By Neil Kavanaugh
A charity event was held last Saturday by the Armed Services Arts Partnership at the Torpedo Factory Art Center to raise money for the veterans. The show involved a series of up-and-coming comedians doing five to seven minute bits about their lives in the military. The comedians that performed all had varying military backgrounds, and they chose to participate in the show to help spread awareness for their cause. The show started at 7:30 p.m. and lasted about two hours.
Each of the comedians shared different aspects of their life in and out of service. They discussed playful pranks they would play on each other in the unit, and others talked about the oddity of adjusting to civilian life. The comedians were a big hit with the veterans present, who were able to strongly relate to the entertainers’ routines. This particular comedy and storytelling show happens about three times a year at the Torpedo Factory Arts Center; additionally, ASAP also hosts thirty shows across the D.C. area throughout the year.
ASAP was started five years ago by Presser, who was researching veterans’ issues and felt compelled to help them in the only way he knew how: Comedy.
“Our organization is a nonprofit, and our mission is to help integrate military families into their communities through the arts”, said Sam Presser. “We form partnerships with a series of organizations in the community to perform our shows, and one of our partnerships is with the Torpedo Factory Arts Center. The purpose of these shows is to give a platform for these veterans and their families to continue to engage in the arts and invite people to get inspired by the arts and broaden people’s understanding of the military experience”.
“I started as the director of the veterans business outreach center about the same time Sam [Presser] was starting ASAP”, said Charles McCaffrey, a volunteer and performer.
“We became friends and through the classes I would teach I recommended my students to take an ASAP class to help them work on public relations and public speaking.They have so many great things going on. I am very happy with the results of these shows, so many people that I know have come back and said ‘these are life changing programs’”. The Armed Services Arts Partnership is a non-profit organization that is heavily involved in the District of Columbia, and they are always looking for more volunteers. If you would like to get involved or simply make a donation, you can find them here: http://www.asapasap.org