Picnicface is notorious for their use of special effects in their popular YouTube videos. While the troupe got their start doing live stand-up, they began incorporating the tricks of digital editing into their work early on. Rosen explained that with their foray into television media, the group was able to take their use of special effects to the next level. Equipped with a bigger budget and more time, Rosen enthusiastically pointed out that the show affords them the luxury of being able, “to shoot things that we couldn’t normally shoot.”
However, outside of her love for special effects, pace and time are key concepts for this comedic artist. Rosen described how much she appreciates the fun and spontaneity of executing a fast skit and figuring out jokes on the fly. Yet, Rosen admitted how much she enjoyed working on the book project (“it was my favourite”), and welcomed the opportunity it gave her to slow down.
“With a book you really have to think through your ideas and spend some time on them.” Rosen traced her love of writing back to the time she spent working for her high school newspaper. Like any good writer, Rosen was decidedly vague regarding her opinions on the editing process, which she described as “fun and exhausting and horrifying.”
Despite being raised in Toronto, Rosen identifies less with her birthplace than with her adopted hometown, and exclaimed that these days she feels like “a Maritimer in Toronto.” Rosen said that she still loves the cultural vibrancy here, but finds she misses the laidback Maritime vibe when she comes back for shows or to visit her family.
The gender question is a sore spot for Rosen, who complained that she is asked endlessly about what it’s like to be a female comedian. “[So and so and I] long for the day when it’s a question that doesn’t need to be asked.” She brought up the controversial 2007 Vanity Fair article, Why Women Aren’t Funny, to highlight the ongoing debate. “The Hitchens piece ruffled a lot of feathers a few years ago,” said Rosen, but insisted that for her, being a woman in the comedy world is simply “not a major issue.”
In fact, Rosen said she’ll likely explore writing and editing outside of Picnicface at some point down the road. In the meantime, she’d really like to lay the gender issue to rest. She challenged audiences to watch The Hangover 2 and watch Bridesmaids and decide which one they think is funnier. “If you said The Hangover 2, you’re an idiot,” Rosen asserted.
With Haligonian humility, Rosen downplayed the group’s recent success as merely “Canadian fame.” Life hasn’t changed drastically (yet) for the troupe. “It feels like the culmination of what we’ve been working on for so long…We’ve been working together every day for years.” The biggest difference, she said, is that they are finally paying the bills while doing what they love.
If you love what Picnicface does, you can help pay their bills by catching Rosen and the rest of her troupe November 11th as part of the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, running November 8th-13th. Or, if you don’t, enjoy waiting for the Hangover 3.