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Jessica Holmes

Jessica Holmes

Jessica Holmes is featured in the following program(s):

Birth place: Ottawa

Birthday: August 29

Zodiac: Virgo (if you believe that voodoo)

Lived in: Ottawa, Toronto, Peterborough, Venezuela, Utah, Halifax

After two years of missionary work in Venezuela, Jessica and some friends at Ryerson's School of Radio & Television Arts dared each other to try stand up. Jessica caught the bug, and soon joined the cast of The Second City Touring Company, performed at Just for Laughs, and landed her first TV gig: Little Big Kid on YTV, where she played an over-grown three-year-old. During the day, she was working at CBC in Master Control doing data entry. She would see the tapes of comics pass by her desk and think: "someday Toto, that could be me." She was able to quit her lucrative typing job when she was hired by Salter Street Films to write and perform celebrity impressions in the entertainment parody: The Itch. Next came her own one woman Comedy Now! special titled Holmes Alone, which was nominated for a Gemini award. That special was the inspiration for her popular sketch series; The Holmes Show. Jessica had a great time working with Roger and Don on the pilot for the sitcom XPM, and was thrilled when they later asked her to join the cast of Royal Canadian Air Farce.

What's your reaction to joining Air Farce?

Pure joy!!! It's an exciting place to be because the sketches are so topical, each one is like an opinion piece. Joining the cast was beyond my wildest dreams, because they're comedy legends who have retained their popularity and relevance for thirty years. No one anticipated them expanding the troop. I feel darn tootin' lucky to have a place my characters can call home. Eventually I'm going to have to have my arm replaced where I keep pinching myself.

What did you want to be when you were in school?

Though I went to a high school of the arts, it never occurred to me to become an actor. I bounced around thoughts of someday being a psychologist, baker, scientist, teacher, social worker, animal rights activist and secretary. I think I was what they called "unfocussed."

Favourite Air Farce characters?

My family is always quoting Mike, from Canmore . And I'm a fan of celebrity impressions, so of course I love Luba's take on Rita MacNeil. I enjoy when Roger plays bitter critics, and when Don plays clueless politicians. So far, dancing as Michael Jackson has been my biggest thrill.

What makes you laugh?

I grew up on The Muppet Show, the Airplane movies, and anything with Lily Tomlin. My family loves to laugh and play card games. We were only allowed four hours of TV per week growing up, so my parents were pretty shocked when I got a degree in television. I make a point of seeing every comedic movie, especially if it stars the Canadian greats like Mike Meyers, Jim Carrey, Leslie Nielsen, Andrea Martin, Dan Akroyd, Eugene Levy, Katheryn O'Hara, and the list goes on, and on and on.

Why is comedy so important to you?

I thought it was beautiful how Jay Leno approached his first show after 9/11. He was choked up and said that although it was a serious time, laughing together was one way to get through it. I love shows like Air Farce, The Daily Show, and late night talk shows who put a satirical spin on everything in the news. Comedians are society's watchdogs.

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