Stand up comic, comedy club owner and long-time friend Vinnie Brand stops by to discuss his early days doing stand up and so much more.
Vinnie has a unique technique in that he doesn’t write anything down – not a premise to a joke nor a structure to a story nor a blueprint to a routine – before hitting the stage. It helps him feel and stay “in the moment”.
So, how does this translate into real life?
It’s been said that God can only be experienced “in the moment”. Consider a young child – they are never upset about yesterday’s bottle, nor are they concerned about what they’re going to wear tomorrow. They are perpetually, “in the moment”. That’s so tough for us adults.
For Vinnie, he says that so long as he is better today than he was yesterday, he’s on the right track. And typically, it’s not difficult at all to do better than whatever happened yesterday… especially compared to the yesterdays of his 20’s.
Today, however, one of Vinnie’s great joys is leading his kids in prayer. He makes prayer time fun – because God is fun! They pray for non-selfish things (friends or family who may be sick, global issues, etc.) as well as selfish things (to be a better person, do well on a test, etc.), all the while keeping prayers filled with fun and laughter.
Some might say this approach to prayer runs against Vinnie’s Catholic upbringing and convictions, but from liturgy and ritual to praise and prayer, Vinnie keeps his relationship with God on a level filled with laughter.
Now, as a practicing Catholic, Vinnie’s views on the Pope are interesting. Knowing that Pope Francis will probably offend some of the older faithful around the world, Vinnie feels that he is working to reinvigorate the institution of the Catholic Church at large.
All that to say that, even as a Catholic, most of Vinnie’s encounters with God have less to do with Pope Francis as they are personal and intimate.
It’s this personal nature of his relationship with God that makes defending his faith incredibly simple – even in the face of Atheism.
Vinnie feels that he has an obligation to make the world a little better everyday. Sometimes that happens by simply not overreacting when someone cuts him off on the freeway, sometimes it’s through positively influencing the kids on the soccer team he coaches, and of course, there’s his calling on stage.
It’s very important to Vinnie that whenever anyone sees his show, they walk away feeling great! Sometimes that want to laugh, sometimes they need to laugh. Either way, Vinnie’s goal is always to positively impact peoples’ lives.