Women's Initiative

Women's Initiative

What I Think Happened: Comedian Evany Rosen on a career in entertainment


Evany Rosen is a standup comic, actor, writer, and was previously a member of the Canadian comedy troupe, Picnicface. She has appeared at numerous comedy festivals, in films and on television, and as a voiceover actor in various animated series, such as Mysticons (Nickelodeon), Hotel Transylvania (Disney), and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Cartoon Network).

WAVE’s Elyssa Teslyk chatted with her to find out about her career, her Litfest Alberta appearance, and her debut book, What I Think Happened – “a savvy, no-holds-barred romp through the history of the western world, and a personal “femmoir” by a self-described feminist and “failed academic.” She’s appearing at Litfest 2017 on Sunday, October 22 at 2 p.m. 


What has inspired you as you’ve built your career in various facets of the entertainment industry?

Publishing is relatively new to me – I stumbled into both [publishing and comedy]. You think you’re going to do something else, and opportunities continuously shape the path you take as you go. My path was a bit unexpected — I thought I was going to be a university professor, which is what the introduction to my book is about. If it’s what you’re meant to be doing, then you get opportunities to do it more, and people WANT you to do more, and then you GET to do it. When I was doing stand up, my current editor saw me perform for the first time in a while and said “I think you should write a book.” I laughed and he said “I’m launching a humour imprint called Robin’s Egg for my current publishers, Arsenal Pulp Press.” And that opened that door for me.


What are some qualities of people who influenced you that have impacted your life and work?

I think the people with the biggest influence definitely all worked very hard. I know it sounds simple, but in this business it’s very easy to get lazy because you think certain things – like, you’re funny or you were the valedictorian – and that you deserve it. If you want to create any impact or value, you need to work so hard, and push to get the work accomplished somehow, even when the work doesn’t appeal to you.
Those experiences, regardless of your field, are something you need because it helps you in the long run. Don’t allow yourself to be snobby about work you don’t want to do because you think you’re over-competent or it’s beneath you.


What have been some of the defining moments in your career as a standup comic, actor, and writer?

I co-created a sketch show that got picked up and then cancelled after 1 season. Both [the show, and the cancellation] were pivotal moments in my career because of the learning curve – I got to learn a lot on the fly. The show getting cancelled taught me how to adapt and succeed.

In stand up, there was a moment I stopped being afraid to on stage. That doesn’t mean I don’t get nervous, but it stopped being scary, and I think that’s the most important. It’s one of those things you just realized ‘happened.’ As a writer, it was writing and finishing my book.


By appearing at Litfest, what do you want to communicate to other women about working in the entertainment field?

It is my first time doing a literary event. I have mostly been thinking about getting there, not throwing up and not disappointing. I don’t know how this book is going to be received, but I hope that it encourages other women and women-identifying writers to trust that they can write, feel comfortable writing beyond themselves, and that people will still want to listen.


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