D.J. Mausner is Montreal Comedy’s multiple-threat: a brilliant stand-up, improv and sketch comedian, who writes and produces her own shows. Still not impressed? She’s only 22 years old. This summer, Mausner brings what Just For Laughs Montreal lovingly refers to as her “harrowing sincerity,” to a mind-boggling six shows at JFL35 and its hip co-festival, OFF-JFL. They are: Joketown, The Montreal Show, 50/50, The Sketch Republic, Ladyfest and Homegrown Comics.
Toronto-born Mausner began honing her comedy skills at age 16, at legendary The Second City. (The use of dubious I.D. cards may have been involved.) After moving to Montreal, to study Education at McGill University, her love of improv flourished. Mausner soon became head writer of McGill’s Bring Your Own Juice Comedy Troupe and head of the university’s Comedy Department. “At the same time, I was performing improv at Theatre Ste. Catherine and Montreal Improv Theatre. I was doing different comedy open mics, at Blue Dog and ComedyWorks… I was trying to figure out, ‘What’s the vibe in this city? What do I want to say?’”
With boundless enthusiasm and dedication, Mausner quickly established herself at Theatre Ste. Catherine, as well as becoming Montreal Improv’s associate artistic director.
When asked how her diverse performance skills influence each other, Mausner explains, “Stand-ups don’t necessarily experience the weirdness that is improv. I get to explore topics in different forms. It allows me to take more chances in stand-up and improv… By experiencing different situations, I get to learn the types of things I want to improve on. The only person who knows what you can offer best, is you.”
How has Montreal influenced her comedy? “Montreal is a creative city, in general. Because there are low stakes commercially, people are able to live here and take more risks. With an overlap between communities, people are more likely to try different forms of expression. These things broaden people’s abilities in general, and help with their overall success.”
Though Mausner deeply appreciates her adopted city, she plans to return to Toronto this fall. “It’s difficult for me to let go of the bonds I’ve developed here— strong comedic relationships and deep friendships… They will inform my career. This city has taught me to look inward and to take risks.” Judging by Mausner’s meteoric success, those risks are paying off big!
July 20, 9 p.m.
July 20 & 21, 10:30 p.m.
July 21, 10:30 p.m.
July 21 & 22, 7:30 p.m.
July 23, 7:30 p.m.
July 28, 7p.m.