Katherine Levac and Rosalie Vaillancourt talk about their friendship, their show and the difficult humor-family reconciliation

They are 34 and 31 years old, became mothers at the end of 2021 and are each launching their second comedy show this spring. Even if their personalities are sometimes polar opposites, Katherine Levac and Rosalie Vaillancourt are the best of friends. The newspaper met the two comedians who fully experience the challenges of balancing work and family.

Katherine and Rosalie never stop teasing each other. The day of shooting photo for The newspaper, the comedians looked at the images and kept commenting on what they saw. “I don’t like my smile on that one,” Katherine said. “So you definitely have some big veins there!” Rosalie says.

• Read also: [VIDÉO] Here is the photo session of our interview with Katherine Levac and Rosalie Vaillancourt

Both are among the most beloved comedians of their generation. Everything has been smiling on them since they left the National School of Humor (2013 for Katherine, and 2015 for Rosalie). This spring, they are launching their second solo show, a few weeks apart. Two years ago, they both gave birth a little over a month apart!

“It was a pregnancy pact that we made! Rosalie said spontaneously in an interview alongside her friend. We were in a tank and we said to ourselves: “we’re getting pregnant, we’re getting pregnant!”. I think Kath got pregnant three months later. When I found out she was pregnant, I was like: oh no, the whore, she didn’t wait for me! I was so frustrated! [rires]. I’ve been trying to get pregnant for a long time.”

“But then, you also got pregnant a month after me!” Katherine retorts.

Photo Jocelyn Michel ByConsulat.com

The challenges of work-family balance

Today, their children are a little over two years old and the two comedians are fully experiencing, and with some difficulty, the work-family balance. “I recently realized that we are the first two in Quebec to do this [de la tournée avec de très jeunes enfants], said Rosalie. We started writing our new shows and our babies were around ten months old.”

This new reality comes with its share of challenges and organization, they recognize. Rosalie first had several discussions with her boyfriend, Olivier, to find out if she could go on tour again. “We were supposed to have another baby last September. At the same time, I had started writing material for a show that I thought I would sell to Netflix. But I had so much fun doing it and I was there at 1:25. I told my boyfriend that I wanted to go on tour. He told me: go ahead, we can have another child in three years, it doesn’t matter, I don’t mind staying at home.”

Sharing her life with director Chloé Robichaud, Katherine Levac mentions that work-family balance “is the sinews of war!” “I don’t want to be negative about it. But I don’t think we have jobs, neither for me nor for Chloé, that are made for that. At the moment, Chloé is filming. I’m in a show tonight. But at the same time, there are so many families going through this. How many people work nights in hospitals? Or other people who are truck drivers or who work in businesses? Life with children, it seems that society is not always organized [pour ça]…»

“In fact, it is organized so that the woman stays at home,” adds Rosalie. We looked for a nanny and it was more expensive than what my boyfriend earned per year!”

Because they didn’t want to be on the road continuously, Katherine and Rosalie had to impose certain scheduling limits on their teams. “I have three shows a week,” says Rosalie. Unless we are in Gaspé. In that time, I’ve done four. But it’s important for me to have a maximum of three shows and if we go far away, the room must [d’hôtel] is good enough for me to take my family.”

Katherine Levac mentions that every day, she is challenger in his beliefs. “It’s difficult. For example, if the room is full in Drummondville, the lady in charge says to me: so, shall we open the extra room? THE [autres humoristes] will generally all say yes. But I say no! We don’t open it, the extra one. And people ask me why…”

Different reality for comedian dads

In his new show, The man of my life, Katherine Levac refers to her fellow male comedians who have had children and for whom the reality is completely different. “At one point in the show, I say that I find it really intense, children, because unlike my male colleagues, I have to take care of them all the time, these children. And I didn’t see it coming. I thought it was going to be a lot more relaxed than that. For what? Because I have people right in front of me who are very relaxed.”

“It’s true that when you enter a dressing room and a comedian says that his girlfriend has just given birth, yes, he looks tired, Rosalie remarks… But I didn’t have the looking tired, I was in bed at two o’clock in the afternoon not knowing if it was day or night! I didn’t even know what my name was sometimes. I once breastfed my baby and said: oh my God, I didn’t feed his second mouth! I was so tired that I imagined that a human had two mouths! [rires]»

“Sometimes it’s difficult,” says Katherine. If I’m at the Brothel [comédie club] and that I see Louis-José there [Houde] or Adib [Alkhalidey]. Their child is like a month old and they are here. When I had just given birth to twins, after a month, I was not at the brothel! It’s really not their fault, it’s just biologically that’s how it is.”

On tour this spring

Even if their new shows will compete in theaters across Quebec, Katherine Levac and Rosalie Vaillancourt do not feel any rivalry between them.

“It’s certain that if Kath, her show is bad, people will say to themselves: ah, I’m not going to pay for another bad woman! Rosalie says, laughing. That’s why I’m glad Kath is good. I don’t have to pretend I like what she does!”

Katherine finds it rather interesting that the two comedians released their show at the same time. “I don’t think there are a lot of people wondering if they’re going to go see Katherine or Rosalie. In fact, I think there are many who will see both.”

The two comedians, who have been friends since 2016, spend so much time together that it necessarily colors what they say on stage. “There are a lot of things in my show that are inspired by our conversations,” says Rosalie. At one point, I even had to change her name because I had been talking about Kath five times! At one point, I was imitating him and trying to do an Ontario accent. But there, I only kept his name twice. There are two other times I talk about my “friend.” I say it’s my friend who was breastfeeding at the same time as me and found it so difficult because she has twins. [rires]»

Even though they both talk about their new motherhood in their show, Katherine and Rosalie say they do it from such different angles that it doesn’t feel repetitive for the audience. “We really don’t approach subjects in the same way,” says Katherine. I’m talking about giving birth with a girl instead of a guy by your side. That doesn’t sound like what Rosalie said.”

Best on stage

Since becoming mothers, the two comedians have noticed that they are even better on stage. “I definitely feel like I have more confidence in myself,” Rosalie says.

“I have never been a better comedian than what I am at the moment,” remarks Katherine. [… ] When I was breaking in, it moved so much faster. I didn’t have four evenings a week to devote to that. I left one evening and put all my energy into it. I was enjoying it 100,000 times more.”

“I also find that I work really better,” adds Rosalie. We have less time to work in a day and we don’t spend that time going on Facebook. I wrote so much faster. I wrote this show in five months. The first one took me a year and a half.”

Because their role as mothers is very demanding, the two comedians have also decided to “spread themselves less” into several projects simultaneously. They are now devoting themselves to their tour.

“The thing we want to do the most is the tour,” says Katherine. Me, I refuse everything to do it, like offers for fiction.

“I really took an example from Katherine for that,” Rosalie said. All my professional life, I was more mixed up than her. I found new passions every week. Katherine, when she was on tour, she refused everything, even projects we had together. […] At the same time, I have the personality that I have. I know that one project at a time is difficult for me. But I’m happy because even though I’m gone three evenings a week, when I’m home, I’m really there.”

Katherine Levac is on tour for The man of my life. For all dates: katherinelevac.com . Rosalie Vaillancourt presents MILF. For tickets: rosalievaillancourt.com .

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