Monday, April 25, 2011

Make Your Bully Story into a Short Film

By aeisenbe

As this website is titled “Bullying Stories” and shares people’s personal stories, I wanted to share an opportunity you have to have an A-list Actress direct a short story based on your bullying story. You can submit a story to them at their website at They are looking for a unique story perspective and will have it turned into a short film. It sounds like a great opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one.

The details as they describe it are:

“Tell us when you felt PRETTY POWERFUL by standing up to a bully and taking matters into your own hands. What was your moment?”

If you wish to submit a story for them to consider, got to and enter it on their form. Who knows, maybe one of the stories on this site will be seen on the big screen in the future.

An Afternoon that Made Laughter Count for Friends In Deed

Once upon a time a group of smart, talented, funny, kinda' crazy and good souled people got together to form Make Laughter Count. While our primary goal is to integrate musical and comedic talent into programs to stop bullying, our secondary goal is to coordinate fundraising events for organizations whose population has experienced bullying, and where laughter is part of the program.

Recently, we had our first run at coordinating an event for Friends in Deed. They are brilliant and their work has had such a profound impact on the lives of many. Not unlike how the correct formula for concrete is worthwhile to cement in your mind, it is worthwhile to note Friends in Deed’s vision, mission and values:

VISION: Friends In Deed’s vision is a world where no one with a life-threatening illness is frightened and alone... where those overwhelmed by illness, caregiving and grief find support... and where death is not viewed as a failure but as a natural part of the cycle of life.

MISSION: To provide pragmatic emotional and spiritual support for all those affected by life threatening illness, caregiving and grief.

VALUES: Walking the Talk, Authenticity, Integrity, and Accountability.

When I first read their vision, mission and values, and visited their NYC office off hours, I felt a sense of peace. It’s almost like a Zen, spiritual spa. Upon meeting Robert McNamara and Michael Cohen of Friends in Dead I had this sense that they really do live their organization’s vision, mission and values. They too have a Zen Master quality about them. As I got to know them I felt like the Universe is fully aligned with them and the work that they do.

Little did I know that laughter is a big part of the Friends in Deed culture – so it isn’t just about grieving, 'peacing' out, Zen, somber stuff! I asked Robert if laughter is part of the culture of Friends in Deed. When the question was posed, his whole body language changed into this kind of bouncy bundle of joy wrapped in the body of a managing director. He shared that often group sessions at 594 Broadway sound more like a comedy club and people outside their office have trouble reconciling the laughter with the subject matter. Make Laughter Count and Friends in Deed share, among other things, the belief in the healing power of laughter.

We decided to coordinate an Afternoon of Outrageous Laughter at the Gotham Comedy Club to raise funds for them. On Palm Sunday. Oops.

This was the first time our group of smart, talented, funny, kinda’ crazy and good souled people got together to do an event. We came across a few hurdles, and like someone with contact lens problems, we eventually found a solution. At the end of the day, we had a great crowd, made some great new friends and look forward to planning a bigger and better event for benefit of Friends in Deed again.

And…while by no means am I a “comic”, I can deliver a joke and tell a bad pun. The day before the event, we noodled through what we could do to entertain the crowd before the show, and if possible squeeze and extra dollar or two out of our guests. The solution? Yours truly hung a sign around my neck that said: “Knock Knock Jokes and Bad Puns: $1 each”. I worked the room for 20 minutes and made $60 to add to the benefit. Not too bad.

So, since most who read this were likely not there:
Knock Knock.

Who is there?


Hannah who?

Hannah-over some money to Friends in Deed and Make Laughter Count!

-Robert Strand

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Article from
April 13th, 2011 1:16 pm ET
By Marcello Rollando

Funny ladies TICHINA ARNOLD and JESSICA KIRSON have hooked up to give a serious punch in the face to bullying and once again the hauntingly beautiful voices of AHMIR harmonize in moving video that touches our souls and moves us through tears to action. Like their “IMAGINE” for Tucson healing, AHMIR TV's production of the PERFECT song by PINK, transports us simultaneously to that triangle of Past school days, Present demonstrations against foreign and domestic bullies and Future dominated by the greed of behemoth corporations intent upon bullying world populations into submission to their “New World Order.”

Wherever it appears and however it manifests: wife beaters, cyber stalkers, child molesters or office sexual harassment – all are a sign of weak characters hiding their inadequacy behind a power pretence, imposing intimidation, belittlement, and cruelty on others. That’s what bullying is, the willful suspension of The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, with all too tragic consequences, as with Laura Smalley who lost her son Ty Field after two years of school bullying.

Perhaps a Boston Massachusetts student Cindy Nguyen’s simple insight is best, “I am against bullying because I believe that people should treat others the way they want to be treated. Bullying needs to stop. After all, what good comes out of bullying anyways?” “… little child will lead them.”

Even the President of the United States was bullied and in many ways, still is. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have launched the StopBullying.Gov website with its worthy anti-bullying mission. However, like the President, all of us need help to stop bullying at all levels and in all its incarnations. Even the presidential StopBullying.Gov website needs help to elevate the defeat bullying cause, to victory. To begin with, it needs your support, your visits, your online comments and your demands that it be updated weekly, not only with much-needed current educational information, but with eye-catching web savvy pizzazz that both Excites all ages, especially Middle School through college, and Ignites all to observe, recognize and respond helpfully to any and all bullying in their life, family, neighborhood, world.

However, First Family intervention cannot dissolve bullying alone. This is a world-wide issue for all of humankind, touching all communities, neighbors, friends, families and households. The village bully is someone you know, or maybe even you, and both Bully victim and Bully need emotional, psychological and therapeutic help.

Where to start? As I’ve said, “Always listen to the Children,” but listen with your eyes, mind, and heart as well, to kids like Dalton Letorney and others featured in AHMIR’s PERFECT Video, "I was a victim of bullying last year and understand how hurtful and painful it can be to be made fun of everyday. I never did anything wrong and thought it was my fault, but now, I know better. I don't want kids to feel that they have to be perfect in order to be accepted. I want kids to be themselves and to respect each other's differences. This is why I feel that we all need to take a stand against and stop bullying!"

Listen to TICHINA ARNOLD and JESSICA KIRSON. Listen to PINK’s PERFECT Song as sung by AHMIR.
Listen to your teenagers and those with whom they communicate online, from what used to be the safety of their bedrooms. Listen: Bullying is a self-perpetuating phenomenon as student Winnie Huang warns, “Bullying hurts everyone, and ruins people's self-esteem. Victims end up venting their angers on other people and it just becomes an endless cycle of hate.”

As all best new construction starts with strong foundation, while we’re aware globally, let’s act locally. Establish and maintain a physical presence in your local PTA & neighborhood community associations AND be an online contributor, demanding StopBullying.Gov never stops pursuing its Mission.

One easy way to help is to share the PERFECT AHMIR Video performance of PINK’s incredible song, with absolutely everyone you know, but follow-up with organizing and organizations for the safety of our children and all victims of bullies. AHMIR has chosen a new foundation called, Make Laughter Count to support. They are giving 20 % of the proceeds from the sale of Perfect on Itunes. Make Laughter Count is a non-profit organization that brings comedians and entertainers together to help stop bullying and raise funds for charities.

Stand with First Lady Michelle Obama, for this is not a partisan issue, “as parents it breaks our hearts to think that any child feels afraid every day in the classroom, or on the playground or online.” It’s also not just a schoolyard issue for in our high-tech society, bullying can now follow students 24/7 to their homes, even their bedrooms.

So always listen to the children, but don’t stop there. Educate yourself and others, so our country, workplaces, schools, neighborhoods and homes are safe for all, “Womb to Tomb."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


To quote Tichina Arnold, "oooh ooh ooooh"! We are grateful to the collective talent and voices involved in this video and its message - Pink for her song, Ahmir for their cover, Tichina Arnold and Jessica Kirson for their introduction, Hunter Lyon Films for their visualization, all of the youth in the video for their portrayal, youtube for their channel of distribution and Kathy Horn of RoadRunner Talent and Media for bringing attention to this Perfect work.

Ahmir's cover of the song for me is healing, inspiring and infectious - and knowing Tichina and Jessica - two funny women - making a "not funny" introduction speaks volumes. Perfect.

THANK YOU SHOUT OUT TO AHMIR! Ahmir has chosen to support our new foundation called, Make Laughter Count by giving 20 % of the proceeds from the sale of Perfect on Itunes to our new foundation. Make Laughter Count is a non-profit organization that brings comedians and entertainers together to help stop bullying and raise funds for charities. Make Laughter Count's for me because my first girlfriend Karen played a "bullying" prank and died at the hands of her own joke. And, I was bullied in my youth. Let Ahmir's cover get stuck in your head, and MAKE LAUGHTER COUNT!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fundraising Afternoon of Outrageous Laughter!

Call 212-367-9000 to book tickets to this outrageous afternoon of laughter for benefit of Friends In Deed


Sunday April 17 @ 1pm

Gotham Comedy Club
208 W. 23rd St., New York, NY
Tickets 212.367.9000
$30 Gen $50 VIP plus 2 drink min per person


Tonight Show, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, Logo

The Late Show, Comedy Central

Comedy Central, VH1, Oxygen

Logo, VH1

With your host:
The Howard Stern Show, Sirius XM

Tickets are already selling!!!
Go to

Proceeds to benefit FRIENDS IN DEED
in association with MAKE LAUGHTER COUNT