Today I had the absolute pleasure of sitting and chatting with a humble, inspirational, caring gem of a man- Mr Luke Massey.
There are many facets to Luke and his many talents- but for this chat, we are going to focus on his ‘can do’ attitude to give time and laughter to a worthy group of families, who are dealing with brain cancer.
Through the not-for-profit organisation, Peace of Mind Foundation, and Humans in Geelong’s Jacqui Bennett, Luke was approached about 2 years ago to join a Pamper Day where he was asked to quietly play guitar and sing whilst 30 or so women were being pampered, spoilt and ‘dolled up ‘so they could go out for the night and gain a sense of normality back into their lives’.
Luke had the opportunity to listen to a Guest Speaker, watch the transformations each pampered woman went through and learn more about what these beautiful women face. He got to chat to some of the women where they shared their stories linking them together on similar journeys. He thoroughly enjoyed his time there.
About two years ago, Luke met Tim Young, a fireman who works at VIVA and is a regular contributor to ABC Ballarat Radio and helps produce BallaRatCat Comedy. He’d started a comedy troop called The Locally Grown Funnies. Tim started talking about Stand-up Comedy and this sparked a flame in Luke. He had always thought of himself as a ‘funny guy’, but had never had a platform from which to perform.
Luke was given the opportunity one night in Ballarat to showcase his comedic flare. The patrons were in stiches and he had a massively positive response for his first time. Or so he thought. The next week he performed at his wife’s café in Moorabool St where he was faced with silence and the scraping of chairs. What he assumed was an ‘easy gig’ actually required a lot of preparation, studying family and friends, listening to situations and putting his unique spin on things. However, he showed potential and was asked to join the Locally Grown Funnies to look after the Geelong sector and ‘cut his teeth’ a bit more.
Luke is now 1/5th of the comedy sensation Locally Grown Funnies. A comedy troop who bring laughter, fun and silliness to every show. They are a not-for-profit team who each have daytime employment which allows them to do gigs, charity gigs and enables them to mesh together at nights to perform and bring tears to your eyes at venues such as the Piano Bar, Murphys, as well as charity gigs- such as the Fire Relief and the Family Retreat for Brain Cancer hosted by the Peace of Mind Foundation, this weekend in Creswick. The others in the troop are amazing comedians who will make you split your sides with laughter. They are: Paul Moore a comedian, actor, producer, known for Rostered On, Winners and Losers and Random Aussies; Tosh Walker who is a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, singer, songwriter, voice over and M.C; Scott Angove who has starred at the MICF (Melbourne International Comedy Festival).
With the success of the Fire Relief Comedy gig where the line-up included not only the names listed above, but was headlined by the amazing Dave Thornton and other comedians, together raising $17,000 with their on-stage antics, Locally Grown Funnies demonstrated their capability to ‘give to those in need’. Jacqui approached Luke after the show and asked to bring his troop to the retreat being held by Peace of Mind Foundation, March 13th-15th at the Log Cabin Camp in Creswick. Luke was beyond excited and humbled to be able to be a part of this beautiful weekend. However, there is a slight issue, this gig is a family affair and they boys have to make it P.G. to accommodate ‘little ears’.
I know the beautiful souls and their families and carers will be transported through laughter and fun to places of frivolity, a sense of normality and peace.
Story: Sally Smith. Photo: supplied