Answer: Well, my smart-ass response would be “You’ve gotta laugh to keep from cryin’.”

That would also be my serious response.

My big career break came in 1981, playing DiDi Bannister, one of the first African American soap opera heroines on ABC’s "Edge of Night." But for many years before that I was a writer-performer with the sketch comedy troupe, Off-Center Theatre, in New York City, and toured with the Boston-based improv comedy troupe, The Proposition.

As a performer and writer — and even as an audience member — I just happen to love comedy … smart comedy. It’s the best way to deliver hard truths without alienating people or putting them on the defensive. To quote Mary Poppins, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” The physical changes, the culture of ageism, getting more up-close and personal with mortality … these are hard truths about getting older. I want to make those truths more tolerable by getting people to laugh at them.