Pathos, joy, all that comes in between... We all experience the crescendos and diminuendos of the song of life with varying heart and rhythm--but it is all the same background music. Art Metrano joins his audience in his tears, their tears, his fears, their fears, his laughter and theirs in his poignant "Accidental Comedy," a one man act playing at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles.

For years, Art Metrano entertained us with television and motion picture performances and his own unique comedic/magic act. Metrano's entire portfolio-to-date is impressive and varied. We saw Art Metrano in such films as Breathless, the Police Academy comedy movies, the Choirboys, They Shoot Horses Don't They? and such television shows as The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson where he performed his "Amazing Metrano," the Catskills warm-up Magician whose gimmick was pretending ordinary finger skills and gestures were fabulous tricks. We saw Metrano on such shows as The Merv Griffin Show and Laugh-In. We've seen him on many of our favorite contemporary shows as Chicago Hope, Silk Stalkings, L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues, WKRP In Cincinnati, Benson, Starsky & Hutch, Barney Miller, Charlie's Angels, The Incredible Hulk, Kojak, Ironside, Mission Impossible, All in the Family and so on.

In "Accidental Comedy," a creative and moving saga, Metrano brings a profound empathy to the hardest act of all--the story of his own life. "Accidental Comedy" includes a portrayal of Metrano's Childhood, events shaping his character, and his recovery from a life-altering, freak household accident. In 1989 Metrano broke his first, second and seventh vertebrae in a head-first fall from a high ladder. It was initially a quadriplegic injury. Through rehabilitation and what Metrano calls "God's infinite wisdom," the injury was a "blessing of adversity." At the end of the one man show, Metrano gets out of his wheelchair and walks, haltingly, with two crutches. The audience, with deepest emotion, shares Metrano's humble gratitude for his miracle.

In the play, we go through Metrano's ordeal with horror as he describes the moment he heard his neck snap and cried out for help in a voice that was not his own. Yet when the paramedics arrived and put Metrano in a neck brace on a wooden board, asking if he was comfortable. Metrano replied, "Well...I make a living!" Indeed, one of Metrano's gifts is in the humor he can render in the most serious of moments. A "silver lining" that Metrano points out from his accident is that it has allowed him to spend more time with one of his most precious assets, his family. Metrano has also been able to raise more than $75,000 for Project Support for Spinal Cord Injury to help buy crutches, wheelchairs and other supplies.

ABILITY was able to visit with Art Metrano one afternoon at his home after viewing his "Accidental Comedy." Chet Cooper shares his visit.

CC: When did you...

AM: Yesterday.

CC: OK then.. (laughs)

AM: And that's it...we are done? (laughs)

CC: When did you have your accident?

AM: Almost 11 years ago. September 17, 1989. It was Sunday before noon, around 11:30.

CC: Your remember the date and the time?

AM: Vividly. It's something that will stay with me until the day I die...

... continued in ABILITY Magazine click here to order a print copy or to subscribe Or get a Free Digi Issue and read the full magazine, and see all of the photos, just by clicking "Like" on our Facebook page.

More stories from Art Metrano issue: 1999

Max Gail: Running LAPs Part II

Interview With Art Metrano

Harris Wofford: A Leader In Community Service

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