When I moved to Toronto I was super pumped that Second City was offering a Real Talk session about getting hired in one of their companies. It was my lifelong dream to work for the company, so I was going to take notes and try to do everything in my power to make that dream a reality. The focus of the talk centered on their search for performers with strong and relatable point of view.
As a chubby, first generation Canadian, I have always had a lot of issues trying to fit in. Society, through media and trends amongst my peers, was constantly showing me what “normal” was and reminding me of how far off I was from living this ideal. As someone who grew up on sitcom and romantic comedies, I never quite found anyone like me on screen. Bridget Jones, one my favourite hapless romcom characters, was supposed to be a chubby character I could relate to but she was played by a porcelain skinned, fairly normal-sized Renee Zellweger.
There are few generalized portrayals of fat woman in television, movies and comedies. There is the big and robust clown character. There is the fierce, strong and confident goddess who own her body as it is. There is the disaster of an insecure woman needs to hit rock bottom before her miraculous weight loss journey. And then wading around in reality, swimming somewhere in between all those generalizations is me. Often a clown, sometimes fierce and always battling the insecurities of feeling not quite enough and too much all at once.
My confidence comes in adrenaline filled waves that usually coincide with a big, energetic audience or pull away when I am stressed out in a dark and tense audition room. It is only now at this late age that I am learning to manage my confidence and my power to fake it, and to use these waves to my advantage instead of being crushed by them.
I have always thought my journey and very existence was far from the norm that it could not possibly be relatable to anyone else. The audiences in Toronto have been incredibly receptive to my style of comedy and through analyzing their laughter I am beginning to refine the way I convey my point of view in my storytelling and beginning to believe that my stories are connecting.
The biggest challenge is not to take too much offense when my point of view is not everyone’s cup of tea. Art thrives in Toronto and I am constantly inspired to continue to be curious about learning different disciplines, working on developing my comedic prowess and creating work signature work unique to my perspective. Luckily, Toronto has ample opportunity and platforms to do all of this.
I refuse to think of any “No” as an end but merely as a directional sign to point me in a better avenue. This, perhaps, is the part of my point of view that I am most proud of. I am a “Tub Thumper”. I get knocked down. I get up again. You are never gonna keep me down.
A work in progress