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The Rollercoaster Journey of an Artist

A career in the arts is akin to riding the most exhilarating roller coasters at Disney World, filled with unpredictable ups and downs. Abby Stonehouse, a prominent comedian hailing from the Valley, is deeply ingrained in the vibrant Montreal stand-up comedy circuit, experiencing the whirlwind of highs and lows despite her undeniable success.

Operating Comedy on Demand, her brainchild born out of impromptu backyard shows during the COVID lockdown, Stonehouse is a multifaceted talent. Additionally, she spearheads two podcasts, namely House of Stone and A Horrific Evening with Abby and Fernando. Reflecting on her pursuits, she confides, “Stand-up holds my heart, but podcasting has carved its niche as well.”

The Montreal comedy community was rattled by the abrupt cancellation of the renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival this year. Stonehouse candidly expresses the collective dismay, stating, “Many of us pinned our aspirations on Just for Laughs.” For local comedians, this festival was the pinnacle of the year, fueling relentless material creation and stage performances in hopes of securing an audition. Despite the festival’s absence, Stonehouse underscores the thriving nightly stand-up scene in Montreal, urging support for local comedians.

Grateful for her artistic journey, Stonehouse acknowledges the financial strains brought about by inflation and escalating living expenses. To counterbalance, she embraced a part-time role as a coordinator at The Hive, a commendable initiative offering free vegan meals to 200 students daily at Concordia University’s Loyola campus.

Having been a psychology student at Concordia and a beneficiary of The Hive’s meals, Stonehouse’s altruistic spirit and nonprofit background steered her towards this role. Her responsibilities span various tasks, from inventory management to food bank pickups and service assistance. She commends the team’s resourcefulness in preparing meals with scant supplies and endeavors to prioritize local sourcing when feasible.

Recognizing the pivotal role of food accessibility for students, especially amidst soaring living costs, Stonehouse underscores the program’s significance in fostering academic success. She emphasizes, “A nourished student excels academically without the burden of hunger.”

Balancing her relentless performance schedule, production endeavors, podcast hosting, and Hive responsibilities, Stonehouse embodies the quintessential life of an artist. Embracing the ebb and flow of artistic pursuits, she humbly identifies with the archetype of a ‘struggling artist,’ cherishing the diverse opportunities that come her way. Amidst her bustling schedule, Stonehouse eagerly anticipates a return to the Valley for a local summer show, epitomizing her unwavering passion for comedy.