May 12 2015

Q&A with comedian Jessica Holmes

Jessica Holmes is a Canadian comedian, author and life and career coach. She has opened for comedians Jerry Seinfeld, Leslie Nielsen and Ellen DeGeneres, as well as hosted events for Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins and Oprah. She performed with the Second City and Just for Laughs, and recently authored the book, I Love Your Laugh: Finding the Light in My Screwball Life. During her years on Air Farce, Jessica launched into motherhood. Today, she blends her love of comedy with motivational speaking.

Jessica is performing at an upcoming event Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend at Horseshoe Resort on June 12-14th, which I will be attending with Extraordinary Women TV, and I wanted to find out more about this comical woman beforehand. And I am sure her fans would love to know a little bit more about what makes Jessica Holmes tick….so here it is…

Jessica1. How important is it to laugh in life?

JH: Laughter and resilience go hand in hand. No, you can’t laugh during all awful situations, like, I don’t usually crack jokes in the emergency room, but if you can lessen the time between when you lose your wedding band…again (yup, gone through 3 myself) and when you let go of the angst, you’ll be a lot healthier.

2. Do we laugh enough?

JH: Some people are born with a completely laid back attitude – like Don Ferguson of Air Farce, or Mike Bullard, or my aunt Wendy. They can find something funny in every awful situation, and are the least stressed people I know. The rest of us can lighten up by remembering that tragedy + time = comedy.

3. What drew you to comedy?

JH: I was one of those daydreaming kids who enjoyed my own company. But making your idea of funny something that translates to real comedy takes time. I gave my mom panic attacks by yelling “the house is on fire” or painting a toilet paper roll brown and leaving it in her bed. She’d yell “what the hell is wrong with you?!?” while I chuckled “can’t you take a joke?” So I always had the funny bone, but getting laughs from others didn’t come till high school.

4. Why did you decide to become a Life and Career coach? How does that fit in your lifestyle/business model?

JH: I decided to become a wellness coach a year after recovering from post-partum depression. I still loved performing impressions and songs, but I wanted to add a touch of positive psychology. Re-branding was exciting because I was following my heart the whole way.

5. How has becoming a mother impacted your work?

JH: Work/life balance is key, and a work in progress in my case…probably for a dozen more years! my kids don’t like that I travel for work (even though it’s only one or two nights per week max) and come up with gems like “but how can the audience laugh at your jokes when they know how much we suffer when you leave”. And that’s just from my 6 year old!

jessica_book

6. What is your view on what a successful life looks like?

JH: ‎I am following my instincts, and using my talents the best way I know how. I’m fulfilled, active, and in love with my kids. That feels like success for me, and I acknowledge that each persons success is different – it has to do with a person lining up life to reflect their specific values and gifts. As long as you don’t count tax season, I feel like I’m living my own type of success. 

7. What is your proudest moment?

JH: I’ll spare you my first answer, which is of course, seeing the love I give my kids pay off in their joy. My other pride in life comes from challenging myself intellectually to match up my performance with what will give the audience the best bang for their buck. I love to hear someone say “it felt great to laugh – thanks!” thank you right back, buddies!

8. If you could do it all over again, what would you change?

JH: I would have quit Second City when they didn’t give me a night off to attend my parents Anniversary party, I would have put myself ahead of my career when my kids were babies so I didn’t collapse under all the pressure, and I wouldn’t have forgotten to show up to my photo shoot for Vancouver TV guide a decade ago. A few regrets for which I forgave myself, and learned from.

9. What do you hope women who attend Girlfriends’ Getaway at Horseshoe Resort will “take-away” with them?

JH: If it was a daytime show, I’d say they’ll have a perspective makeover. But it’s a night show, so we’re just gonna hoot, hollar and dance, and belly laugh together cause a room full of women is the funnest place on earth!

For more information about the Girlfriends Getaway Weekend at Horseshoe Resort taking place on June 12-14, 2015: click here. Join us and see Jessica Holmes perform in person!

Jessica’s photo credit: Tim Leyes

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