Believe it or not, Canadian comedienne Debra Digiovanni is missing Canadian winters. If you’re inclined to believe she is joking, which isn’t entirely unreasonable given her profession, rest assured that is apparently not the case.
Digiovanni cites the climate of her current home, Los Angeles, as not “sitting well” with her.
“There is something about not having that change of seasons that just doesn’t sit well with me,” she says. “I need some snow in my life.”
It has been approximately two years since Digiovanni has called the State of California home. Her self-imposed exile south of the border was not at all related to a sudden distaste for Canada. After all, it is because of her Canadian audience that she has been able to amass a sizable fanbase within our borders. It was only natural that she would arrive at a point where she was looking to expand the reach of her talent.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have eked out the career I have so far in Canada,” Digiovanni says. “I’ve been given a lot, for which I am nothing but grateful. I feel that with any artistic discipline, you need to feel challenged, so after finding this phenomenal success in Canada, the question then became, ‘What can I do to challenge myself next?’”
Digiovanni says picking up and moving south of the border in effort to establish herself in the same outlets in which she has made a name for herself at home in Canada has been humbling to say the least.
“That humility is good for the soul, though. Everything still feels very fresh for me. The change of scenery has been good, but coming into it, I knew it was going to be very much like starting from square one again. I think everyone comes to Los Angeles with stars in their eyes about how they are going to be this great stand-up comedian, but it takes time to become part of the comedy community. The plus side to that however, is that it also affords me the opportunity to broaden my horizons. I’ve never written for television, so realistically, that is something I could pursue; the same goes for acting.
“The great thing is though, I get to come home to Canada every once in awhile and perform with friends. That is something that will never get old for me,” she says.
One those friends that Digiovanni refers to is B.C. comedian Darcy Michael. The pair undertook a series of shows together throughout Canada last year and are looking forward to reuniting at La Caserne on Thursday evening.
Asked why he feels he and Digiovanni work so well together, Michael cites their decade-long friendship as being the cornerstone of their relationship.
“Debra is one of my nearest and dearest friends, having met when I was first getting started. We just clicked from that very first instant,” he shares. “It’s a sibling-type relationship that just works. Our comedy styles and fans complement each other rather nicely, so being able to work together gives us an excuse to hang out and steal hotel towels.”
Perhaps ironically, Michael hadn’t intended to ever become a comedian. It was only after he delivered an especially comical speech at his wedding that his husband encouraged him to try stand up. The move proved to be a wise one for Michael:
He recently starred in the CTV program Spun Out alongside Kids In The Hall veteran Dave Foley, before Darcy launched his namesake sitcom, which is based on his life and career in stand-up comedy. Darcy is a two-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee with appearances at the Just For Laughs festival, the Global Comedy Festival and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
What: Debra Digiovanni with Darcy Michael
When: Thursday Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Where: La Caserne, located inside the Dieppe Arts and Culture Centre, 331 Acadie Ave., Dieppe
Tickets are $33.19 plus service fees. Advance tickets are available online at hubcapcomedyfestival.ca and at the Dieppe Arts and Culture Centre