Change works out for hardworking comedian

Saskatoon-based comedian Farideh will be in Prince Albert for the first stop on her ‘Mama Needs a Break Tour’ on Friday, May 3 at the Rock Trout Café. -- Submitted photo.

Mid-life career changes can be tough, but this one worked out great for Saskatoon-based comedian Farideh.

The longtime performer was a regular fixture on Saskatchewan’s music scene as one-third of folk group Rosie and the Riveters. After leaving that group, however, she found a new role as a musical comedian focusing on the day-to-day chaos that comes with being a mom.

“I actually thought I was moving away from my music career because I found it really difficult to balance motherhood and being a touring musician,” Farideh said during a phone interview on Tuesday. “I started creating content online while I searched for my next career path. I was like, ‘well, I’m used to entertaining audiences live. How about I try that online.’”

She started by writing songs about being a mother, and some of the patterns she saw in her own life and the lives of her friends who were also moms. She had her latest viral hit: ‘Good Mom’, in May 2023. The song focused on the fears and worries mothers have that they are ruining their children.

As the song grew in popularity, comments flooded in from moms around the world who felt like someone had perfectly captured their life.

“My favourite comments on my videos are comments like, ‘I feel seen’,” Farideh said. “Sometimes motherhood can be a very lonely journey where nobody knows that you hate laundry and nobody sees that daily frustration with feeding your child or the struggles that happen when your husband is approached in public for being in a park with a child and told how wonderful he is, and yet your job feels so thankless. It brings me a lot of joy to know that other moms feel like I get it, that they feel seen and they feel represented.”

Farideh’s first viral hit focused on the double standard mothers deal with from those who praise fathers for doing extremely basic things mothers never get credit for. ‘You Are Such a Good Day’ not only found eager listeners, it drew attention from The Today Show and Good Morning America.

Two years later, Farideh is still pleasantly surprised those songs resonated with mothers everywhere.

“I never imagined that I was funny enough to attract a large audience online and in person, but it turns out I am, so it’s been really great,” she said.

After the success of those viral videos, Farideh has decided to return to the stage. Although she’ll still sing a few songs, this time the comedy is the primary focus.

Her ‘Mama Needs a Break Tour’ begins May 3 in Prince Albert, with follow-up performances in Saskatoon and Regina. Farideh credits her history of music for helping her transition so easily to comedy.

She also credits it for helping her land her biggest comedy gig to date: an appearance at the Halifax Comedy Festival, which runs from May 8-11. It will also be streamed on CBC Gem.

“It’s a very coveted spot, and a lot of people work for a long time to get this opportunity so I feel really blessed,” Farideh said. “I think that my experience as a musician really shows up, because as a comedian you’re developing not just your comedic jokes, but actually your ability to perform for a live audience. The fact that I’ve been only doing this like a year-and-a-half, and to get this opportunity, is pretty unusual.”

Farideh performs at the Rock Trout Café on Friday, May 3 with special guests Aimee Grimard and Drea Omer. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the show starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online or at the door.