Michaela Washburn is proud to be of English, Irish, French and Cree descent. Born in Edmonton, this Métis artist grew up in the small town of Leduc. Her background includes: theatre, film, stand-up, hosting, writing, clown, improvisation and workshop facilitation.
Michaela began her professional career as a performance artist with De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre Group based out of Wikwemikong, Ontario. She played in their production of Daniel David Moses’ The Dreaming Beauty and then joined the company as one of their first Guest Artists in Residence, traveling throughout Canada and the United States facilitating workshops and performing custom created shows. Now based in Toronto, Michaela is a graduate on Scholarship from The Second City Training Centre’s Conservatory Program. Having studied Pochinko style clown with John Turner of the world-renowned clown duo Mump and Smoot, Michaela is also honored to have been a Therapeutic Clown Practitioner at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.
A member of the all-Native improvisational troupe Tonto’s Nephews, Michaela has been a guest on such television shows as Contact and Bingo and a Movie. She made her national television debut as host and stand up comedian for Rez Blues TV (APTN and Bravo!), and was co-host for the West in CBC’s Hockeyville. Other selected hosting experience includes: co-hosting the 2011 Dora Mavor Moore Awards with Craig Lauzon, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation’s Blueprint For The Future in Yellowknife and the closing night awards ceremony for the ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival with Michael Greyeyes.
Michaela is a four time Dora nominated artist, recognized for her work in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Principal Role, as well as her ensemble work with VideoCabaret. In 2011, she was also nominated for the K. M. Hunter Artist Award for Theatre. Michaela’s work has also taken her internationally, including festivals and theatres in Wales and Aruba.
As a stand up comedian, Michaela has been fortunate to have worked with such comedy greats as Charlie Hill and Winston Wuttunee.
Having always penned her own material, she is incredibly excited to have begun expanding her skills as a writer. Michaela was recently published in an anthology of work by queer artists entitled Queering the Way, and her first play Water Under the Bridge, which she co-wrote with Carrie Costello, toured with Carousel Players, followed by a week of performances that opened the 2013/2014 season for the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company. Currently she is working to assemble a manuscript of the poetry she has written over the past 3 decades.