Fashion (Canada) - - The Market People -

Day af­ter day, Anasi­mone Ge­orge went off to her in­te­rior de­sign classes. And day af­ter day, she hated her life a lit­tle bit more. She de­tested de­sign school but felt ob­li­gated—to her fam­ily, to her Egyp­tianCana­dian com­mu­nity—to get a de­gree. Then she flunked out. She got a job work­ing at Star­bucks as a su­per­vi­sor. Loathed that, too. Fi­nally, Ge­orge says, she knew it was time to turn to her true love: com­edy. “I had al­ready failed so much, I lit­er­ally had noth­ing to lose.”

Her first few months on­stage were rocky. “A lot of my old stuff came from a place of try­ing to fit in, and a lot of my work re­flected a ton of in­ter­nal­ized misog­yny and racism. And if I ever tried [to dis­cuss th­ese is­sues], I was deemed ‘the girl who talks about race too much.’ But once I grew out of car­ing what the white gaze wanted, I fig­ured out my voice.”

There was just one prob­lem: Now that she had some­thing to say, there weren’t many places to say it. Sick of wait­ing around for book­ers to give a queer WOC more stage time, she took mat­ters into her own hands and started a monthly com­edy night, SHADE, to show­case peo­ple of colour, LGBTQ+ folks and woman-iden­ti­fied and non-bi­nary peo­ple. “I wanted to cre­ate a home for marginal­ized per­form­ers—and make money and ac­tu­ally pay peo­ple,” she says. SHADE sells out ev­ery month. Ge­orge—who hails from Scar­bor­ough, Ont., and is just 25—is a rau­cous, en­gag­ing host with a big head of curls, her curves barely con­tained in hot pants, knee­high boots, mesh body­suits and plung­ing tops that of­fer a peek at her or­nate breast­plate tat­too. Pump-up jams blare from the speak­ers and make it feel less like a standup show and more like a party. Ge­orge’s con­fi­dence is awe-in­spir­ing— and in­fec­tious. She re­mem­bers one show where a young woman of colour came up to her af­ter­wards and told her that she was so happy to see some­one like her­self on a stage. “That shit re­ally melts my heart and makes me tear up ev­ery time I think about it,” she says.

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