by Dena Jackson
Introducing Dena Jackson: Writer, Comedian, Cheese Lover, Weirdo
My friends have often asked me why I decided to get into stand-up comedy and the answer is simple. I love getting up in front of an audience and facing most people’s greatest fear. An odd thing about me is that situations that tend to freak me out (driving, taking exams, looking people in the eye) are situations that most people can handle and yet I struggle with them. The stage lets me deal with these struggles and other random thoughts in my head in a funny way. When I look at the performers in the SheDot Festival, my heart becomes very warm. I am comforted in the fact that there are tons of other women who feel the way I do about comedy. It is literally one of the greatest things I have ever tried and will continue to try until I’m old and in a remote control chair, poking people in the bum with my cane (and blaming it on others, naturally.) And even then I will probably still perform for anyone who will listen/look in my general direction. Comedy to me is like being a marionette on a balance beam. You are both the puppeteer and the marionette and the balance beam is your set. You can easily get thrown off while you are performing and it’s your job as a comic to adapt to the situation and get back on. Some of the best comics in the city, many of whom will be performing at SheDot, all make it seem so natural. In each set a comic prepares, they are perfecting their timing, engaging with the audience, considering the lighting, the room, previous acts and changing line-ups at the last minute if needed. It’s festivals like SheDot that continue to influence and encourage the female comedic voice as they perform. I’m proud to call myself an amateur comic in Toronto and it is a true honor to share the stage with some of these female comedy geniuses. I can’t wait to watch them shine this weekend. Dena’s Twitter
Interview with Karen Mitten (SheDot TDot/She Sassy)
by Dena Jackson
As a light-hearted teacher from small town New Brunswick, you wouldn’t necessarily assume that Karen Mitten has a colossal stock of comedy in her back pocket. In the working class background where Karen’s from, studying “the arts” is a nice thought that someone might pause briefly for before getting back to work.
Dawn’s laid back, yet charming approach to comedy will make you nod in agreement while laughing out loud. Dawn gives great commentary on everyday peculiarities contributing to her likability and connection with her audience. A veteran in the industry, Dawn has performed at Boston's Women in Comedy Festival and Comedy Now! She also runs an all-female stand-up comedy course known to many Toronto “West-Enders” as Comedy Girl. Dawn is known for being a fantastic teacher and a strong supporter of new comics.
Lianne’s approach to comedy is both clever and refined. A teacher by trade, she often incorporates her day’s work into her comedy in both a relatable and lovable way. Something to watch for in Lianne’s comedy line-up is her ability to adapt to any surrounding she is placed in. Her versatility from stage to stage is outstanding, along with her comedic timing and natural charm.
Zabrina’s boisterous energy and humour on stage are unmatched in this city. Her delivery of her experiences as a mom and registered nurse draw you in as an audience member to the point where you feel like you are sitting on her living room couch. This woman is so funny she’ll make you drool, almost as much as she did over a U of T dental student while he gave her some new braces.
Sara Hennessey (Host: SheDot TDot)Winner of the Canadian Comedy Award (CCA) for Best Female Comic, Sara Hennessey is not to be missed! Her extremely relatable and quirky approach to comedy is consistently delivered with poise and awe. Sara has the ability to tap inside her audience’s thoughts and articulate them in such a way that will have you laughing uncontrollably. There is no better host for SheDot TDot 2014 than Sara.