Bruce Horak as Cancer (Trudi Lee)
"I'm not up onstage as Bruce Horak telling my story. I'm actually up there as an effigy. So people are able to vent whatever it is they are feeling about [cancer]" -Bruce Horak.
A pretty good comedy rule of thumb is: Cancer isn't funny.
Bruce Horak confronts that rule head-on with his Fringe show This Is Cancer, a one-man act that sees Horak playing a walking-talking tumor with his very own cabaret act.
Horak is a bit of a renaissance man being a painter, writer, actor and musician. He is also a cancer survivor himself (cancer of the eye, which left him "legally blind"), and he lost his father to the disease.
These experiences have helped him co-create, along with his wife, actress Rebecca Northan, This is Cancer. It started off as an experiment - this character of Cancer - with Horak having to do a last minute character change to accommodate a clown (no kidding).
Since then, Horak's portrayal of Cancer has evolved into a fully-formed cabaret show, where audience members confront the Big C (literally, and sometimes with a baseball bat), running an emotional gamut from laughter to tears, anger to acceptance.
The show is playing all week at Winnipeg's Fringe Festival and is a certain "must see."
Listen below to Horak's radio interview with Information Radio's Marcy Markusa, on the risks and rewards of being Cancer.