‘Ask the Swami’ — Steve Bhaerman brings enlightened comedy to Nevada City
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Swami Beyondananda — Enlightened Comedy
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City
TICKETS: $20 general admission, $30 reserved seating. BriarPatch Co-op Community Market at 530-272-5333. Tickets online at www.paulemerymusic.com
The Swami Beyondananda brings enlightened comedy to the historic Nevada Theatre when Paul Emery presents Nevada City LIVE! on Saturday. The Swami will share his thoughts and take thoughtful questions from the audience.
In the course of 30 years of purveying cosmic comedy and healing laughter, Swami Beyondananda has had a successful long-running monthly column — “Ask The Swami,” has written four books, and produced a half a dozen comedy CDs.
He has been on stage with the great sages of the past quarter century, and even performed for Swami Satchidananda’s 80th birthday party, along with Hollywood celebrities and international recording artists. He has gained a reputation for being both pointed and compassionate (his comedy has been called “irreverently uplifting”).
Swami Beyondananda is the cosmic comic alter ego of writer, humorist, performer and uncommontator Steve Bhaerman. The Swami, whose favorite yoga pose is tongue-in-cheek, is the spokesperson for a new non-religion, FUNdamentalism (accent on “fun”).
“We are strictly non-denominational,” said The Swami.
Bhaerman was pursuing a career as a teacher and writer, when a funny thing happened. The name “Swami Beyondananda” flew into his head. As Bhaerman tells it, “I got struck by enlightening during a brainstorm.”
The following year, when he and a cohort were casting about for a comic mascot for their ground-breaking holistic publication, Pathways in Ann Arbor, Mich., Swami’s name popped back up. The first issue of Pathways in January, 1980 featured an ad spoofing the old Famous Artists ads. This ad was for Famous Guru’s Schools, and the headline proclaimed, “We’re looking for people who want to draw … on higher consciousness.” The piece included some mock testimonials, including: “Dear Swami … loved your leadership training … please send followers.”
The Swami’s articles began to appear in national publications such as the East West Journal, and publications in Philadelphia, Austin, Salt Lake City, among others.
When Bhaerman decided to pursue comedy as a full-time career in 1985, the Swami was the obvious vehicle.
Shortly after his first public performance as Swami in 1985, Bhaerman met his wife-to-be Trudy, and a year-and-a-half later, they took off in a van and trailer and launched the Swami and Trudy show.
In recent years, the Swami has performed at numerous political events, including the Transpartisan Alliance Citizens Summit, the Network of Spiritual Progressives Conference, the Department of Peace Conference, the Praxis Peace Institute Economics of Peace Conference, to name a few.
Swami’s latest venture is to combine his non-religion of FUNdamentalism with the non-politics of the newly-formed Right to Laugh Party (“one big party … everyone is invited”), to create one big evolutionary up-wising to overgrow the current dysfunctional system.
He will also be launching his radio podcast, “Wiki Politiki” in 2017, and a bi-monthly call in, “Karma Talk” to give folks from all over the world a chance to ask the Swami answerable questions, and receive his questionable answers.
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