Karen Williams has been practicing Nichiren Buddhism for over forty years and performing standup comedy for thirty five years. There’s a deep connection between the two vocations.
“I got the courage to be out, to be a lesbian comic, and to be a human being manifesting my full potential based on everything that I’m learning from Buddhism,” she says. “One of the things I learned about myself in the course of my practice was that I have a lot of fears,” Williams says, “and these fears were keeping me from living the life I wanted to live.” So, she decided to work through her fears by conquering one on most everyone’s list: public speaking. “I decided I was going to just take it to the nth degree and make people laugh,” she added.
Nationally-known stand up comic, humor educator, motivational speaker and diversity trainer, Karen Williams, M. Ed. is the founder and CEO of the International Institute of Humor and Healing Arts, affectionately know as HaHA Institute. Her background also includes more than twenty years of theatrical training, improvisational comedy, dance and movement, psychodrama, metaphysical studies and active parenting. She is a certified provider of STC courses in communication skills and diversity for the California Board of State and Community Corrections, providing diversity training for police, probation, correctional and juvenile justice officers throughout the State of California.
Curve Magazine calls Karen Williams "...a laugh riot!" The Sydney Morning Herald proclaims she is "ferociously funny, with perfect pace, timing and structure." Karen is star of I Need A Snack! filmed live during a sold-out performance at Hollywood’s Knitting Factory and shown regularly on LOGO TV. Karen is a comic master, gifted actor, talented writer, and inspirational lecturer, whose HaHA Institute attracts clients from the public and private sectors. Armed with her "healing with humor" philosophy, Karen is a modern-day alchemist, whose audiences revel in her cathartic laughter, and whose peers consider her a comic's comic!
Karen will be joining us with her virtual presence as she is unable to attend in person.