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Judy Goes Back to College

After a week of American tragedy, people might wonder about the younger generation.  Are they really violent and disenfranchised?

No.

I just got back from teaching for a week at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, and working with these young students gave me hope. 

I had two responsibilities in the classes that I taught: to help students go from no act to a full standup act in preparation for a comedy showcase, and to assist graduating seniors in the drama department find their message.  I had 4 days.

They astonished me with their openness and willingness to reveal the dark messes of their lives, and turn those into a message and find the funny in it.  They revealed overcoming eating disorders, coming out to Bible Belt parents, and reaching out to alienated family members.

They got real, got personal, and came out of the class realizing what they stand for.  We talked at the end about how to use their message on job interviews, auditions, and speaking.  After all, when we get out of college, we all have limited credentials.  At that point in our life, the only thing we truly have is our message, and our value is in how we use that message to affect others.

I’ve found that as people get older, sometimes getting in touch with the past “messes” in our life is harder than pulling teeth.  Perhaps it’s because the more distant we get from those painful memories in our lives, the less comfortable it is to relive them.  Yet, this group of young students revealed all with utter authenticity, and the willingness to share and inspire others with their messages.

I can’t wait for the images of disturbed, violent youth to be replaced with young people like these who are truly willing to make a difference in other people’s lives.

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Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.