A local comedian has received $20,000 from STORYHIVE to fund the production of a film project about life as a comedian in Prince George.
Brian Majore, a Prince George Indigenous comedian, will create Other Voices, a documentary that will explore the importance of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) in the world of stand up comedy in Prince George.
The film sees Majore focus on the comedy scene in Prince George and follow along with the comedians as they put together a show and perform. The kicker comes at the end when members of the audience will be interviewed about the show they just saw and then the twist is the comedians get a chance to hear what the audience says about it.
“So they can give feedback on the feedback,” Majore said.
The funding comes from STORYHIVE and also includes other supports like training, mentorship and distribution of the film on TELUS Optik TV, along with another $3,000 from the Indigenous Screen Office and Creative BC.
Majore has been in the stand-up comedy circuit for 19 years in Prince George but when you add it up, stage time isn’t a lot. He’s lucky if he performs twice a month – not like the opportunities found in bigger centres like Vancouver where comedians could perform every night if they’d like, he pointed out.
Majore started out doing stand-up because he was forced into it.
“I always put it that way because that prompts people to ask the next question,” Majore laughed.
He took the course called Indigenous Humour at the University of Northern BC and for the final project people were pairing up or getting together in groups and at the end he was all by himself.
He put together two stories he could tell about his experience as an Indigenous man in Prince George.
The first one was about how he wanted to be the actor that played the suspect in the Crime Stoppers commercials because he fit the profile – young Indigenous male. The other story was what a hassle it was to cash a rather large cheque as an Indigenous male.
“So I told those two stories and it looked like stand-up comedy,” Majore said.
“I got 20 out of 20 on my performance and I got an A+ for the course. It was one of only two I ever got during my university career. I got a lot of positive feedback from people that said I needed to continue doing this – that I’d stuck upon something and I just continued from there. I was looking for opportunities to get on stage whenever I could and it led to me traveling throughout the country doing Indigenous conferences, going to Indigenous communities, Christmas parties and other Indigenous events and I’ve been to Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton – every small town in Saskatchewan – well, they’re all small – to Vancouver Island more times than I can count. There’s been a couple of TV appearances and on Monday I’m actually going to Yellowknife for the first time to perform at the Canadian North Arctic Comedy Festival.”
Majore got the green light for two of his proposals for StoryHive funding. The second submission was for him to mentor youth as they start their stand-up comedy journey and film their debut show. He could only pick one project at a time so when he is done Other Voices, he will apply to get a grant for his second project in the future.
The Citizen will catch up with Majore once again when the public can watch Other Voices. Stay tuned.