Many Americans were overcome with a range of intense emotions during the health care debate: joy, compassion, anger and bitterness among them.

Dan Kamin found the process funny. So funny that he rushed to Washington, D.C. earlier this year for a Supreme Court hearing on the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

He arrived to find partisans on both sides shouting at one another in anger, with hordes of media there to capture it all.

Kamin launched into his Mr. Slomo act, taking 45 seconds to cross the street.

"All of the media people swung their cameras around to me and watched me," he said, "I was being a one-person emblem of congressional gridlock. ... People were actually confused because they didn't know which side I was representing.

"So I find this great fun because it does what I like to do, which is turn real life into theater."

Kamin is bringing his one-man "Comedy in Motion" show to Martin Library at 11 a.m. Saturday. It is sponsored by Susquehanna Folk Music Society.

Jess Hayden, executive director of the society, recalled seeing Kamin perform in concert once and made a mental note to bring him to York if the opportunity arose. When the society decided to branch out into comedic storytelling, opportunity knocked.

"This is actually something very new for us," she said. "There really is a history in folk cultures for storytelling and ... he definitely tells stories about people and events. So we like that he is helping us to bring really good storytelling to the area, really funny storytelling.


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Kamin has written two books about Charlie Chaplin and trained actors Robert Downey, Jr. and Johnny Depp for their roles in "Chaplin" and "Benny and Joon," respectively.

Based in Pittsburgh, Kamin began his performing career as a 12-year-old magician, struggling to entertain audiences of "hyperkinetic, sugar-crazed children" at birthday parties, he said.

Attending Carnegie Mellon University to study industrial design, Kamin said his hopes for a normal life evaporated when he saw the "eye-popping movement illusions" practiced by master mime Jewel Walker.

From mime and magic, Kamin made his way to storytelling and comedy. He said his act contains elements for all ages.

And he promises that Mr. Slomo will make an appearance at the Martin Library.

The character grew out of the difficulties Kamin experienced trying to perform comedy at nontraditional times in front of nontraditional audiences. For example, at 11 a.m. at a library.

Kamin said the character, a businessman on his way to work, is a big hit.

"The idea that I'm on my way to work, but I'm not getting there," he said. "It sort of has this galvanizing effect on people. I've done this in London and China and it has the same effect on people."

-- JOHN HILTON,
FlipSide staff

If you go

WHAT: Dan Kamin's "Comedy in Motion," sponsored by Susquehanna Folk Music Society

WHEN: 11 a.m. Saturday

WHERE: Martin Library, 159 E. Market St. in York

COST: Free

DETAILS: Call 846-5300, ext. 222, to register, or visit www.sfmsfolk.org

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