Chantel Marostica is about to flood Winnipeg’s comedy scene
Chantel Marostica, a headliner in our growing local comedy scene, discovered that being gay is the “most hilarious part” of her. The Winnipeg comic, who’s “very evidently a lesbian,” has made her identity front-and-centre in her act, but is sure to make one thing clear.
“Being gay is the joke, not the punchline,” said Marostica. Her material is about the humour presented by her experiences of living queer, which sometimes involves a lot of the same touchstones familiar to all audience members.
According to Marostica, making jokes about parents is “always a gold mine.” And “shitty day jobs” or the “shitty city you live in” jokes tend to travel well in any room, in any town. But Marostica said it’s much harder to perform her bold “gay” bits at someplaces on the road. Even in Winnipeg, gay comics remain a harder sell. The seasoned comedian had to learn how to make the opening subject matter “easier to digest” for some audiences before she gets into more challenging material. “I’ve found how to get laughs all over by this point in time.”
Yet it’s being a woman that’s proven an even more difficult cross to bear. “I’m so glad you don’t do jokes about being a woman,” is a common expression of thanks Marostica receives from male colleagues without a hint of self-awareness, apparently. And being a woman requires one to be “even funnier.” Comedy remains a male-dominated industry.
Fortunately that didn’t stop Marostica from making it all the way to the Mecca of comedy: the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, in 2006. Nor has it stopped her from staying busy with multiple shows at the Park Theatre since January, including the Winnipeg Comedy Showcase. And that’s on top of her regular hosting gig at Rumor’s Comedy Club.
Marostica’s future plans include a move to Toronto, but she’s not finished here just yet. She will be performing for the fifth time at the annual Winnipeg Comedy Festival April 7-13, and again Fame Nightclub’s women’s-only comedy show on April 26. So maybe people can’t be blamed for thinking she’s funny all the time – much to Marostica’s chagrin. “People fold their arms, lean back and wait for me. Maybe I should have a spinning bowtie on all the time.”
– Kenton Smith is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer.