This past fall, I enrolled in Second City’s Stand-up class. It was amazing and challenging to say the least. And the best part about it (even above the personal growth that happened) was all the wonderful up and coming comedians that I met. One of these people was Anj. She came in, was the most out going person in the class, and immediately made us all laugh. She was a natural performer and well, joke maker. Turns out that not only was Anj a natural comedian, she’s Anjelica Scannura who is one of the best Flamenco and Bellydancers in the world, wait I mean Universe. In fact, she recently was inducted into the Bellydancer of the Universe Hall of Fame. What’s that all about? Pretty amazing if you ask me. I’m not one of best in the world at anything, well except for being Jen Talks Too Much. I’m the best at that, even with those copy cats out there…I talk the most.
So below is an interview with Anjelica. She’s charming, modest and above all funny:
JTTM: A comedic natural, and performer to your core, are you back at it? Standing up in rooms that sometimes are harsh, and sometimes are the absolute best?
AS: First of all it’s very nice of you to say I’m a natural, as I the more stand-up I’ve done, the worse I feel I’m getting. Dancing has kept me really busy, but I’m trying to get to a mic once a week. I’ve done a couple shows where absolutely no one was there that I knew, and it was packed, and people were laughing! It felt great.
JTTM: When you’re performing as a flamenco dancer (one of the best in the world no doubt) do you infuse your natural funny self into your performance or is it all business?
AS: When I do Flamenco, it’s all business. It’s the serious side of me that gets expressed. Because I’m naturally a goof, I chose to satisfy that part of myself through stand-up. I always toy with the idea of doing a comedic Flamenco show someday, it just has to be crafted in a way where it’s funny to everyone and still respectful to the art form.
JTTM: What is your favourite dad joke?
AS: A patient goes into a Dr’s office complaining that he farts uncontrollably. “It’s OK though,” the patient says. “The farts don’t smell!” The patient starts to fart again. The Dr says “Well, this is troubling. We definitely need to operate.” The patient says “On my ass?” The Dr. replies, “No! On your nose!”
JTTM: When someone says Flamingo instead of Flamenco do you get mad or do you think it’s funny?
AS: I get annoyed and I usually respond with “Yes, I dress up in pink feathers and stand on one leg.”
JTTM: If you weren’t a performer, what would you be?
AS: I think I might be a shrink. Or a chickpea saleswoman…Everyone loves chickpeas.
JTTM: How long does it take to put on one of your dance costumes? They look so intricate. I recommend you go put one on right now and time it to the second. Go.
AS: Haha! It can take me a really long time when I’m feeling lazy and I have lots of time, Or 30 seconds…As I’ve had to do in past performances for quick changes.
JTTM: Who are your comedic idols? Male and female.
AS: Anjelah Johnson, Chelsea Handler, Joan Rivers, Dane Cook, Louis CK.
JTTM: When will you be performing in Toronto next and where?
AS: I will be performing at the Kick Up Your Heels Festival at Harboufront on July 4th, Pan Am games July 11th and 12th.
JTTM: How’d you get into Flamenco?
AS: My Dad’s a Flamenco guitarist (Prof of Flamenco at York U) and my Mom is a Flamenco dancer!
JTTM: What’s your favourite thing about dancing? For me, it’s that feeling of letting the music take over your entire body and how it’s one of those true times you’re fully in the moment.
AS: You are exactly right and that is why I dance too. It’s the only time I can just feel lost in myself, where everything is true for that brief moment. Up until recently, I had a hard time expressing my exact feelings through anything but dance.
JTTM: What’s next for you? Movies? An HBO Standup special? A Jen Talks Too Much and Anjelica youtube series?
AS: All of those options sound good! I like the last option! I’ve got lots of irons in the fire. I have a small part on DirecTV’s Rogue for the third season, which begins any day now. Some more acting under way, some far far away travel, and performances! I can’t really elaborate right now, because I’m afraid I will jinx it. But I try to update my website often.
JTTM: When you’re not dancing, making jokes on stage, or staring in things, where can you be found? Where are your favouite places in TO?
AS: I live in Liberty Village, so I’m in da hood a lot! I like Kensington Market too for food. You will probably find me at a comedy club or in my dance studio. I never stop!
JTTM: Now for the big one: how can people digitally stalk you? What are your social media handles?