Recently, Kenn Kington, the current President of the Christian Comedy Association talked with Church Stars about the CCA as well as the annual conference that was held in Atlanta, GA this summer.
CS: Who is the creative mind behind the Christian Comedy Association and how long has it been in existence ?
KK: Mike Williams and Justin Fennel (comics had the idea to try and gather anyone who was doing Comedy as a Christian. I think it was mid ‘90s when Chonda Pierce invited anyone who was doing this, to her cabin outside of Nashville for a meeting. There were about 25 that showed up; about half were performing Comedy on a regular/full time basis.
CS: How many members do you have?
KK: Approximately 200 hundred
CS: Is there a fee to join?
KK: Just the Conference fee and it's under $200.
CS: What is the criteria for becoming a member of this organization?
KK: Be a Christian that loves and or performs comedy
CS: Do you ever encounter individuals who may think (after joining) that your approach to comedy hinders their ability to be funny i.e., curse words, attacking groups of people, etc.?
KK: Some show up and realize we are a community of believers with a unique gift and the #1 focus is fellowship and encouragement. The writing portion is a bonus. Yes, a few who come with ulterior motives find it difficult and usually don’t come back.
CS: You recently held your annual CCA Conference. How was that Approximately how many people attended? Tell me a little about the event:
KK: There were approximately 200 attendees. It was the best conference ever. with 2 showcases (1800), and a new comic showcase with 2 days of breakout sessions. The main theme was Don’t DO comedy, USE comedy. Use it for something bigger. Perform to GIVE laughter not get laughs.
Michael Junior, Chonda Pierce were two of comedic the key note speakers, There were several panels of veteran comics addressing the business, ministry, and creative aspects of what we do. Mac Powel, from Third Day, led worship.
CS: In addition to networking, what are the advantages of joining the Comedy Association and attending the Annual Conference?
KK: Fellowship and encouragement to get better in any and every aspect of what we do.
CS: Is the CCA Conference always held in GA?
KK: No just the last two years. Nashville, California, Texas and Tennessee, have been other locations.
KK: What is the one piece of advice you would give to any Christian Comic? You do not have this gift to GET laughs but to GIVE joy, hope and laughter. Don’t do it alone. I guess that is two bits of advice but both are important!
CS: Is there anything else you would like for people to know about your organization?
KK: If they know someone who thinks they want to do this, come to a conference. You will never meet a more supportive and honest group. We have people that have never performed to seasoned veterans. The CCA was created for those who are doing Christian comedy, to have a place that helps us realize we are NOT alone.
CS: If you could take Christian Comedy Association where no man has ever gone. Where would that be and why?
KK: I honestly feel it is exactly where it should be right now; a great encouragement to hundreds, multiplying the quality and quantity of those with this gift. And, clarifying why God gives us this ability. I guess I would say, "more of the same direction!"
The CCA Conference is a 3 day affair with comics from all over the united states. If you're interested in attending or want more information go to the Christian Comedy Association site at http://www/christiancomedyassociation.com and join our mailing list for all upcoming events including the 2017 Conference dates and location.