Humber student to open for headline comic

Sep 18, 2012 | News

Less than a year on the scene, Diana Bailey is a comic to watch

By Katherine Ward

Diana Bailey performs at The Central

When fourth year Humber student Diana Bailey started writing comedy sketches, she never thought she would end up on stage.

But on Nov. 1, she will be the opening act for headliner Maria Bamford at the Comedy Bar in downtown Toronto.

“I got the message in class and started tearing up and freaking out,” Bailey said. “She is like a hero of mine and one of my all time favourite comics.”

Bailey started doing stand up routines in February after completing the Comedy Girl class in Toronto.

Diana said she originally thought of herself as a just writer, but then realized she wanted to perform her own work.

She said the class gave her the confidence to be on stage, despite having no other formal training.

Bailey’s success recently reached a new level as a finalist in “Toronto Comedy Brawl,” an annual amateur comic competition that took place last weekend.

EXCLUSIVE: How Diana Bailey got the gig

The ‘Brawl’ is a multi-evening event that starts around March. Comedians perform multiple evenings and are voted to advance by their audiences.

“The great thing about this contest is that it gets comics used to performing under pressure,” said Jason Blanchard, creator and host of BiteTV’s Stand Up & Bite Me. Blanchard hosted the final event.

“It also teaches them how to market shows and how to get people out to see them perform,” he said.

Bailey was one of just two women in the final eight comics. Although she did not win, people in the industry took notice of her talent.

“She had a great presence and is an incredible writer,” said Rob Mailloux, a seasoned Toronto comedian, who arranged for Bailey to be Maria Bamford’s opening act. “I am big on writing and [Bailey’s] writing is exceptional for someone who has been doing this as little time as she has.”

Bailey will also be hosting a comedy night at the Black Swan Tavern on Wednesday at 8 p.m.