Part of 16-comic Whistler Comedy Festival this month
Who: Viv Pfeffer
Where: Buffalo Bills
When: Sept. 22
Accountant-turned comedian Viv Pfeffer says comedy keeps her in touch.
"Making that connection with people, being able to make a stranger laugh its like being validated in some way," says Pfeffer, who adds much of her life is spent on the road and keeping material fersh.
"You constantly have to be updating your tapes," she says.
In this her return show at Bills, there will be sports fodder ("Im a skier, so I do a lot of sports jokes,") as well as other comments on life.
When the comedian-performer found number crunching for an oil and gas company in Alberta a little too dead-pan, she began breathing new life into her speeches.
For rooms of 300 people, Pfeffer started telling an icebreaker here, a quip there, and she found her calling.
When she wore a fez hat, complete with red tassels, for a speech at a five-star hotel, she got laughs.
Twirling the hat tassels from time to time produced even more giggles, plus over 100 congratulatory calls about the "most unusual show." There were also a few unhappy callers telling her she should get herself to some club and out of the professional field.
Next stop was open mic nights at a Yuk Yuks stage part time, and she was on her way to life in the smiles game.
Now an independent artist based in Vancouver, after finding the "politics of comedy pretty bad" as a salaried employee at major agencies, she finds fodder in everyday life.
Living in the West End, she says sexuality is a large source of material.
Stage-side, Pfeffer has trained in acting at Los Angeless American Academy of Dramatic Arts, on camera at the William Davis Acting Studio in Vancouver, and done scene study at the Vancouver Film School.
Pfeffer has also played the Gastown Comedy Store, Lafflines, Jesters in Calgary, as well as Torontos Rivoli Club.
Festivals in her repertoire include Girls Do Comedy at Milk, every second Saturday in Vancouver, and Raising the Roof, a benefit for the homeless held in Vancouver in 2000.
As a sketch comedian, her credits include "Lacie Birkdale," ditzy anchor of "Hard Truth" on CBCs Bedtime with Brent Butt, and a drunken 50s housewife in the Debutant Lounges My Nanny Hitler.
"There are some areas where you hold a room, and people just cant handle woman doing that. Thats why I also like going to the womens shows, because they appreciate you.
"But I can handle hecklers, and my material is for everybodys consumption," says Pfeffer.
Her goal is to work with San Francisco comedy tour company Olivia Tours, the lesbian-run tour company that sends comedians around the world.
Nothing funny about all that those travel options.
"You dont have to be gay to perform with them, but they appreciate you for being a chick, and voicing your opinions," Pfeffer says.
And her advice to aspiring comics?
A demo tape, current, and around 10 minutes long is what every good comedian should have in their portfolio.
"Go watch comedy every night for two months, and write your own material. Keep doing it just keep plugging away!"
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