It's a long way, figuratively and literally, from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, to Los Angeles, but comedian Tracey MacDonald found her way. In college, friends convinced her to enter the campus comedy contest. "I had my jokes ready, my set list, and I practiced in the mirror with a brush. I went up and did my time, and loved it right away. I thought, 'This is what I want to do.'" Nothing else appealed to her, but she did decide to stay in college and get her bachelor's degree. "My parents said, 'Get your degree, then do whatever you want.' Somewhere in a diary I wrote that I wanted to be a prosecutor," she laughs. "I didn't plan on being a comedian, I just fell into it, but it was a very natural thing for me to do right from the beginning." Though she would still have to develop a comedic voice, she was instantly comfortable with the joke-writing and -telling process. A hugely successful run on Star Search prompted her move to the U.S. Lately, she's been looking to move beyond her comfort zone of self-effacing humor and short setup/punchline gags. "I've always been kind of a one-liner comic, but I'm trying to break out of that because I've changed as a person." 18+; 21+ later shows.
July 25-29, 8 p.m.; July 27-28, 10:30 p.m., 2012