A serious senior advocate by day, Dyan Burnstein dove into her dream of being a stand-up comic. Through the years, folks around encouraged her as “a natural talent.”
Burnstein said, “I have a great sense of humor, and my friends and family have told me I needed to try standup comedy. It has been on my bucket list for a long time. Recently, my sweet, smart, and wonderful mom passed away, and I thought this was the right time to bring laughter into my life and others.” Her show “Laughter is the Best Medicine” went live at the Punchline Comedy Club on Roswell Road on Oct 23. And yes, the audience roared with laughter.
Burnstein got her comedic training by taking the Jeff Justice Comedy course for 6 weeks, 3.5 hours each class and the final Oct. 7 graduation. She stated, “It cost $599 and worth every penny. I put a total of 42 hours which included time out of class and rehearsing on my own.”
Her routine lasts a full five minutes which can equal an eternity on stage. Her best topics are embarrassing her grown kids and ex-husband, working in the hospice setting with doctors, performing her winning cackle from the Renaissance Festival for which she won the Grand Prize which was televised on national news.
She furthered, “As a rookie I am performing at a slower pace to produce a flawless delivery. I use hand gestures, and I am also very animated, which helps make the jokes even funnier.”
As she is busy writing new material, she plans to extend past the five minutes. She offered, “I learned how to properly develop a joke as professional comics do. It is so much fun to start with a premise, build jokes around it, and make a lot of people laugh! Being funny is not the same as doing standup comedy. There are important steps to take if you are going to do it right.”
Some famous comedians have expressed the unique fear of standing on the stage solo with no props. Dyan overcomes fear by meditating the whole week before going on stage. She jokingly adds, “I do this to get out of my comfort zone. Unfortunately, I threw up a few times before, and now I am good to go without any stomach upset. “She only had one joke that she felt “bombed” slightly. “It was about a groom saying ‘constipated’ unto me to his bride instead of ‘consecrated’ unto me,’ true story.” Her children came to the show from Texas and California and said, “Mom, you crushed it!”
Originally from Little Neck, N.Y., the family moved to the Main Line area of Philadelphia where she attended Temple University. Currently she is a family advocate with Atlanta Senior Advocates assisting families in finding the best fit in independent living, assisted living and memory care. She concluded, “I am very passionate about my work, as I recently went thru this journey with my own mother. My services are complimentary. Being a comic helps take the edge off my clients, as they are going through a very overwhelming journey.”
Dyan leaves us laughing.
“When I was working in hospice, doctors asked me if I pronounce my name “die in?” Yes, I am ‘die in’ to help you with your hospice patients. As I said, my name is Dyan (spell name) people tend to call me Di which is not the best name to have when you work in Hospice! People would be looking for me yelling down the hospice halls, Di Di!
“Then there’s meeting men on planes. Flying is a great place to meet men, especially during turbulence. When I fly, I wear something low cut and a really bouncy bra to showcase the GIRLS. This also gives me the excuse to hold the hand of the adjacent man. On my last flight, I missed his hand and grabbed something else. The look on his face told me he was enjoying the ride. When the flight attendants yelled ‘grab your ankles and put your head between your knees’, the entire plane was screaming and crying …well, everyone but him, he just smiled.”