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True Star Brings the Funny!

Year two of Stand Up for True Star is a HUGE success

True Star Co-founders Na-Tae’ Thompson and DeAnna Sherman (bottom left) share a moment with the talent of the 2023 2nd annual Stand Up for True Star Comedy benefit: (bottom) Chris Jones and Jakyla Hester, and (Top, L-R) Corey Richardson, Kia Smith, Gary Langfield Jr., Lele Mason and Michael Issac. / Photos: Sylus Green

True Star recently held its 2nd annual Stand Up For Truestar Comedy Benefit, hosted by Michael Issac. The comedy showcase that took place at the True Star headquarters in Bronzeville in front of a packed house, served as a fundraiser to help True Star continue to impact the lives of young people by offering real world work experience within the communications field. Excluding the host, the show presented six different comedians on stage – myself, Jakyla Hester, Kia Smith, Corey Richardson, Lele Mason, and Chris Jones – four of which were directly connected to True Star. These four comedians had much less experience than the two guest performers, but still had amazing sets. The two guest performers added another dimension to the show, with one being an experienced comedian (Mason) and the other (Jones) being an established hypnotist.

Host Michael Issac

I think the meat and potatoes of this comedy benefit was the showcase of new comedians being coached by Issac. Thanks to my personal connection to True Star, I was lucky enough to be one of the comedians on stage, and I love that I can practice this skill so early in life. Stand-up comedy is made to look easy, but it’s incredibly nerve wracking especially for newcomers. Being on stage is something you have to get used to, so the fact that I’ve been given two opportunities to perform is huge. The format of the show is specifically made to help young people by surrounding them with experienced mentors and opportunities and giving them space to find their voice. I’m sure all the True Star based performers appreciate this chance greatly.

True Star journalist Gary Langfield Jr.
True Star video editor Jakyla Hester
True Star alumni Kia Smith
TS board member Corey Richardson
Comedian Lele Mason
Chris Jones keeps the crowd laughing with the help of Issac and some attendees.

The two guest performers, Mason and Jones, were an absolute delight to watch. They served as the show’s nightcap, since they performed after the four young comedians. Mason came out and rocked the crowd with her stand up routine and Jones ended the night on a magical note. They put a nice bow on the gifted young comedians’ performances, bringing this amazing comedy benefit together.


By Gary Langfield Jr, Freshman, Columbia College Chicago



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Written by Gary Langfield

A dude from Chicago with the dream of making movies one day.

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