Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design
Degree: Theatre and Drama Studies
Year of graduation: 2002
Inessa has been a fixture on the Canadian comedy scene virtually since graduation. Her sketch, improv and stand-up comedy routines have been featured on various television series and festivals over the past eight years. Currently, Until August 2010, Inessa can be seen every Monday at Second City in the National Touring Company show, Second City: Live in 3-D. In August, she will move to the Second City mainstage to perform a new revue which she is now co-writing.
So far this year, Inessa has also appeared in several episodes of Scare Tactics, hosted by Tracy Morgan of 30 Rock fame. Her work in Showcase television’s Cock’d Gunns won Inessa a 2008 Gemini Award for Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
Throughout school and after graduation, Inessa found herself shifting towards comedy performances. As a founding member of the Sketchersons, a Canadian Comedy Award winning sketch troupe, she helped write a new show every week, finding inspiration in everyday living. “Everything became a sketch, from going to the grocery store, to chatting with my mom! You can make a joke out of anything,” says Inessa, who was with the troupe for five years.
Her other appearances scan the Canadian television comedy spectrum: programs on MTV and Muchmusic, in addition to the Comedy Network’s fast-paced sketch show, Hotbox. Most recently, Inessa had a role on the Kids in the Hall series, Death Comes to Town. Working with the “Kids” was a highlight of her career so far. “They are a huge inspiration to me, and it was a real dream come true to be involved. I tripped and fell in front of Kevin McDonald. That was also a big moment for me, but for the wrong reason!”
Inessa has contributed her comedic talents to filmmaking, as well. Her most recent short film, Don’t Walk Out That Door, was screened at the World Wide Short Film Festival in Toronto in June 2010.
Although she won the gigs with Kids in the Hall and Second City through the regular audition process, Inessa says career breaks can come in all kinds of unpredictable ways. “Oftentimes, you don't book a job, but you meet someone in the waiting room who becomes a future collaborator. Because I have always created my own material, I'm looking for opportunities wherever I go.”
Sheridan played a large part in fostering her independent spirit. “At Sheridan I learned to create my own work. It taught me to be a self starter and how to carve a career as an artist.”
She was heavily influenced by (faculty) Dennis Hayes. “He taught me a lot of valuable life lessons, and I find myself quoting him all the time.”
A loyal supporter of the college, Inessa participates in the audition panel for the Theatre and Drama Studies program every year.