Throughout his early years of performing stand-up within the early 2010s, comic and author Richie Satori would typically expertise sorrow offstage extra so than laughter.
After battling habit to medicine on and off since his 20s, Satori — now in his 40s — was not sure how he would overcome his struggles, however he knew that humor would make the method doable.
“There was just one method that I used and that was type of exhausting, from the second I received off the bed to 2 to a few days later once I crashed,” mentioned Satori. “[When] I might be onstage, I might say one thing confessional about my drug use … and I might observe it up with a punchline and expertise the therapeutic worth of not being suffocated with secrecy.”
Richie Satori, host and founding father of Stand-Up 4 Restoration, poses in a sales space at The Atlanta Comedy Theater in Norcross, Georgia, on Jan. 19, 2024. (Matthew Pearson/WABE)
Now, after almost 10 years of sobriety — which Satori plans to have a good time in February — the entertainer is utilizing his struggles and highway to restoration to assist encourage these going by related experiences.
The result’s Stand-Up 4 Restoration, a cell comedy membership created for Georgia’s restoration group. Established in 2023, the group offers recovery-friendly stand-up occasions for a sober-friendly viewers.
The occasions embrace a month-to-month showcase, which highlights performers who’re additionally on their very own journeys to restoration from habit. An upcoming present might be held on Jan. 27 at The Atlanta Comedy Theater in Norcross, a frequent companion of Stand-Up 4 Restoration.
“Getting and staying sober is horrifying … [but] I may be proud of the individual I’m. I can like who I’m … I can simply be free.”
Taylor Neely, Comic
To encourage the sense of a sober-friendly setting, Satori plans to honor people celebrating sober anniversaries onstage with particular items. He additionally helped create a specialty mocktail menu as an alternative choice to alcoholic drinks.
“I believe it is a loopy time to be alive … all people has struggles and challenges,” mentioned Satori, who just lately obtained certification from Georgia Overdose Prevention to manage naloxone coaching. “I believe it’s doable that our tales can uplift different folks even when they haven’t been by the identical factor, however have doubtless skilled the identical feelings.”
Atlanta comedians Lea Bia and Liz Derr, in addition to particular visitor headliner, comic and author Ritch Shydner, will carry out at this month’s version of Stand-Up 4 Restoration.
Shydner, who’s a screenwriting professor on the College of North Carolina College of the Arts, has been within the leisure trade for over 30 years. He’s executed stand-up on “The Tonight Present Starring Johnny Carson”, “Late Night time with David Letterman” and HBO.
After years of abusing alcohol, cocaine and different substances throughout the starting of his profession within the early Nineteen Eighties, Shydner credit his fellow comic colleagues with inspiring him to get sober.
Comic Ritch Shydner performs at The Comedy Retailer on September 10, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Courtesy of Ritch Shydner)
With Saturday’s Stand-Up 4 Restoration present in Norcross, Shydner hopes to assist different comedians and viewers members who really feel helpless of their battles to beat habit.
“This type of group is gorgeous,” mentioned Shydner. “Once I was consuming, I used to be alone and remoted. [It helps recovery] when there are people who find themselves there saying, ‘I understand how you are feeling, I relate to you.’”
Comic and actor Taylor Neely is a frequent collaborator with Stand Up 4 Restoration and likewise hosts a podcast associated to his highway to restoration, “Sober Boyz.” (Courtesy of Taylor Neely)
Taylor Neely, a neighborhood comic and actor who carried out with Stand-Up 4 Restoration in two earlier showcases final yr, echoes Shydner’s sentiments on the group.
After a number of relapses associated to alcohol and substance abuse, Neely, who co-hosts a podcast collection devoted to his highway to restoration, is extra decided than ever earlier than to keep up his footing.
“Getting and staying sober is horrifying,” mentioned Neely. “[But] I’m past grateful and I can by no means categorical how grateful I’m the place I’ve been launched to a lifestyle the place I don’t must drink. I don’t must do medicine. I may be proud of the individual I’m. I can like who I’m … I can simply be free.”