The third annual HartBeat Weekend kicks off at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Friday Sept. 2, and as expected, comedian and actor Kevin Hart – fresh off a honeymoon tour with wife Eniko – is back to work preparing for the highly-anticipated lineup of events.
With a special screening of Hart’s upcoming film, What Now?, two comedy shows and a concert by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, HartBeat Weekend, like the two before, is bringing the laughter, the party and the positivity to Hart’s fans.
And that’s just the way he likes it.
“There’s a bigger meaning behind HartBeat Weekend,” Hart told ESSENCE in an exclusive interview. “I’m trying to create a weekend that represents positivity. I push and promote ‘Live, Love, and Laugh’ so much and I wanted to have a weekend that was a representation of that.”
Created to showcase some of the comedian’s favorite talents and brands, this year’s event has expanded beyond the funny to include a charitable aspect, something near to Hart’s own heart. For him, making people laugh isn’t the only one way to put a smile on their faces. Showing them that you really care is another. It’s not what you expect from a superstar comedian, who has legions of followers on Twitter and Instagram, but Hart is cut from a different cloth.
In April 2015, Hart became a health ambassador for Rally Health, Inc. – a consumer-focused digital health company that, through collaborations with health providers and employers, helps individuals take control of their health care coverage and needs. Using HartBeat Weekend as a platform, the two have partnered together to bring awareness to the importance of health care, placing an emphasis on well-being, self-care and fitness.
It shouldn’t be surprising – a glance at Hart’s Instagram page shows how active he’s become in the past year, facilitating a number of #MoveWithHart running events around the country with Nike.
“Healthcare is important because it’s real,” he said. “I don’t believe in just talking. I believe in putting action behind my words.”
“Rally is an opportunity to help motivate and inspire others to live healthy,” the comedian said while also admitting that his rigorous schedule of tours and movies wasn’t always conducive to a healthy lifestyle. “You get one life. You got a choice to take care of yourself to increase the chances of longevity. Or you can help death.”
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.
Through the collaboration with Rally Health, who also sponsored the What Now? comedy tour, Hart is hoping to bring his fans the tools they need to become more informed health care consumers while promoting healthy life choices.
“Their goal is to keep you out of the hospital. That’s something I coincide with. Together we teamed up and started a positive message about moving and being active,” Hart said.
But beyond pushing preventative care, Hart is also hoping to raise awareness about cancer. Working with BrittiCares International – a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children diagnosed with cancer – Rally Health and Hart will be on hand during the weekend for the surprise unveiling of a dream bedroom makeover for an 11-year-old cancer patient. It’s work like this, he told ESSENCE, that he gravitates towards.
“[BrittiCares] goes into these homes and they revamp children’s rooms. They do it in a way where a child is happy staying in a place where they have to spend so much time, dealing with the illnesses they deal with,” he said.
“When you look at cancer, you look at how many lives have been affected by it and you try to do whatever you can to show you care. As a person with a heart, you lend a helping hand. This is my way of lending a helping hand.”
With BrittiCares’ mission – helping children survive cancer one smile at a time – at the core of the Hart’s own life motto of bringing happiness to his fans, it’s no wonder that the collaboration is a true fit.
Comedy, Hart suggested, isn’t so one-note that it just focuses on the laughter. Sometimes, it’s also the best medicine.
“I want to see people simply talking about making people better,” he said. “I support positivity.”