BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Comedian Carla Collins, Host of SHELTER AT 'OM: Comedic Meditation Benefiting the Whitefire Theatre

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BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Comedian Carla Collins, Host of SHELTER AT 'OM: Comedic Meditation Benefiting the Whitefire TheatreWith the current theatre world on hiatus, I have created a Spotlight Series on Broadway World which features interviews with some of the many talented artists who make our Los Angeles theatre community so exciting and vibrant thanks to their ongoing contribution to keeping the Arts alive in the City of the Angels. And just like all of us, I wondered how they are dealing with the abrupt end of productions in which they were involved.

This Spotlight focuses on award-winning comedian, actress, television, radio host and bestselling author Carla Collins, who is on a mission to help everyone laugh and relax at a time when we so desperately need it. Join her on Wednesday, June 24 at 6pm PST/9pm EST, Carla will be hosting the World Premiere of SHELTER AT 'OM: Comedic Meditation, a unique 30-minute experience of hilarious stand-up comedy to fire up your endorphins followed by a relaxing, authentic guided meditation. Her premiere event will be live-streamed around the world from Los Angeles' popular Whitefire Theatre, and 50% of the proceeds will go toward supporting the 40-year-old venue, which has suffered heavily during the pandemic. Tickets and more information at whitefiretheatre.com.

Shari Barrett (Shari): What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background which led to the creation of your SHELTER AT 'OM: Comedic Meditation benefitting the Whitefire Theatre?

BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Comedian Carla Collins, Host of SHELTER AT 'OM: Comedic Meditation Benefiting the Whitefire TheatreCarla Collins (Carla): I did quite a bit of theatre in high school and university before working in radio and television for most of my career. I returned to theatre, most notably the Whitefire in Sherman Oaks, to take part in a few Hollywood Shorts in the play Murder, Anyone? and various solo shows. I have also performed at Malibu Playhouse and the Arc Theatre in NoHo. I now work mostly as a standup comedian and am the creator of Comedic Meditation which combines a standup comedy show followed by an authentic, relaxing guided meditation. The idea is to release endorphins with the comedy allowing everyone to burn off some steam and energy so they can relax into a deeper state of calm during the meditation. Both laughter and meditation produce a gamma brainwave so it's not really an odd marriage and people are loving it.

(Shari): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out it needed to immediately be either postponed or cancelled?

(Carla): A lifelong dream of mine was about to be fulfilled as iconic comedy legend David Steinberg was poised to produce my first US comedy special, which has of course now been postponed to when more than a few people can gather. I was also scheduled to perform at the Rose Theatre in Ontario, Canada along with taping another comedy CD at the Arc Theater. I was also at the beginning of a Canadian tour of Comedic Meditation in various theaters, wellness centers, yoga studios and other venues across Canada. All have been postponed.

(Shari): How were those shutdowns communicated with the cast and production team?

(Carla): Comedy clubs let us know in March they were closing for the shutdown and the rest of the venues and organizers simply alerted me as I am a cast of one!

(Shari): Are plans in place to present all of those shows at a future date?

(Carla): Fingers crossed all shows will continue once the plague has passed and we get the all-clear to gather, but that may not be until next year. I also have no idea when I'll be able to tour in other countries.

(Shari): What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown?

BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Comedian Carla Collins, Host of SHELTER AT 'OM: Comedic Meditation Benefiting the Whitefire Theatre(Carla): As you know, the entire industry has been shut down with the exception of voiceover work. I continue to audition from home for commercials and cartoons, but everything is pretty slow and quiet still.

(Shari): It seems the entire theatre world has moved online now. So how are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?

(Carla): Since the beginning of the shutdown, I have performed one-hour "Quarantine Queen" comedy shows on Facebook live every week. I have also taken part in several Zoom comedy shows and pivoted with my Comedic Meditation to offer one-on-one private sessions online or on Zoom. I'm very excited that the Whitefire Theatre is able to live-stream the world premiere of Comedic Meditation with my show Shelter at Om this Wednesday, June 24th at 6pm PST.

BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Comedian Carla Collins, Host of SHELTER AT 'OM: Comedic Meditation Benefiting the Whitefire TheatreI think Comedic Meditation may be uniquely positioned for live-streaming as after doing 30 or 40 minutes of standup comedy (granted with only tech members in the actual theatre!), I then take the viewers through an original, soothing guided meditation from the safety and comfort of their own homes. Many times during a live Comedic Meditation, people who attended said they wished they could just roll over and go to sleep at the end of a session. With live-streaming now they can! Plus 50% of the proceeds from Shelter at Om are going toward the fabulous Whitefire Theatre.

(Shari): What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the L.A. Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage soon?

(Carla): So much has changed during this unprecedented time; yet everyone turned to the arts for relief, escapism and to stay sane. BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Comedian Carla Collins, Host of SHELTER AT 'OM: Comedic Meditation Benefiting the Whitefire TheatreI encourage everyone to support their local theatres and local small family-run businesses. The giant corporations will be just fine post-pandemic but we all need to rally to keep our wonderful arts communities and businesses alive. I would also urge everyone to support all of our online and social media shows. This isn't ideal for any of us, but it is a way for all performers to continue doing what we love and entertaining or making people laugh from a safe distance.

Please join me on Wednesday, June 24 at 6pm PST/9pm EST when I host the World Premiere of SHELTER AT 'OM: Comedic Meditation. Tickets are $10.75 ($9.99 with a $.76 service fee), available at whitefiretheatre.com.

If you would like more information about Comedic Meditation or for cheap as chips tickets to the Whitefire Livestream of Shelter at Om on Wednesday, June 24th at 6pm PST please visit http://www.comedicmeditation.com


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