Kashnow spent 18 months in treatment after being wounded by a roadside bomb later that year, however it was his good sense of humor and positive attitude about the ordeal that introduced him to Comedy Warriors, a team of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who turned to humor for healing.
After hearing there was a team of comedy coaches and comics putting together a comedy tour and movie about offering war vets a chance to get up on stage and tell jokes, he sent in the email and signed up for his first chance to get on stage.
“I never had gotten on stage before, and I didn’t think that I had enough material to do my own set,” Kashnow said.
Kenshaw said he always had a good sense of humor among his family and friends, however he never thought he would end up telling stand-up, and certainly never be in the same film as comedians like Zach Galifinakis, Bob Saget, B.J. Novak and Lewis Black.
“I’m excited to see the crowds reaction to the film,” Kashnow said. “When I’m up on stage, I have a great time with it. I love telling the jokes and I love getting them to laugh at the right spot.”
Kashnow joined fellow Comedy Warrior Bobby Henline, comedy coach Bernadette Luckett and John Wager, producer of the film, “Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor,” for a screening at the Gold Coast International Film Festival at the Great Neck Arts Center, located at 113 Middle Neck Rd. in Great Neck, last week.
Wager said one thing he didn’t expect after screening the film at a number of film festivals across the country was the feedback at the post-show question-and-answer session with the comics.
“People hang around after and want to talk to the comedy warriors,” Wager said. “We literally had to stop because people weren’t stopping the questions an hour and 15 minutes after it was over.”
The film, supported by the Wounded Warrior Project, deals with a number of issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and is something Wager says provides a form of coping with often devastating injuries.
“Humor is the best way to heal from whatever you’re going through,” he explained. “Laughter is the first step to moving on emotionally.”