Comedian Kathleen McGee lives in Vancouver, but her identity is all over the place.
"I have a 587 Alberta number for my phone because I'm originally from Edmonton and I have an Ontario license. People are always confused," she laughs.
Suffice to say, McGee doesn't worry much about boundaries, whether in terms of Canada or in the content of her shows, which can be a bit blue.
"I can PG myself if I need to, for a radio interview or something like that, but I'm just a very honest person. Some people call me a dirty comic, but I prefer to tell them that I'm an honest comic," she says.
"So many girls come up to me after I'm on stage and tell me that it's exactly how they are thinking, but they don't know how to say it."
McGee performs at the Whistler Comedy Showdown on Tuesday, March 29 at Buffalo Bill's. The contest, which is part of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival, features wannabe comics competing to move on in a three-week-long competition; McGee rounds out the first night of action with her set.
McGee says she will talk about taboos and she doesn't put herself in situations where she needs to tone it down.
"If someone tells me it has to be clean, then I'm not the person for them. I never wanted to be that kind of comic," she says.
By now, you probably want an example.
One recent Twitter concern of McGee's was how difficult it can be giving a blowjob when you're full of steak.
"It was steak-and-a-blowjob day and he said, 'Give me a steak.' Well, the steak is for me, he gets the blowjob. But then I hit a snag," she says.
McGee's comedy may be down and dirty but it is delivered very soberly at the moment; she has given up the booze for the first time in almost 20 years.
"My job is very social, too, I'm always in bars. It's easy to have six drinks in a night," she says.
"It wasn't doctor-ordered. I had a little meltdown in Alberta and decided I didn't want to do that for a bit. I'm not quitting forever, because I don't enjoy being present at all times.
"People are disappointed but it's still all fun!"
Constant touring is an important part of her life, but her nomadic comic wanderings have hit a snag.
"I think that for a comic it is important to be out there. I crisscross Canada all the time because I have border issues with the States. I was in Los Angeles for six months and came back up to Canada for work. I wanted to return and they were, like, 'You can't come down here! You were living here too long!" she says.
She's not banned but she needs to sort out work permits and give herself extra time if she is going to the U.S. to apply for the right things.
"It's a little bump at the moment but it made me discover that I really wanted to make the Canadian thing better. I know comics whose goal it is to leave Canada and I am really tired of it," she says.
The Whistler Comedy Showdown features two preliminary rounds, the first with McGee and the following week, Tuesday, April 5, with Squamish comic Kelly Dyer. The winner will be crowned in the final on Tuesday, April 12 (with Vancouver comic Ivan Decker headlining).
Last year's champion was Emily McDonell.
The winner of the showdown will take home a very serious $1,000, with second place receiving $500 and third place, $250.
Admission to the Whistler Comedy Showdown is $5 minimum donation for the preliminary rounds. Tickets to the final are $20 and are now on sale at www.wssf.com.
Eight amateurs take the stage each night and have five minutes to impress the crowds and judges.
The competitors in week one are Jeremy Peterson, Brandon Barrett, Kyle Killeen, Emily Wood, Karli Lynn and Kev Mikkelsen.
The Comedy Showdown will be making a charity donation to Zero Ceiling, which works with at-risk youth.
For more information visit www.wssf.com.
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