COLUMN: Natalie North – A love letter to Victoria

In a room of wannabe comics, I watch my brother develop his set on relationships.“A study conducted in the U.K. found that men tell twice as many lies as women,” Geoff says into an unplugged mic. “I’m no statistical researcher, but I already knew this. And besides, the data is way off.“Take this morning for example, I’m not even awake for five minutes and I’ve already told four lies: Good morning; I love you; no baby, your breath smells great; and …”I have to edit Geoff’s punchline there. The content is more sexual than his little sister is comfortable retelling in the newspaper. For Christmas, I took it upon myself to register my brother and I in a standup comedy workshop with veteran comic Kirsten Van Ritzen to polish our previous attempts at comedy duels. Him: all delivery, no content. Me: reciting short essays with the enthusiasm of someone calling for a department store price-check. Horrible.Next week we have the pleasure of performing our last lowbrow comedy session for a captive (and, fingers crossed, intoxicated) audience. But it doesn’t have to end there. With regular amateur nights around town, I don’t think I’ll let Geoff and his dude humour get off that easy.Amateur night at Hecklers? Phillips Comedy Night at Victoria Event Centre? Why stop once he has fulfilled the holiday obligation I forced him into? This kid’s got moxie, I tell ya.Apparently so does every other person in Victoria. One thing I love about our city is an abundance of talented creative types of all kinds. Pick any weekend, and it’s a safe bet there’s something local, cheap and entertaining (much more so than my brother and I, by the way). And, if you like it enough, you could probably get involved in some way too.Just walk up to the performer and start a conversation, because you can. People like compliments, free drinks and volunteer labour – all three of which have high acceptance rates and can only breed more good energy and opportunities.Better yet, start something yourself! Ask your favourite coffee shop, bookstore, whatever, if they’d like to try hosting an evening of whatever it is that butters your biscuit. I’m so excited for this year’s Victoria Fringe Festival that I may select dancing as my new primary mode of transportation this summer. But isn’t Victoria great at low-budget and DIY theatre all the time? Better lace up my dancin’ boots.Instead of concentrating on what our home is not – a magnet to huge music festivals or arena headliners –  I choose to send a tip of the cap Vic’s way for what it does best. We are a small city with the resources to consistently produce quality arts and entertainment, by people who seem both grateful for the help of beginners and genuinely interested in seeing them succeed. Isn’t it fun to meet a new artist who lives just up the street or down the hall? Punk drummer, burlesque dancer, filmmaker, playwright, sculptor, poet – if you haven’t met them yet, it’s only a matter of time.Back in the rag-tag crew of comedians, a bonafide award-winning professional takes notes and offers thoughtful advice on how I might polish my little routine, centred around the reading of my Grade 5 journal. Where else do such things happen so naturally? We’ve got a good thing going, Victoria. You’re not perfect, but I love you just as you are.Natalie North is a reporter with the Saanich News.nnorth@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

A pub patio in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Patio and picnic dining could mean a free meal for Greater Victoria patrons

Local celebrities pick up the tab with latest Greater Victoria chamber contest

Greater Victoria School District (SD61) Saturday announced a COVID-19 exposure at Oak Bay High School. (Black Press Media File).
Oak Bay High School subject of COVID-19 exposure

Greater Victoria School District (SD61) said possible exposure happened June 9-10

St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Oak Bay Rotary Club member Lorna Curtis takes over as District Governor of Rotary District 5020 on July 1. (Courtesy Lorna Curtis)
Former Oak Bay recreation director goes international with Rotary

Lorna Curtis takes over as district governor on July 1

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read