Making people laugh is an art that Keesha Brownie is quickly mastering.
As one of the few Black female working comedians in the city, she’s holding her own in the field of humorous discourse dominated by men.
Two years ago, Brownie released her first CD – Got Brownie? – that features a 60-minute collage of her best stand-up sketches and last year she was recognized by her home city, Brampton, with a Citizens Award for Arts Acclaim.
She celebrated her birthday as a headliner at the Crack Me Up Comedy gala at the Rose Theatre in Brampton on January 11.
Born in Montreal to Jamaican immigrants, Brownie found her niche in comedy after relocating to the more culturally diverse Greater Toronto Area.
“Comedy chose me,” she said. “I wanted to be a singer, but I was discouraged because I was a bit chubby and I was not confident enough that I would do well in that field. When I came to this city, I felt comfortable kicking it with the fellas and busting jokes on each other.”
A graduate of Humber College’s theatre performance program where she says her passion for live entertainment was ignited, Brownie perfected her acting and comedic skills at the Second City Conservatory program.
In 2011, she opened for high-energy comedy star Cocoa Brown and stand-up comedian Alex Thomas and was a headliner at Yuk Yuk’s Nubian Disciples All Black Comedy Revue Night and the production manager for an improv comedy troupe – 11th Commandment – comprising Second City graduates.
On Boxing Day 2012, Brownie joined Jamaican broadcaster and entertainer Miss Kitty and actress/comedian Kathy Grant in a Christmas Comedy Cook-up show at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel.
“Even though I had visited Jamaica before, that was the first time I was performing in that country,” she said. “Shaggy was in the front row and it was quite a learning experience for me performing in a setting outside North America.”
An aspiring actor who has appeared in several stage productions, Brownie released a new original track – Red Bottom Nails – last summer.
She is preparing for a Black History Month presentation, the Underground Comedy Railroad Show – on Sunday February 9 at the Rose Theatre in Brampton.
Hosted by Jay Martin, Brownie will headline the show that includes Sharif, Trixx, Andrew Searles and Zabrina Chevannes.
The show starts at 8 p.m.