The Best of the Fest Encore Show is a live sketch comedy showcase featuring three award-winning sketch troupes from the most recent Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival. 2013 features an all-Toronto crop of the festival’s best including The Rocket Scientists, Deadpan Powerpoint and She Said What. We sat down with each troupe in advance of this year’s Best of the Fest Encore Show to see if we could get inside the mind of the successful sketch comedian. This is the third in our three-part series, the epic crescendo.
She Said What have been a constant at the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival since 2009. This year their performance was recognized with one of the Festival’s highest honours, Winning the Second City Best of The Fest Award. We asked She Said What’s Megan MacKeigan about their win, being a part of NXNE, and about the secret to successful cross dressing.
Tell us about your win at Sketchfest.
It was super exciting, very flattering, unexpected and has made us all very proud. Our sets felt great, like we just clicked really well that week, relaxed and we had a lot of fun performing. We have been involved for a number of years and have been nominated for awards before, but this was our first W, and it was a great W!
This was your 4th year performing at The Toronto Sketch Comedy festival. Why do you think this was the year you won “Best of the Fest”?
We have certainly had time to develop our writing and our toolkits as performers. We had opportunities to explore other performing opportunities and each bring that to our rehearsals and performances. It’s probably a combination of experience and playfulness that comes from being confident in our writing and scene partners.
This year we had 8 troupes in the festival comprised of all women. Are we at a point where it’s redundant to ask about being women in comedy?
In a way yes, we will always support women in comedy, and we’re happy to see more women and womens perspectives represented in our Canadian comedy scene.
NXNE has brought back Comedy Programming for a 2nd year, and has expanded the stream to include over 75 comics and troupes. What does this mean for Comedy Culture in Toronto?
We hope that this along with TOSketchfest will continue to expand our audience. While there is a fabulous comedy scene thriving in the city, it can sometimes be insular. Getting new people from across the city to check out what our city’s comedians have to offer is awesome and will lead hopefully to the sustainability of strength of the scene.
(dumb question) I’ve always wondered about your troupe name. Is it supposed to be said in disbelief, as if I can’t process what you just said. She said WHAT??! Or are you a group of women who just say “what” a lot?
Disbelief! You won’t believe what we’ll say!
(Alt dumb question) Which one of you ladies was the first to say “what”?
Carly’s the oldest, we assume she spoke first. She was a pretty smart baby.
There will be a crossover of audiences. What should somebody who’s never seen sketch comedy be prepared for?
The greatest night of their life!
Describe your comedy to somebody who’s never seen you before.
Our shows are laugh out loud, polished and professional. Our material is generally grounded in reality, very character-driven, high-energy, and tightly rehearsed. We write and perform from a background in theatre, dance and improv, and tend to turn life on itself. Some scenes are very silly, some are more poignant, they are all a lot of fun.
You’re playing the Best of The Fest show. Declaring anything “The Best” is a bold claim – What is something She Said What does better than anybody else?
Which is funnier – A Man playing a Woman, or a Woman playing a Man?
They’re both very funny. When we cross dress we try and play a man as accurately as possible so that the joke isn’t just that Mack has a moustache on, but that that man is being ridiculous. Like I appreciate Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire but Hilary Swank was hilarious in “Boys Don’t Cry”.
In the span of 3 months you’ll have played 2 great festivals – Sketchfest and NXNE – What’s next for She Said What?
We could all go for a good old fashioned “Best Of” one of these days.
Don’t miss your opportunity to catch an encore performance by 3 award-winning troupes from the 2013 festival in:
The Best of the Fest Encore Show
Friday, June 14th – 8pm
Measure (296 Brunswick Ave. – Formerly The Poor Alex)
Tickets: $15 (+HST)
NOTE: A limited number of NXNE Wristbands will be honoured at the door, and will be given priority seating. Get your tickets in advance!