ELLE (Canada) - - Career -

Holly Pra­zoff, 36, hit a wall when she was fired from her job per­form­ing with The Sec­ond City in Toronto. “It was one of the only com­edy jobs in Canada,” she says. Af­ter that, plus a se­ries of au­di­tions for “a bunch of peo­ple look­ing at their phones,” Pra­zoff was mo­ti­vated to make a leap. So she re­lo­cated to Los Angeles seven years ago and now co-hosts (with Alana John­ston) the weekly Up­right Cit­i­zens Bri­gade sketch show Not Too Shabby. She has also writ­ten a pi­lot based on her ex-hus­band and is gen­er­ally wait­ing for a big break while main­tain­ing a day job as stu­dio man­ager for the new boho fash­ion brand Dôen. “I have friends who were do­ing noth­ing one day and the next got their dream job,” she says. “Ev­ery five min­utes, some new hot­shot is mov­ing here to con­quer the L.A. com­edy scene.”

Alana John­ston, 32, who re­lo­cated from Toronto in 2011 to look for more op­por­tu­ni­ties (it was also “50 per­cent be­ing sick of win­ter”), says that work­ing in L.A. “re­ally feels like any­thing could hap­pen, which is ex­cit­ing.” She tested for Satur­day Night Live shortly af­ter her ar­rival, which she calls “a dream come true” even if she didn’t get the gig. And with ev­ery job, John­ston builds up her con­fi­dence a lit­tle more. At first, she says, “I cried be­fore ev­ery show be­cause I was so scared. I fi­nally slapped my­self and re­al­ized that this is a job, not a hobby, and teach­ers and ac­coun­tants don’t cry be­fore work.” John­ston re­mains hopeful that her big break is just around the cor­ner. “Com­edy is a long game, and it’s about who can wait it out,” she says. “I see my friends get­ting their own shows, and it seems like some­one is [even­tu­ally] go­ing to hire me.”

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