Author: Elena Senechal-Becker

Six questions with Ann Pornel, the “glamazon” taking over Toronto’s comedy scene

The comedian tells The Strand about her favourite performances, industry tips and her time at Vic Ann Pornel is part of Second City’s Mainstage company. She is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory Programme, Musical Conservatory, Bob Curry Fellowship, and the University of Toronto! The Strand sat down with Ann to learn more about her.   The Strand: What was your first entry into comedy? When did you realize you wanted to be a comedian? Ann Pornel: My first experience of doing live sketch comedy actually came at Vic. In my first year, a bunch of people living on my floor (5th floor MargAd, WHAT UP) were auditioning to be in The Bob, and invited me along. I wasn’t doing anything else, so I went with them, got in, and went on to do The Bob every year in my undergrad and directed it the last two years of my university career. Victoria College is singlehandedly responsible for getting me into comedy—so thanks, Vic! What are your thoughts on the comedy “scene” in Toronto? Is it difficult to “make it” as a comedian?  Compared to other cities like Chicago, the Toronto scene isn’t very big, especially in sketch and improv, but it’s certainly saturated with incredibly talented and funny people. Whether or not it’s hard to “make it” depends on your definition of “making it.” Going out, doing shows, hanging with cool...

Read More

Finding mysticism in modern masters

The Art Gallery of Ontario is currently the lucky host of an incredibly unique exhibit on nature and mysticism. Mystical Landscapes is a gathering of works by iconic artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, and O’Keefe, as well as works from Canadian masters such as Emily Carr and Group of Seven member, Lawren Harris. I had the chance to have a tour of the exhibit led by Katharine Lochnan, the AGO’s senior international exhibition curator. Walking into the exhibit, which is extensive and spans the second-floor special exhibition space of the AGO, I was first struck by the vibrancy of...

Read More

Fixing broken bonds

Lately, I have been very interested in the theory of love. I know this might sound counterintuitive, because a lot of people believe that love isn’t something that can be rationalized. It is supposed to be free, passionate—something you don’t have to think about. But I don’t buy that. I think love is work, and I am curious about the ways in which I can become better at it. Recently, I began to build a love with someone else, another person who wanted this commitment as much as I did. I could say we “fell” in love, but I don’t...

Read More