Chatting Comedy with Alana Johnston of the Self Esteem Party Podcast

Our latest featured comedian is Alana Johnston who hosts the weekly Self Esteem Party Podcast on The Sonar Podcast Network. We spoke with her to find out more about her comedy, her influences and where we can follow her.

How would you describe your comedy style?

Controlled Chaos. I like to come in hot and stay that way. My characters are just like me: larger than life. I’m very loud with energy for days and genuinely love performing. I’m also honest whether I’m being myself or a character. It’s fun to show an audience that a character can be sad and real and hysterical all at once. Everything I do is inspired by something and let’s be real, most of us are just doing impressions of our mom half the time anyways without even knowing it.

Who are some of your influences?

Amy Pohler, Chris Lilly and Amy Sedaris. Their careers are so admirable and it just seems like they really enjoy what they are doing. So committed to their craft and whatever character they are playing. Not to mention being the stars of some of my favorite shows (Parks & Rec, Summer Heights High and Strangers with Candy).

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

Will Ferrell and Sheri O’Terri (and basically that entire SNL cast). I lived and died for their cheerleader characters on the show and honesty, it holds up!

Who is your favourite comedian now?

The creators/stars of PEN15 Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle. They captured every excruciating moment of that time in my life and I never thought I’d be so eager to relive it. It’s truly a perfect show and I insist everyone watch it!

What is your pre-show ritual?

I love getting some good jokes going backstage before my set so I can really warm up. You’re never going to be funnier than you are with your friends so if you have some pals on the show it’s always helpful to mess around and make each other laugh before getting onstage. And if there’s no one to chat with then I listen to some pump-up music to rev up. There’s nothing I love more than a grand entrance and the best way to pull that off is with massive energy to capture the audience’s attention the second you get out there.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

The original Upright Citizen’s Brigade in Los Angeles. A lot of amazing talent came out of there and I always loved the UCB show when I first got into comedy so I was thrilled when I got to start performing there. I also met a lot of my friends there so I’m grateful for that too.

What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?

Twitter. So many people are posting hilarious character/sketch videos especially after being locked away for a year and having completely lost our minds! I also love to see who my friends have retweeted to find new comics to follow. People are coming in hot on Twitter and I’m all about that sweet, sweet comedic burn.

Do you have anything to promote right now?

Yes! My weekly podcast “Self Esteem Party” available on Sonar Network!

Where can we follow you?

Instagram: @theonlyalanajohnston

Twitter: @alana_johnston

Tell us a joke.

Hate to break it to you but if you’re in a relationship and not having sex, you’re just roommates.

PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?

Natalie Palamides. She is a FORCE to be reckoned with and has certainly given me a run for my money (in the best way possible!). She currently has a special on Netflix called “NATE” that I highly recommend you check out. She is relentless when it comes to clown/character comedy and has no fear in messing with your morals. She challenges you to think differently while riding around topless on a tiny motorcycle. She’s a genius.



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Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography