Laugh Till Belly Burst cast draws dividing line

POSTED: 06/29/12 12:57 PM
Front row, l-r Trinidad, Yashere, Kennedy, Da Phox, back row l-r Duporte, Arrundell, Beauperthuy and Ferland.

St. Maarten – The fact that even entertainment has its parameters became explicitly clear during the press conference for this year’s Laugh Til Belly Burst, which was held yesterday at the Port De Plaisance when Gina Yashere pointed out that they were comedians and not clowns. The two day comedy fest of guaranteed laughter begins this evening under the tent at the Port De Plaisance where fans will be able to see Willard Harris (Lord Relator) from Trinidad & Tobago, Susan Kennedy and Marc Trinidad, also from the twin island Republic, Yashere, a Londoner with Nigerian roots, our own Ricky Da Phox, King Beau Beau and Dutty Sham up close. And on the last night, the comedians will take center stage at the Belair Community Center.
These shows are intended for a more mature audience and despite that fact that Kennedy, Lord Relator and Trinidad originate from the same cultural background, they all have their own styles. Kennedy is based in the United States of America, but Trinidad and Lord Relator are just keeping it real in the Caribbean.
“I have been doing this for 15 years, so I know what I am doing,” Trinidad said.
“I don’t believe that there is anything we can’t make funny, whether it’s trivial or traumatic stuff,” he added.
Trinidad could not refrain from pointing out that although he may look like ‘Mickey Mouse’ he is not a clown and those remarks drew laughter from the gathering.
Yashere, who now resides in Los Angeles, has been on the entertainment scene for the past 17 years. She described herself as hilarious, even though she is a qualified engineer in the serious field of building and repairing elevators. According to Yashere, her parents were not very supportive of her career choice initially.
“I left that to do comedy but I got on television quite quickly and then my mother’s whole attitude changed. She got onto the television too,” she said.
Yashere, who travelled as far as Singapore, Thailand, South Africa, India, Dubai and Malaysia said that she likes an audience that has a good sense of humor. Yashere was instrumental in demonstrating how versatile she was when it was Kennedy’s turn to respond to questions from the media, it was like Gina Yashere live.
Kennedy, a former actress who made the transition to comedy 12 years ago, said that she was raised by her father. He was of the opinion that only certain people were comedians. It was not until she migrated to the USA that she was able to get seriously involved in comedy. Kennedy, who owns a theatre company, only caters specifically for a Caribbean audience.
“It’s not that I am biased or anything. It’s just that I want to enlighten and entertain the Caribbean audiences who are away from home,” she said.
For Ricky Da Phox, who is known in local entertainment circles for his notorious acts, it will be the first time he will be sharing the spotlight with experienced comedians as a standup comedian. “Hopefully at the end of the show, I will learn a few things and add that to what I already know. But people here know I am a funny guy,” Da Phox pointed out.
The comedians unanimously agreed that laughter is something that is necessary and it’s only through shows like Laugh Till belly Burst and assistance from sponsors that the event would be a success. Speaking on behalf of UTS, one of the proud sponsors of the comedy fest, Michanou Arrundell said as a small island in the Caribbean, the people are very serious and they too need some time to laugh.
“This is not the first time we are involved with Laugh Till belly Burst, It’s a great outlet to be with friends and we want to contribute to bring laughter to the community,” she said.
The Windward Island Bank, who has also been supportive to the show since from the inception, was also represented at the press conference.
“With all the stress in the community, from the traffic jams to the economy and stress at work, we do need to make those cheekbones move and laugh. It’s good for the body mind and soul,” Ferdinand Beauperthuy said.
Pierre Ferland, head at Pineapple Pete and ESPN Café was also happy to support the comedy fest.
“Whenever we do sponsor an event, it’s for the exposure, but in this case, it’s not for the exposure. It’s to make sure that this event keeps going on because it’s well needed,” Ferland said.
Micheilla Duporte, Sales & Marketing Assistant/Office Manager at Caribbean Liquors & Tobacco, said that the company has also been supportive of the event from the start and they were happy to be involved.

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