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2018 C.C.A. Conference in Nashville, TN

  • Sunday, June 03, 2018
  • Tuesday, June 05, 2018
  • Oasis Church


  • This is a flat fee to attend the conference. This registration will not include access to the digital downloadable content available after the conference is over.

    To add a family member to your registration choose the "Special Guest" options and fill out the details.

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A digital version of the 2018 conference will be made available for purchase to members only within the next few weeks. 

Review the information below to see the sessions.


Pull Over, Pray and Get Out of the Way

CCA President Rik Roberts tells his story from reckless road comedian to faithful follower. From cop encounters to blurred contentment, Rik will share how God can use even the lowest among us to lead others to Christ. In this transparent session, you will be inspired to make time for thoughtful prayer. As the conference theme suggests, it all comes down to TRUST.

TRUST: Where's Your Comedy Weight?

CCA Vice President Jason Earls asks, "What does it mean to TRUST?" How do you balance trust with doing what is necessary for your comedy efforts to survive & flourish? Do you find yourself worrying about your comedy success, stressing over opportunities, bugging those who can potentially open doors, or does your lack of “success” make you unpleasant to be around? Where does the strength of your comedy success lie? This session is intended for the comic to examine him or herself in order gain a deeper understanding of TRUST & authentically answer the above questions.

W.A.K.E. UP! 

Empowering Tools to Awaken Your Inner Beauty & Peace

Do you sometimes feel like your inner beauty, purpose and peace has been lulled to sleep? Do you feel like there are things God has called you to do but that little voice of shame, guilt, fear, comparison is holding you back? How are you showing up in the world or in your craft? Empowered? Playing it small? Marlo Ponos Rutz has a great session planned just for you!

Attend this session and learn:

  • Empowerment techniques to help you shine in all that God has called you to do!

“Say Something” 
Trusting that God Has Given You Something to Say

As a Christian comedian, it’s not good enough to just tell jokes. You need to “say something.” God has given all of us something to say. In this session, learn the basic principles of sharing a message by looking at the life of Joseph in Gen 37-41. Whether your “say something” is big and grandiose or delicate and simple, there are reasons why you should share.  Al Smith is a dedicated CCA member responsible for organizing North East Regional conferences and is prepared to help you in your journey.

Attend this session and learn: 

  • How to discover your own “say something” and some tips for incorporating that into your set.
  • Why the life of Joseph is a great road map of the why and how to “say something”.
  • Regardless of your background, upbringing, or stage experience, you have something that God would have you say.

Healing the Humorist:  Using Your Pain to Minister to Others

Most of us know that laughter is good medicine and have seen God work in touching lives in programs big and small. Many of us though are also hurting, or have been deeply hurt, and have not experienced healing or victory. We will share our testimonies and what we have learned about dealing with pain and depression...its causes and its cures.

Attend this session and learn: 

  • The People - you will hear testimonies and encouragement from one of CCA’s Chief Welcoming Officers, Sandi Joy, and CCA’s Chaplain, Gordon Douglas who have both struggled with or still battle depression.   
  • The Problems - Common misconceptions and some of the things that have really helped.  We will also touch on other areas of hurt like dealing with grief in the loss of a loved one or in a difficult marriage.   
  • The Prescriptions - Folks should know that they are not alone.  You will leave armed with new resources for healing and filled with the hope that breakthrough, and maintaining it, is possible.  
  • The Purpose of your Pain - We will explore how your struggle can become a key part of your program or performance.   

Gordon Douglas started his comedy career in 1977 and began his pastoral ministry in 1982. Sandi Joy has over 10 years experience performing professionally and brings a personal story of struggle, victory, along with a heart to minister whether it is one-on-one, or at a comedy show.


No Boys Allowed – Connecting with Women through Humor

Are you like many of us funny gals at the CCA who are called to humor but not necessarily in the form of pure stand-up comedy?  Do you feel like jokes aren’t the biggest part of your act…but instead meaningful truth is the star of the show?  Sally Baucke spent years teaching at Christian women’s events. One night, she performed at a church comedy night and did 20 minutes off the top of her head. With a CEO in the audience, Sally became a professional the very next day with a booked gig for a corporate event. After a decade of both Christian and corporate events, Sally began to realize that while she was funny naturally, she wasn’t necessarily a stand-up comedian but rather a teacher who uses her gift of comedy to get a message across: a message of humor, heart, and hope to everyone in her audience, particularly women. 

Attend this session and learn: 

  • Sally’s hard-earned formula (read: some gigs bombed) for successfully entertaining your ladies while imparting to them the message of hope, happiness, and healing that only God can bring!  
  • How to weave your funny and faith together in a heartfelt message that specifically inspires and entertains women.  

Do’s & Don’ts for Successful Comedic Ministry in Churches

Kay DeKalb Smith has been a “Road Warrior” all her life. Now, with some perspective, she realizes there are some things she wishes someone had told her long, long ago. Lucky for us, she is willing to share these tips so we can avoid making the same mistakes.

Attend this session and learn: 

  • The value of contracts.
  • The power of words.
  • The tools in your toolbox.
  • The most important attitude when performing for churches.

Comedy Boot Camp: 
Trusting that God has a Plan for all Areas of Your Life
Including Your Career

Forty-one years ago, Ross Bennett abandoned everything safe and secure and dove into the world of stand-up comedy. There was no work and there were no schools just some clubs that didn’t pay. His goal was to be a big Hollywood star. Within five years, various  crises of life had him turn to God for guidance. Ever since then Ross has found that God has taken care of him both personally and professionally.  

Ross loves teaching new comics in New York City. He uses his own system and technique all because he trusted that God had a plan.  Agreeing to let a teacher help you requires trust on your part. Come and put your name in the hat, and for those who get randomly chosen, Ross will help you work on a few of your jokes.  

How Do You Define CLEAN and Is It Creating or Costing Us Work?  

The CCA is diverse in the arenas where our comedians perform which gives clean comedy, and the discussion thereof, the opportunity to take on multiple forms and definitions.  Understanding the difference between club clean, corporate clean, church clean, cruise line clean, etc. can be a bit daunting. Kay Dodd has over 25 years experience in writing, performing, and producing shows.  Formerly a club comedian for 10 years with a “club clean” act and having opened for Brian Regan, Larry Miller, Henry Cho, Jeff Foxworthy, and many other clean A-list headliners in clubs, along with having worked with Chonda Pierce and Anita Renfroe in the Christian comedy arena, Kay will share with us her first-hand experience with defining clean.

Attend this session and learn: 

  • How to determine if a joke is truly clean.
  • How to establish a barometer for writing clean all the time.
  • How the practice of wrong definition of clean can cost you work.
  • How establishing the right definition can create more work for all of us.

Leaning into Trust –
The Importance of Trusting and Valuing Your Audience in Comedy 

Success in any form of communication requires trust between the communicator and the audience.  Comedic performance is no different.  How you do in a set, including how funny you are, is way more tied to the trust and value you place on your audience than you might have ever imagined. To take it a step further, you may be underestimating how the level at which your audience can trust you as a result of your performance impacts your ability to do ministry before, during, and after your stage time.   

Attend this session and learn:  

  • Thinking through how to get the most out of your comedy.
  • How to develop better material.
  • How to allow time for improv-based exercises to illustrate the points and put them in action in real time. 

Whit Shiller has been a professional improv comedian since 2001, first with ComedySportz Milwaukee and since 2007 with Fish Sticks Comedy, which is the world’s largest Christian improv comedy team.  He’s taught improv-based workshops to aspiring improvisers, stand-up comedians, and Fortune 100 companies.  People enjoy Whit’s teaching because his sessions are always thought-provoking, practical, challenging and just plain fun. 


Creating and Promoting Video Projects - Online and Beyond

Online video will account for over 80% of internet traffic by 2020. It is obvious that growing your audience with engaging video content is crucial to your ministry and business. Currently this panel consists of Robert G. Lee (Saltworks-Studios), Kevin Hackenburg (Funny & Amen), and Wayne Zeitner (Crown Entertainment). More names may be added as we get closer to the conference.

Attend this session and learn:

  • Meaningful steps to develop video projects that build your brand.
  • How to increase your reach and attract the followers you want to pursue.

Get the Rust Off Your Trust 

Matthew 9:23 says "be it done to you according to your faith!"  So, what do we expect to happen? What are we trusting God for?  Have you ever asked, "LORD, increase my faith!" as the disciples did? What do we need to trust God for? This session is led by CCA’s Chaplain Gordon Douglas.

How to be a Killer Guest - Interview Tips, Techniques and Types

This panel will discuss how you can get the most out of your time as a radio, podcast, or TV show guest. Don’t waste an opportunity to be funny; always remember to involve the hosts; and above all, never waste a chance to share God’s love. In this discussion, Daren Streblow, Sherre Bishop, and Bone Hampton, who all host shows, will teach you how you can make your interviews a win-win for all involved. 

Attend this session and learn:

  • How to make things easy on your host.
  • How to get to the punch line quicker than usual.
  • How to "give and take” when a host jumps in on your routine and much, much more!


Shameless Self-Promotion for Le$$

Tracy DeGraaf has been performing since 2009 and has discovered successful ways to grow her comedy ministry on a shoestring budget. Her expertise in journalism and public relations, combined with additional coaching for which she paid top dollar, all will come together in this session to help you shamelessly self-promote for LESS!     

Attend this session and learn:     

  • How to give your client a detailed blueprint for a successful show.  
  • How to enlist the help of sponsors to help cover expenses.  
  • How to make each performance an audition for a future show.  
  • How to write and distribute a press release resulting in FREE publicity!  
  • How prayer fits into shameless self-promotion.  

Knock Knock - Who’s There? Turning Cold Calls into Hot Bookings

Many comics sit at home waiting for the phone to ring hoping they are about to get a gig. They are unaware that there is a way to get that phone ringing with hot bookings.

Attend this session and learn:

  • How prospecting is a numbers game.
  • How getting told “no” is your friend.
  • The route through the Gatekeeper to the Decision Maker.
  • How to use the Colombo Method to build your network.
  • Using a Key Map to generate leads.
  • Search your way to leads.

Instructors Brent Reed and Dennis Tooley have over 50 years of combined comedy experience. They have started 4 businesses including a production company, a comedy club, and two comedy management companies.


Comedy Beyond the Club: How to Deliver a TED Worthy Talk

Have you ever wondered what all goes into creating, developing, and delivering a TED talk? Have you thought to yourself:  “I wonder how this all even happens?” Jeremy Rochford did. Having had the experience of preparing and delivering his TEDx talk, Jeremy is ready to share his insight with you at this year’s CCA.

Attend this session and learn:

  • The One centralized theme that unifies every single TED talk.
  • Understand the TED process and see how it’s applied to take a “talk” from Storyboard to the Stage.
  • Five fundamental truths that will make you a better speaker.

Jeremy Rochford is a bestselling author, award-winning speaker, and TEDx presenter.  In addition to doing comedy, Jeremy travels the country presenting on the topic of laughter based wellness (as he’s lost over 200 pounds).  He resides in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with his wife, two children, and overflowing arsenal of “dad” jokes.

Watch Jeremy's TEdx Talk

Comedy 101: What To Expect When You Are Expecting 

(To Do Stand-Up) 

This is a session for beginners and those who feel stuck at square one. Shawn Reynolds and Josh Novey have similar paths in comedy.  Both have been performing for 8 years, both are starting to get better gigs, both have spent many years performing at truly horrible shows & open mics with a commitment to get better.

TRUSTing in the process!  Get unstuck and start moving the right direction!  

Attend this session and learn:  

  • The basics of stage presence & etiquette.  
  • The basics of joke structure and how to build a set. 
  • How to get better...the importance of open mics and recording your performance.
  • Tips on getting honest feedback, editing, professionalism (doing your time, etc.).    


The SIX Key Building Blocks for Financial Contentment

Comedians tend to lead risky lives. Putting yourself or your family at financial risk is no laughing matter. Discover the basics of personal finance with a Biblical perspective. Jason Goodall has been a Personal Financial Planner for 19 years and has his BFA, APMA as well as QKA (Qualified Kingdom Advisor: from Ron Blue and Kingdom Advisors).

Attend this session and learn:

  • What performers need to know so THEY can choose when the show ends.
  • What and how much is an appropriate cash reserve and the importance of daily accounting.
  • How to honor God and your family in your personal finances: A daily “To Do” list.

Building Trust at Home:
How to Keep Your Marriage & Family Strong while on the Road

*Due to event planner oversight this session was not recorded. 

For those of us who travel frequently, maintaining a strong family and married life is crucial. We often see marriages fail because of the pitfalls and challenges of life on the road. Building TRUST at home will help to strengthen your ministry, business, and art.  

Attend this session and learn: 

  • Why having a career in comedy can be challenging to family life.
  • Understanding the pitfalls and temptations to avoid while on the road.
  • 10 Practical Tips for Keeping Your Marriage Strong (prior to entering the world of comedy).

Dan Kulp toured the country for years as the lead singer for a rock band. Despite maintaining a hectic travel schedule, Dan and his wife have a healthy and strong marriage (not a perfect one, however). Dan also serves as a pastor and draws upon this experience to present crucial information and resources.   

Video Tips for Comedians - Recording Economically and Wisely

Comedians need a great video and it can be frustrating to try to perform and record at the same time! Brian Kohatsu has been a video producer/director/videographer for 29 years. He is also a comedian. Knowing both sides of the lens, Brian understands the challenges of working with different venues, the lighting and audio issues that arise and how to problem solve. He has recorded demos, sizzle reels, and festival entries for several comedians. He will share all of this with you in this jam-packed program.

Attend this session and learn:     

  • How to secure a venue and work with the staff.
  • Equipment tips and problem-solving for better sound/picture.     
  • Proper attire to wear for video and preparing your set.


All recorded Keynote and breakout sessions will e offered for purchase as a digital experience to CCA members.

The digital conference will be made available by July 4th.

Search the site for upcoming conferences, members only videos, and other exciting content!

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