For stand-up comic Dez Loreen, the chance to perform in front of a Just For Laughs talent scout in Iqaluit is a dream come true.
“It’s pretty huge,” he said. “It’s an Indigenous showcase of Northern talent. There’s just a whole lot of stuff going on and I’m just trying to keep my head in one place. I’m having a lot of fun.”
Loreen got the nod to join the Sept. 30 Canadian North Arctic Comedy Festival stage Just For Laughs Showcase in Iqaluit at the start of the month. Since then, he’s been refining his new routine “Dezplaining” to debut it at the festival. He also plans to record the show and release it later in the year.
This will be his second comedy album, following up “Grad Party Baby,” which was based on his performance at the Arctic Paws Comedy fundraiser March 20. Loreen said he had refined a few of his jokes from that set, but expected to unleash 90 per cent new material on the crowd.
“I’m writing new material all the time,” he said. “I’ve just been waiting for another crowd and this is going to be my crowd.
“I’ve got more stories, more jokes about my lifestyle, in moderation. I’m going to advocate for going low and slow, I’ll be talking about wrestling and my upbringing, as well as cultural differences.”
On top of releasing the new album, Loreen said he’s hoping to put together another comedy show in Inuvik before year’s end, though the details on when and where are still fuzzy.
In the interim, he’s not shy about his ambitions in comedy.
“Going straight to the top, baby,” he said. “This is a Just For Laughs talent scout, so I’m hoping to be able to play at the actual festival in Montreal. Just to get a bigger audience and make more fans across the North.
“I realize it may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I’m really happy for this opportunity and I think it’s going to be a great way to showcase the Western Arctic across Canada.”
The Canadian North Arctic Comedy Festival runs Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.