What is your job?
Stand- up comedian/ Funny For Fido - Charity Founder & President.
What social causes are most important to you?
Animal rescue and animal rights.
What charities do you support – and how?
In 2006 I combined my love for animals with my passion for stand-up comedy to create Funny For Fido “Comics Stand-Up For Homeless Animals”. Our stand-up comedy shows and events bring together the best comics in the country to raise funds for volunteer based animal rescue organizations. These organizations rescue abused and neglected animals off the streets, from abusive owners and from the city shelters euthanasia list. The animals are usually in bad shape when we first get them. Our volunteers care for them by fostering them in their own homes until they are rehabilitated both physically and emotionally and can be placed in their own loving homes or sanctuaries.
Why do you have a passion for this one in particular, is there a personal tie?
I have such a beautiful bond with my own rescued pets (3 pitbulls- Chiquita, Pacino, Shakes & 2 cats). Watching their transformation from the scarred, abused and malnourished animals they were to the beautiful, confident, family pets they are today is remarkable. They are just a few of so many animals that are discarded like trash every day. I wish I could save them all. My hope is that Funny For Fido continues to grow so that we can save thousands of abused and neglected animals across the country.
Is there a particular way you would want to encourage readers to be involved?
Yes, please join our mailing list on our website and friend us on Facebook to get updates about our events and spread the word about our organization. They can also donate to us online. All the money goes to the Funny For Fido Rescue Fund and pays for veterinary care, food, training and temporary and permanent housing. If people can’t give financially, or come to our shows, they can volunteer their time and talents. There are hundreds of rescue organizations across the country that need people willing to foster and volunteer with the rescued animals.
How would you define social responsibility?
Action. It’s not enough to watch issues on the news and say “Oh My God! That’s awful” –Click! “Lets see what else is on”. You have to get involved. Starting a non- profit organization wasn’t easy. I just couldn’t sit back and watch things happen in front of me and then wave it off, thinking -“Ehh, I’m sure someone else will handle that”. What I learned is that when you do good things, it inspires others to do good things to support you. Funny For Fido had no money and we got hundreds of thousands of dollars of work done pro bono in order to launch our charity. Everyone from event coordinators, producers and art directors to the comics donated their time. Generosity and love are contagious. “The world is perfect as it is, including my desire to change it”- Ram Das
Do you have any tattoos that relate to your social/charitable beliefs/work?
All my tattoos reflect the things in life and the ethical ideals I love and respect. I have the words “Respect for all of God’s creatures” written across my back.
I have a half sleeve of a charging elephant. I love elephants. They are some of the most incredible animals on the planet. Their family structure is so beautiful and similar to ours. I have a Buddha head surrounded by Tibetan flames on my inner bicep. The symbol on my shoulder combines my grandparent’s initials and forms a circle in the center. The one on my forearm combines my brother’s initials in an intertwining pattern. I’m not sure what I want to get next but I’m thinking about an early Egyptian cave drawing of “Man and dog”. We’ll see.
Quick list of tattoos/mention artists if you’d like:
Elephant/ half sleeve- By Zam
Buddha surrounded & Tibetan flames/ inner bicep- By Zam
“Respect for all of God’s creatures”/ upper back
Family symbol / Shoulder
Family symbol / Forearm … all by Zam