Humorist Lisa David Olson helps RAH find the fun in everyday moments
"Humor saved my life."
Lisa David Olson opened her presentation at the August 24 RAH meeting with that poignant line. She described a childhood spent with an alcoholic mother and how she overcame those challenges using laughter. Now a published author and cast member of the sketch comedy group "Heart of La Crosse," Olson said there are a number of ways we can all find more ways to have fun, which is at the heart of RI President Mark Daniel Maloney's mission for this Rotary year.
It starts with creativity. For example, Olson suggested something as simple as bringing crayons or Play-Doh to our regular meetings can help members get creative juices flowing and connect with others. Making videos, she said, can also be a great way to boost engagement when it comes to fundraising.
Olson said many of her own ideas come from taking the wackiest, most outrageous things she can think of and paring them down to make them work in reality. She said a good way to do this is play a brainstorming game of how to get fired from work. While you wouldn't likely actually put any of the initial ideas from that exercise into practice, you might find a useful spark from the watered-down versions of those initial thoughts.
Finding the fun comes also comes from active listening. Olson said it starts by actually listening to what someone else is saying, not just "waiting to talk." An easy way to do that, she said, is to get excited for what excites that person. For example, you might not like deer hunting, but when talking to a hunter, recognize the joy it brings and find ways to share in the tone set by the conversation.
Olson's book is called Laughs on Wry: An Improviser's Memoir. It's currently available on Amazon.