A stunning VIEW

One thing we have learned during the Toronto and Hamilton Fringe Festivals is that, when producing a sketch comedy revue, it is not only important to be funny but also to be stunningly beautiful. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt if you have a great photographer like Kevin Thom do your promo shots. Yes, this is us on the cover of Hamilton’s weekly VIEW Magazine. This cover page will hang proudly on our parents’ walls and will undoubtedly be used by strangers as tinder in their Algonquin Park fire pits or to wrap their shot glasses as they hastily pack after a terrible breakup. As this is only a few degrees away from us being on the cover of The Rolling Stone, we are going to cherish this moment, which may very well be the height of our comedy career (which is actually something we do in addition to our actual careers. You know – the ones that pay us more than $60 annually).

Here’s what VIEW had to say about Two Weird Ladies Bomb The Fringe in Hamilton:
“This high energy comedy duo belong on a stage. Both girls were afraid of nothing, never broke from their performance, and kept surprising the audience with new formats for their writing. Laura Salvas and Mandy Sellers’ show is good old-fashioned sketch comedy, with some clever recurring themes and a finishing concept that brought the show together. They vary the experience through song, voice, characterization and movement – all exceptionally well done. Their inexhaustible energy combined with how truly funny their writing is made for a fantastic time. They have intelligent thoughts beneath their comedy and they completely fill the stage with presence and talent. Outstanding!” – Katie Penrose

Thank you, Katie Penrose! You have made us feel funny, pretty and smart. Which is really the main reason we do this thing – our constant need for validation. We aren’t just in it for the $60 per annum.

Thanks from lucky stars

In a nation so obsessed with the word “sorry,” it’s astonishing how difficult it can be to utter the nicety “thank you.” Mandy and I will be the first to admit our self-deprecating neuroses and have happily showcased this in some of our scenes, such as “Blind Date,” which includes a number of references to our thinking we are pieces of garbage. Taking compliments makes us feel awkward, which is fine because usually people just tell us they dislike the pitch of our voices and move on. Things changed, however, in the last couple of weeks during our Toronto Fringe run.

Mandy and I put a hell of a lot of work into Two Weird Ladies Bomb The Fringe. During the process, we often scrunched up our ever-furrowed brows, tensed our overly stressed shoulders and asked our crew, in voices whinier and pitchy-er than ever, “Guuuuyyyyysss – is our show even funny?” Despite two out of three of them answering “yes,” we doubted ourselves to the very end. When we started our writing process, we came to realize that our shared personal mantra was: “Mediocrity is failure, success is mediocrity and perfection is merely success.” A messed-up form of logic, perhaps, not unlike the new small-less Tim Hortons cup sizes, but to control freak perfectionists like ourselves we knew it would take a lot to make us happy with our final product.

We’re still too self-doubt-y to totally get it, but over the last couple of weeks so many wonderful friends and strangers have been approaching us with earnest looks and telling us how much they enjoyed our show. And having done many shows in our lives, we know the difference between a genuine compliment and an awkward “the costumes were unique. I have to go – bye!” Realizing the compliments we were getting – many from the press – were genuine usually left us uncomfortably twitching, a common side effect of Piece of Garbage Disorder, from which we both suffer. But we’re quite certain part of the discomfort we felt was just the sensation of our hearts (not our egos) growing three sizes a la Grinch. If we could hold hands with all of you and sing kindly songs around a tree to demonstrate our happiness, we would. Well, Mandy would. I fear the human touch.

We feel so honoured that so many people in Toronto spent their time and money supporting our show and that they made the effort to pass on kind words in person and online. We sort of do this comedy thing to avoid ever having to be sincere, but now seems like a good time to try that “real human emotion” thing most normal people do. So thank you. Thank you all SO MUCH for making two neurotic, paranoid ladies feel like perhaps we maybe did a sort of okay job at something.

I’m publishing this now while I’m feeling good. There’s still times for people to boo us off the stage in Hamilton.

The official auction list! Meet the ways you can be part of our Fringe show.

This Wednesday at Comedy Bar, Two Weird Ladies bid farewell to our artistic integrity as we sell off name-drops in our Fringe show and programme for petty amounts of cash in Two Weird Ladies Sell Out! (Their artistic integrity. There are still hundreds of tickets available.) A Fringe Fundraiser and Auction.

Check out the lists below and ponder what you’d like to bid on!

Names and Places we’re auctioning off…
The girl whose underwear were put in the toilet
The guy who got banged in the bathroom at prom
A whore-faced-bride (we call your mom a whore, too!)
A lame groom
A Grade 12 science nerd
The guy who had a rat tail in Grade 3
The person who refused to be Laura’s sketch partner
The cool girl who throws a kegger
The cool guy with an in-ground pool
A guy who has loud sex on weeknights
The high school math teacher
A hideous guy who doesn’t want to date us (x2)
A VIP-only club
The local high school

Also up for bid…
THREE chances to be thanked in our program! If bids get high enough, we’ll thank you for something specific! (ie, Douglas McSanderson for bailing us out of prison.)

A CAMEO at one of our Fringe performances!

All bids start at $2 and the highest bidder gets creative control. You can use your own name or the name of someone you know (as long as they’d think it’s fun and you’re not being mean about it…). Let’s be honest, a vast majority of us will never achieve any fame. This could be the one chance you get for people to feel delight at the sound of your name. Ever.

We’re raising money for Two Weird Ladies Bomb The Fringe as we want to ensure we can afford to pay all the amazing people who are lending us their talents. Also, we thought it would be fun to include people from the community in our sketches.

And don’t forget we’ve got sketch comedy from British Teeth, improv from 2-Man No-Show, standup from Joel Buxton, hip hop from Wordburglar and character monologuing from Danz Altvater. And buttons for sale. BUTTONS!

9pm, $5, 945 Bloor Street West. See you there for your chance to sell yourself out for Fringe by helping us sell ourselves out for cash!

Two Weird Ladies Button

Cover up stains on your clothing while supporting Two Weird Ladies!

Millions of shows coming up! (and by ‘millions’ we mean ‘five’)

Two Weird Ladies are excited about Fringe but just can’t wait until July to get on stage and show off how funny and pretty and smart we are. So we booked a bunch of shows so we could be the centre of attention and so you would have somewhere to go.

This week we have shows four nights in a row! Tuesday June 12th you can catch us at Pageant Feathers (Imperial Pub, 8:30, PWYC). We’re playing alongside British Teeth, 2-Man No-Show, Babysitter and Matt McCready.

Wednesday June 13th  we’re pleased to be part of Laugh Through This (Black Swan, 7:30, PWYC) hosted by Danz Altvater and Moniquea Marion. Other great acts include Stacey McGunnigle, 2 Hoots a the Helm, Shirley Cuschieri, Jaclyn Fleming, Liz Jukovsky, Dani Alon and Shirley Cuschieri, PLUS there’s an improv jam for all the ladies in the house.

Thursday June 14th  is a huge night for us as it’s our turn to compete with 48 other troupes for a slot in the Toronto Improv Festival and $480. Sketch Com-Ageddon is back and at 9:30 at Comedy Bar we’re up against Vest Of Friends, Warm Summer Hotness, The Whiskey Dicks, You Monster, Brain Drops and Ladies of The Sketchersons. For just $8 you get to enjoy all these troupes then vote for us. For $12 you can also catch the 8:00 show, at which we’ll let you vote for whoever you want. We’d really appreciate anyone who comes out and gives us their votes!

Friday June 15th  at 6:00 we’re doing a totally free 30-minute set at the Scadding Court Farmer’s Market! Stop by the Dundas St West/Bathurst area, buy some fresh local organic free-range eggs and watch us flail around on a patch of grass or wherever they stick us.

If you want to support us but don’t want to see us do sketch until our Fringe show, your best bet is to come to Two Weird Ladies Sell Out! (Their Artisitic Integrity. Hundreds of tickets are still available.) A Fringe Fundraiser and Auction. Wednesday June 20th we’re auctioning off creative content in our sketches. You can bid to have your name mentioned in a sketch, get thanked in our program, or even have a cameo in our show! We’ve also got amazing acts from Danz Altvater, Joel Buxton, 2-Man No-Show, Wordburglar and British Teeth. Just $5 gets you into the Comedy Bar main space and all bids start at just $2. We’d love your support. And your money.

And then, of course, there’s Fringe. Check out our Upcoming Shows tab for all the dates and times as well as further info on all the shows mentioned above.

We expect you to come to all of our shows. All of them.

Selling out our Fringe show before anyone has bought tickets

As much as Two Weird Ladies love each other, sometimes we think it would be swell if our friends could be part of our shows, too. Then we think how it would be even more swell if our friends gave us money. Then we sit down and concoct a scheme by which we can profit off of people we know while making them feel loved and included.

Two Weird Ladies have combined our lack of respect for our own artistic integrity with Mandy’s love of namedropping to create an exciting opportunity for YOU to have your name incorporated into one of our scenes while helping us pay for our Fringe shows (expenses estimated at nearly $4,000). On Wednesday, June 20th, come to Comedy Bar for
Two Weird Ladies Sell Out! (Their Artistic Integrity. There are still hundreds of tickets available.) A Fringe Fundraiser and Auction, where we’ll be auctioning off name-drops in our Fringe show Two Weird Ladies Bomb The Fringe. Starting at just $2, you can bid to be known as characters such as a detested bride, the guy who got banged in the bathroom at prom, the coolest girl in high school, a Grade 12 science nerd, the loser whose underpants were flushed down the toilet, the boy who had a rat tail in Grade 3 – and more!

In case your name has stage fright, we’ll also be auctioning off things like references to towns and schools, plus thanks in our program and even the possibility of an on-stage cameo!

But as much as we want to simply rip the money out of your supportive hands, we thought we might as well be nice and offer you some high quality performances to watch amidst the auction. The night will feature sketch by British Teeth, improv by 2-Man No-Show, standup by Joel Buxton, character comedy by Danz Altvater and hip hop by Wordburglar. These are all people we really respect as comedians and guarantee you will enjoy their performances. Please note that is NOT a money-back guarantee. We will be keeping every cent we get from you.

Two Weird Ladies will be hosting the auction alongside our Professional Director, Kirsten Gallagher. We will all look very pretty.

The fun takes place at Comedy Bar – 945 Bloor Street West, west of Ossington – on Wednesday June 20th at 9pm. It’s just $5 to get in. Please bring some friends, place some bids and be part of our show! Especially if you’re really cool and saying your name on stage will make the audience really impressed that we know you.

Facebook event be here.

Hamilton Fringe schedule unveiled!

As if things weren’t exciting enough when we announced our Toronto Fringe dates (found here), we now have seven additional performances of Two Weird Ladies Bomb The Fringe to offer to you, our future captivated audience.

If you’re in Hamilton or have been waiting for the perfect excuse to visit the city, you can find us at Hamilton Theatre Inc. (140 MacNab Street North) at any or all of the following dates and times:

Friday July 20th – 7:30pm
Saturday July 21st – 12:30pm
Sunday July 22nd – 8:30pm
Wednesday July 25th – 9:30pm
Thursday July 26th – 8:30pm
Saturday July 28th – 7:00pm
Sunday July 29th – 1:00pm

Two Weird Ladies Bomb the Fringe is a labyrinth of eccentric sketch comedy spun from reality, insanity, awkwardness and rage, designed to self-destruct in 60 minutes.

Two’s Company. We can’t remember what three is…

There are many reasons Mandy and I became friends and subsequent sketch comedy partners. Most of these reasons have to do with alcohol, being perfectionists and no one else wanting to hang out with either of us. But upon making the formal decision to be friends and sketch partners, neither of us realized that getting into two Fringe Festivals would result in us having to spend every waking moment at each other’s houses, looking at each other’s faces, listening to each other’s high pitched voices as we wrote sketches and/or complained about our lives. Having made a pact last November to remain friends until at least August 1st, we have managed not to punch each other in the face yet. But that’s partially because we’re both aware jail time might ruin our Fringe show.

As things get more intense, and having just seen the Avengers movie in 3D, I become increasingly worried about us turning into Hulks and punching each other, or, more reasonably, Mandy punching me repeatedly. As a former Girl Guide I like to be prepared, so I have come up with a list of tricks Mandy and I can use in the next month to help us to continue to remain friends and keep our rehearsals punch-free:

  • Each print off a life-sized portrait of someone the other Lady would never want to punch in the face and make it into a mask. For instance, Mandy could wear a mask of my Nana and I could wear a mask of Tony Luca from The Voice.
  • Start every rehearsal by watching Saved by the Bell episode 3-22 “Rockumentary,” in which fame goes to Zack’s head and his bad attitude almost drives Zack Attack apart… until they sing “Friends Forever” and everything is fine.
  • Call in sick to every rehearsal and just avoid any potential for conflict.
  • Alienate all our other friends and family to a point that they have all written us out of their lives and we are each literally all the other Lady has. Even if we hate each other, we will have to cling to each other because we have nothing else. The only downfall to this is that no one will come to our Fringe show.
  • Bake Mandy cookies every week so if she gets mad at me I can say, “but I baked you cookies!” Also there will be sedatives in these cookies that prevent her from getting angry.
  • Say there is a prize for whoever can go the longest without getting upset. We are both so competitive we will take our bottled up anger to our graves.
  • Get one of those lobotomy things that were all the rage in the 40s where they stab you in the brain so you’re never angry again. An unfortunate side effect is that you’re never happy again, either, and I think I read something about losing all passion for sketch comedy.
  • If things start to get tense, create a diversion by talking about Lost (note to self: watch Lost).
  • Intentionally break my legs and spine so I am in a full body cast. Mandy will pity me so much she won’t have the will to be angry. Mandy can keep her body intact; I already pity her.
  • Put all the reasons we should remain friends into a cohesive, colour-coded spreadsheet and distribute via email.

As I said, these are simply backup plans in case things go awry, but for now Mandy and I remain the very best of friends and I cherish every precious moment I get to spend in her beautiful home, looking at her angelic face, listening to her smart-sounding voice (oh, yes – showering her in compliments is another tactic I’m trying).

If we do get to the point that we want to punch each other, it just may happen on stage in an Oasis-style blowup. So come see our Fringe show! Or we’ll punch you!

Toronto Fringe schedule released!

Great news! Two Weird Ladies’ performance dates have now been released for the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival.

“Two Weird Ladies Bomb the Fringe” is a labyrinth of eccentric sketch comedy spun from reality, insanity, awkwardness and rage, designed to self-destruct in 60 minutes. You can be part of this explosion of goodness at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse (79 St George Street) at any or all of the following dates and times:

Friday July 6th – 1:15pm
Saturday July 7th – 9:15pm
Monday July 9th – 10:45pm
Tuesday July 10th – 4:45pm
Thursday July 12th – 9:30pm
Friday July 13th – 5:15pm
Saturday July 14th – 1:45pm

If you’re trying to keep a low profile in Toronto you can also see us as part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival, which runs July 19th-29th. Performance dates/times TBA.