Every year, the owner of Laugh Factory, Jamie Masada, reaches out to underprivileged children in the community to join Comedy Camp. The camp provides a safe haven for at risk or underprivileged children and inspires them to transform negative energy into something positive. Masada and other famous comedians have been teaching children each summer to take frustrations, anger and hurt to the stage and use stand up comedy as a way to inspire confidence and hope, proving that laughter truly is the best medicine. All the aspiring young comedians are interviewed and evaluated based on their desire to perform stand up comedy. The program is free of charge for those chosen, and a graduation ceremony is held at the end of the 8 week camp where each child performs a six minute comedy set on stage in front of friends and family.
In June 2016, the Laugh Factory will hold tryouts for its 32 annual Comedy Camp. Tryouts are open to disadvantaged children from lower-income neighborhoods between nine and sixteen years of age.
Since 1984, the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp has helped over a thousand children in need build self-confidence by developing their humor and creativity through the healing power of laughter.
During the 8 week program, the campers will be coached by professional comedians. In previous years, instructors have included comics Richard Pryor, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock, Bob Saget, Paul Rodriguez, Dave Chappelle, Jon Lovitz, Damon Wayans, Adam Sandler, George Lopez, Chris Tucker, and Gabriel Iglesias to name a few. The mentoring and encouragement that kids receive at Comedy Camp instill them with the confidence required in public speaking and to achieve their dreams.
"Laughter heals and gives these kids the self-esteem to overcome obstacles that many of us don't have to face, and to accomplish whatever they set their hearts and minds to," says Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada. Several comedy camp kids have found success in their futures as a comedian, such as Nick Cannon, Amanda Bynes, and Tiffany Haddish. The Laugh Factory Comedy Camp was also featured in a PBS documentary, "Standup: A Summer at Comedy Camp," which was aired nationwide.