Comedy for the Soul: JP Sears and Justine Smith at the Kahilu

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The late San Francisco comedian Jose Simon once colorfully defined comedy as “an enema for the soul,” and last Sunday’s show at the Kahilu with JP Sears gave us all a good internal cleansing.

One of today’s successful comedians, JP Sears, has found a way to turn his emotional healing coaching skills into a comedy routine – on both the internet and stage. Sears has spent the past 15 years doing emotional healing coaching around the world with workshops, classes, and retreats. He also maintains a private practice in Charleston, South Carolina, where he resides.

In the comedy genre, the 37-year-old self-help guru is best known for his popular YouTube channel, JP’s Ultra Spiritual Videos, which has accumulated over 300 million video views, although he jokes in concert that it earns him a whopping five-figure annual income from the YouTube revenue. He’s also the author of How to Be Ultra Spiritual: 12 ½ Steps to Spiritual Superiority and offers video classes via his website’s premium channel (AwakenWithJP.com.) for an annual fee.

JP Sears at the Kahilu Theatre

In his spare time, Sears likes to do physical workouts and post yoga photos of himself on Instagram. He flashed us a brief look at his six-pack abs during his show last Sunday.

The Maui-based concert promotion company HI Tide Nation brought Sears to the State for a four-island, six-show concert tour – most sold-out. Average admission was around $40, and there was a special VIP meet-n-greet post show that included a group Q&A session, one photo with Sears, and one exclusive autographed merchandise item.

Sears always wears purple, perhaps for its acclaimed healing properties. At his Kahilu show, Sears sported a short-sleeve purple shirt and matching tie, not tucked under the collar.

During his 90-minute show, Sears often poked fun at some current social trends like veganism and gluten-free diets, but then worked in his deep-thought self-help philosophies – “Our minds can hypnotize us into believing that’s it’s hard to be ourselves because it’s scary, but when in reality, it’s the easiest thing to do. Let’s be scared of being scared.”

For the most part, Sears steers away from political humor, although there were a few jabs at Trump’s wall, and how the U.S. illegally took over Hawaii in 1893. He summed up saying, “I’m for being against whatever you’re for.” Sears did a little crowd polling with the audience, and the majority had seen his YouTube videos and were mostly from the Big Island. That bodes well for bringing future comedy shows here.

Justine Smith

Opening for Sears was Kona-based comedian Justine Smith. I first saw her last year hosting a comedy night at Gertrude’s Jazz Bar. She’s now the co-host (“Mamma J”) with Ronnie V (Velveeta) of LAVA 105.3-FM’s week-day morning show (5 AM to 9 AM). She also runs a monthly comedy showcase in Kona at MyBar, through her company Dirty Girl Comedy.

Smith is funny, and had no problem working a large venue like the Kahilu. The crowd loved her. Most of her bits were about relationships, and what the limited dating scene is like on the Big Island – “It’s the smallest town!” I admit I had to look up a term she used – “Eskimo Brother/Sister,” in the Urban Dictionary to get part of the joke. Smith also has two dogs (part chihuahua) named Sizzle and Tunie Fish Sandwich and claims their little paws smell like corn chips. All these elements of her life would make a great sitcom.


For more on JP Sears, please visit his official site: https://awakenwithjp.com

Check out a video of Justine Smith’s section of the show. Caution, NSFW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMMzLgsidBI&feature=share


Steve Roby is a music journalist, best-selling author, and originally from San Francisco. He’s been featured in the NY Times, Rolling Stone, and Billboard Magazine. Roby is also the Managing Editor of Big Island Music Magazine.

Photos: Steve Roby

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