A signed act with Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club, comedian Martha Chaves took second prize at the Great Canadian Laugh Off last year with her self-deprecating style of funny. Much of Chaves’ comedy is based on childhood experiences in her homeland of Nicaragua and her strict Catholic schooling, which saw her constantly punished for joking around. Since moving to Ottawa in 2006, the multilingual performer has returned to Central America to perform but now has her sights set on a U.S. tour, where she thinks she’d be a hit with the growing Hispanic population. Since the stand-up queen spends a lot of time away from home, she has perfected the art of packing. Here are the 10 things Martha Chaves can’t live without.
I keep checking to see how many people are ignoring me. I have two accounts: one has 5,000 friends; the other, 1,200. Yet only 400 people wished me a happy birthday.
I always have to have music in my head, because God forbid I have an original thought of my own.
3 Flat iron
I go into panic attacks without one. If I forget to pack one, I buy a new one and then take it back the next day for a refund.
4 Vitamins, antihistamines, and migraine medication
I am a hypochondriac, which is great, because in Canada we have universal health care and I can go to the doctor every day. In fact, I was just cured of prostate troubles.
5 Duct tape
I do the hem of my pants according to the shoes I plan to wear.
In the unlikely event I will feel like working out.
7 Hand sanitizer
8 A book of poetry
My number one poet is Nicaraguan Gioconda Belli. I like to have her book Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand with me. It’s like an amulet. It calms things in my mind.
For when I do shows in tough little towns like Fairview, Alberta, where there are no women and no Hispanics. Everyone works on the pipeline, and they just want to get hammered on a Friday night.
Because my eyebrows grow like a five o’clock shadow when I don’t sleep in my own bed. Maybe this is because I am stressed when I don’t sleep in my own bed — because I’m terrified of bedbugs.
(Photography: Miv Fournier)