Michael Panzeca crashed and burned in 1981 at the age of 19 but returned from the edge with some humorous observations. At the age of 20 he started working as a drug and alcohol counselor.
After 20 years of working in the field as a counselor, writing, directing and producing plays for teenagers about drugs and alcohol, HIV, aids, domestic violence, gangs, racism and child abuse. He was a writer for recovery today magazine and a regular on that radio show. He was one of the founders of integrated arts and Healing the Wounded Warrior Weekend, a retreat for men. Michael has worked with thousands of addicts and alcoholics and their families and spoken and lectured and taught at numerous professional agencies, organizations on the topics of treatment, therapy and recovery for addicts, alcoholics doctors, nurses and therapists all over the country. He still consults with some of them today after deciding to follow his dream to do standup.
In 1998 after doing standup and acting on the side for a few years he did his first on man show "Stand up for Recovery" a comedy show in which he shares his own experiences in recovery as well as his thoughts on treatment, meetings, insurance, therapy, relationships, therapists, patients, group therapy, medication and recovery from both sides of the table. Michael is currently a full time professional stand up comedian, was a regular on the Ron and Ron radio show, played Mario in Mary's and Mario's Italian wedding and performed in the improv troupe ComedySportz.
Michael believes in the original definition of the word "sanity" (the ability to work. love and play). Stand up for him is work that he loves that feels like play.
Michael comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable with his straight forward intelligent in your face style of comedy while he makes you laugh.
An addiction counselor for 21 years in Cincinnati Ohio and Florida, Michael Panzeca had regular moonlighting gigs in another trade that's his first passion -- stand-up comedy.
When he was called on by his day job to do a workshop, teach a class or speak at a conference, his comedy would just naturally sneak in. "It was me, so it was comedic," he said. "(Comedy) just works better."
Based on his experience of "working the crowds" at Ft Lauderdale nightclubs and convinced that comedy was the tool to change bad-driving habits, Panzeca started Comedy Traffic School in Fort Lauderdale nearly three years ago. The school conducts classes throughout southeastern Florida, tapping into a broad market of potential customers: new drivers, older drivers and motorists slapped with traffic tickets.
Michael has been working and pleasing crowds of all ages and sizes all over the world in clubs,condos, colleges, casinos and cruise ships for over 15 years