Photo by Kaitlin Bitz
David Grissom and Kris Genschmer perform on a Tuesday night at The Rare Martini. The troupe also teaches classes at Children’s Dance Foundation in Homewood.
Comedy acts and charity go together for David Grissom and Kris Genschmer. The two are business partners in Positively Funny Inc., a company that uses sidesplitting improv comedy to raise money for their anti-bullying initiative, known as Bullying Is Not Funny.
The best part? All of their comedy is clean and family-appropriate.
“Everything we do is for the purpose of helping young people,” Grissom said. “In order to help young people, you need to be able to allow them in your audience.”
Positively Funny started in July 2010 when the duo began performing around town and offering classes at Children’s Dance Foundation in Homewood. The seven level classes take place over an eight-week period and teach everything from SNL-style sketch writing to musical improv. Grissom and Genschmer have now graduated more than 70 students from their classes.
“A lot of people take our level one course not wanting to progress to public performance,” Genschmer said. “Sometimes they just take it jumpstart creativity, handle conflict at work or to be a better public speaker. My wife took our level one and uses it everyday as a school teacher.”
Positively Funny also offers workshops for students where Grissom and Genschmer use their improv talents to teach children about bullying and its negative consequences.
“Our tagline is, ‘comedy with a purpose.’ We just try to use our talents to bring positive change to our young people,” Grissom said. “The anti- bullying workshops are improv-based. The principles of improv reinforce anti-bullying because improv is all about acceptance and agreement.”
The organization also offers corporate services to companies looking to improve their staff’s teambuilding, group dynamics, leadership skills and more.
For adults and youth looking to enjoy the comedy show, Positively Funny performs every Tuesday night at The Rare Martini at 7 p.m. They also book private holiday shows.
Grissom and Genschmer hope to continue spreading their anti-bullying message as well as performing for Birmingham residents.
“There’s no bigger honor than making people laugh,” Grissom said. FormoreinformationaboutPositivelyFunnyInc.’s classes, anti-bullying initiative, corporate services or private bookings, visit positivelyfunnyinc.com.