Well-known Canadian comedian and speaker Big Daddy Tazz is bringing his show to Rainy Lake Square tomorrow night after stops in a couple of area schools during the day.
Also known as Tazz Norris, Big Daddy Tazz has been featured on a variety of platforms throughout Canada including Just For Laughs Montreal, The Winnipeg Comedy Festival and on CBC Radio’s The Debaters.
In addition to his stand-up comedy Tazz is also a speaker and mental health advocate. He spends a lot of time talking to people, especially kids, about mental health and self love.
“I go in to visit schools and teach them about self love,” Tazz said. “That it’s ok to have your illnesses whatever illnesses they may be. Mine happen to be mental health issues. So I will talk about that and about normalization.”
He says he was inspired to speak to students because he was bullied as a child.
“I was bullied from everywhere when I was a kid, not only students but my family and my teachers,” he said. “There was no diagnosis for me when I was a kid. There was no ADHD you were just a hyperactive little [kid]. I couldn’t pay attention, I didn’t know what dyslexia was, I didn’t know what anxiety was, I just knew I was different and I got picked on.”
Tazz says he doesn’t want kids today to go through the same things as he did.
“What I want students to know is that all the feelings all the time that they’re having are valid,” He said. “Some of them can be explained or brushed away but other ones need to be talked about and dealt with, sometimes with professionals.”
Tazz also believes that one of the big things kids need to learn is self love.
“One think I want to do, and I want to teach younger and younger kids, is self love,” he said. “If you love yourself unconditionally you’ll know yourself better and when you know yourself better you know your worth. When you know your worth, nobody can take that away from you.”
His website refers to Tazz as the “Bi-Polar Buddha,” and his mental health issues are often a topic of his comedy routines which he adds are “squeaky clean.”
“All my shows have a mental health component,” he said. “It’s been a tough two years, almost three now. It’s been a challenge for a lot of people. People have forgotten to be kind to each other. It’s going to be a lot of laughs, hopefully, if not that’s my fault,” he added with a chuckle.
Tazz says he’s been excited to get back on the road with COVID restrictions lifted.
“I did some stuff online, but it’s not the same,” he said. “Sure you don’t have to wear pants, but it’s different hearing laughter from 45 people in tiny squares on your screen, which for me with Attention Deficit Disorder was distracting. It was like the most racially diverse Brady Bunch you’ve ever heard of.”
He says there’s something different about hearing people laugh in person.
“A lot of people don’t realize when I cause a laugh in a theater or an arena you can feel the laughter, it hits you,” He said. “The first day that I got on stage after pandemic restrictions lifted a little bit here, I had tears.”
The Fort Frances Bear Clan will be holding a fundraising barbecue during the show and people are encouraged to come and bring a chair. The show will be family friendly and starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday Sept. 22.