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For Cara Amore, past addiction is a joke

North Bellmore-based comedian Cara Amore, 42, travels takes

North Bellmore-based comedian Cara Amore, 42, travels takes her comedy to clubs, and rehab centers to bring laughter to addicts in recovery. (February 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

They say laughter is the best medicine, and a North Bellmore woman will tap into anything to help Long Island addicts heal themselves.

Comedian Cara Amore says she started drinking at age 5,  when her grandfather would sit her on his knee and put a beer in her hand. When she was a teenager, much of her free time was spent with alcohol. Amore got sober when she was 22 after entering a 12 step recovery program.

She remembers thinking back then that she would never laugh again. But her own worries aside, the program filled her with empathy for all addicts.

“They think, ‘Really? No alcohol, no drugs . . . for the rest of my life?’” the 42-year-old said, giving her face a spaced-out look.

Seven years ago Amore -- who lives with husband, Rich, and son, Benjamin, 11, and works full-time as a private investigator -- attended a stand-up comedy course.

She took her act on the road and along the way met a couple of other comics, Keith Godwin and Robert Cividanes, who are also former addicts.

The trio joined forces, formed Recovery to Go and are making  rounds of local clubs, restaurants and rehab centers, where they joke about everyday life. Despite being clean for 20 years, Amore still finds humor therapeutic.

“I say things [while performing] like, ‘The teacher called me in and said my son has ADD,’” she said with a smile about a real-life encounter concerning Benjamin. “Really, oh my God, wow.” Amore made a face as though she was spaced out, gazed around and said, “Look what you’ve done with this room.”

Recovery to Go starts out with addiction-related humor and then moves on to normal material. Its presence is meant to bring a sense of happiness and normalcy to those who are recovering.

“The first time [I performed at a rehab] I had somebody say, ‘I haven’t felt that good without alcohol or drugs until you guys were here.’ That’s when I knew I was doing something good.”

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