Comedian, life coach fundraising for trip to Tokyo
- Kaitlynn Nordal | June 11, 2019
For many people suffering from addiction, the issue goes beyond not being ready to, or not wanting to, get clean. Many people feel they do not have a safe person to talk with about either their addictions or the issues that lead to it.
Annie Brass of Brass Enterprise wants to change that.
After getting clean from drugs and alcohol through a 12-step program in the ‘90s, Brass noticed there was a gap in who and who was not helping in the recovery process.
“I noticed there was a need for people from First Nations communities to do the workshops and the healing ventures within the First Nation communities,” said Brass. “During that time there was a lot of non-native people in the communities helping and doing all the workshops.”
Brass thought the workshops and recovery process would be more successful if someone from the First Nations community was leading them. The leader would then better understand the struggles of growing up on a reserve, what it’s like to be marginalized, and to be faced with racism and colonized Brass said.
In 1993 and 2003 Brass decided to take classes to be a life skills coach as a way of moving in this direction.
At the time Brass did not know if she would have a particular style or not when it came to her classes.
One night in 2003 she went out with her fellow participants in a life skills training workshop. She said to everyone how she had always had an interest in stand-up comedy, and it was on her bucket list to do it. Finally, the group talked her into it and for graduation she did a 30-minute stand up set and her style of teaching and workshops was born.
In 2005, she started her own company helping others get clean from drugs and alcohol which branched out to parenting, suicide, healing, and loss among others.
And now, out of 300 applicants, Brass was chosen to go to Tokyo, Japan, July 21 to 28 by INDIG INC. She will perform as a powwow dancer representing her Cree and Saulteaux ancestry. She also hopes to do stand-up while there.
As a way of helping afford this trip, Brass will be performing stand-up comedy at The Exchange on June 21. Starting the show will be fellow comic Dani Albert. The Regina band The Snake Oil Salesmen will do a set as well. Musician Dale Mac will close the show. Tickets which are currently on sale at www. Theexchangelive.ca cost $20.00. Tickets will be $25 at the door. Doors will open at 7 pm and show starts at 8 pm.
“This event on June 21 is actually a very exiting period in the First Nations arts community history,” said Carmel Crowchild of Carmel NDN Agent, who represents Brass. “The last successful arts community that had been established, I believe Erroll Kinistino, was a part of The Crow Hop Café.”
Crowchild is currently in talks with The Exchange and working with their program manager in what she calls a truth and reconciliation style partnership for future venue use and endorsement for projects.
In May, while in Los Angeles, Brass auditioned and took application packets to attend Second City Comedy School. She has not currently decided when or if she will attend as her son is currently in grade 12 and wants his life to be stable before leaving.
“I’m a mom first. I might stay in Canada one more year, then later go down to second city,” she said.
Brass’ Life Skills classes will run until the end of school year and more information can be found at www.brassenterprise.com.
All bookings are done through Carmel NDN Agent at 306-559-6734.