her first collaborator, Lara King from England, is a specialist of sarcastic humor (winner of the Funny Women Final contest of the Leicester Square Theatre). After her authentic stand-up performance, King ended her set by playing guitar and singing a song that provoked guffaws from the crowd.
Orsag’s other partner in crime, Scott Capurro, is a comedian from California who has been in the scene since the ’90s. With a reputation of being upfront, Capurro didn’t disappoint and took the audience by surprise. The crowd was very diverse and enthusiastic about his message of universal love.
Orsag finalized the show by gathering her guests and greeting them. In addition, Sarah Lemaire (Horyou), who helped organize this event, brought the Horyou support and vibe to the forefront.
A beautiful demonstration of positive energy was captured by Tina Kadoic during the Zagreb show.
After the positive response from the public, Orsag organized simultaneous stand-up events in Čakovec, Varaždin, Zagreb, Karlovac and Rijeka (May 31st). Lara was also pleased with the results and energy gathered from this project. She decided to add one more show in London — in addition to the five events in Croatia.
The goal is to take this project abroad, at an international scale. Humor brings people together! It is contagious and also powerful. A sense of humor is the major defense against troubles. This is a great project with amazing people and a worthy cause.