00:00:02 My name is Joe, Joe H and I’m a laughter facilitator and coach. My job as a laughter facilitator involves getting people back in touch with the sense of laughter and fun and enjoyment in life that is inside all of us but sometimes gets a bit buried.
00:00:21 I actually loved school. In some ways I loved it too much and I was the guy who always ended up getting caught so I ended up being expelled from, I was expelled from Eaton at the age of 15 which was a very traumatic event for everybody else. At the time it didn’t really sort of sink in. For me there’s no doubt that changing schools was a profound moment and that led to lots of wonderful, exciting, new friendships.
00:00:52 Burning out after Cambridge was another very profound moment and it ended up with me sorting of hitting the rails big time and trying to take my own life three times and then sort there was a gradual sort of kind of recovery.
00:01:13 And in that recovery process, there were little moments like realising that you do not have to take, I didn’t have to take life quite so seriously.
00:01:27 In the career I was in I had to organise meetings and I was dreading this because one thing I didn’t want to do was to have to organise these particular sort of types of meetings. It was the first time I’d ever done anything like that and there were representatives from many sort of different sectors within the forest industry which was the industry I was working in then and the day came and the meeting started and I found I loved it.
00:01:55 The whole thing about sort of facilitating the flow of information and questions and answers, you know, the energy of the group was absolutely exhilarating.
00:02:08 It was one of these ones that just came bang just right out of the blue and from that moment on I knew, I knew that my life was going to be involved with working with groups in some way. Then I had another moment and I was at a Mind, Body, Spirit Festival, this is the early 90s and I heard this amazing sound coming from the free stage area.
00:02:30 And it was Chris James who’d just got a voice group going and I just, I can feel the goose bumps again and I just sort of stopped what I was doing and I thought I’ve got to go and be part of that. So I signed up for the workshop, I bought the tape and then just started the whole sort of free or natural voice process. And on the back of the voice work I then started teaching other people how to free their natural voices. I noted there was lots of laughter in the sessions, you see, and so from that point it was then just a small step to realising that the voice bit was great but actually the laughter bit, that was the bit that was really, that was what was on the button for me.
00:03:10 When I look back at it now I think one of the things I’m struck by is the way that sometimes life’s messages come when you really aren’t expecting it and it might end up being something, you know, completely contrary to what you know. Like, I knew I didn’t want to have anything to do with groups and being confronted with large numbers of people.
00:03:34 When I was sort of propelled into having to do that, you know, I found I loved but I would never, ever have chosen to do that, you see. It doesn’t matter what other people say or what you might have read or heard or this, that or the other. When you’ve had that experience yourself, you know, you know and no-one can ever take that away from you. ENDS