Maggie Cassella has always been a talker. It is a trait born out of necessity really. The youngest in an Italian family of six with three older brothers, it was pretty much talk or be talked over. Being born with original sin didn't help much either. "Maybe," she thought, "if I keep talking I won't burn in hell." What?
Then there was her first day at school-at the Jewish Community Centre-yes, apparently the Italian Catholic guilt wasn't enough so off you go to spend your nursery school days at the JCC. Oy veyes mere!
Fast forward to university where that double degree in Philosophy and Women's Studies put her on the fast track to high paying corporate gigs-wait no it didn't-it put her at a private boarding school in Connecticut teaching philosophy and religion to kids who were, well, smarter than she was. Than she was? Than she? See what we mean?
Then of course the student loans were due and that private school teaching salary wasn't leaving room for repayment of loans AND food so off she went to law school.
After almost ten years as a lawyer (okay, more like 8.5 – but after that hell it is only fair to round up) and dealing with cases involving people with AIDS (at the beginning of the plague years), trans issues around marriage (before anyone even THOUGHT of gay marriage, so if you were trans you would need to be divorced before you could get your surgery), and bringing the test case for gay adoption to Connecticut (they won, they lost, then Maggie quit and the other lawyers kept it up and lost some more, then the legislature came to their senses and changed the law), Maggie had enough and quit.
Well, actually, it is more like Maggie found a sugar mama, which allowed her to quit and move to Toronto. Hey, shut up, she'd been doing stand up for plenty of years by then, so it was no big deal. Hey, shut up!
Maggie's comedy was a mix of rants and raves from the start (1989). Obsessed with the fact that she could get an unlimited supply of material from just reading the paper, Maggie settled in on her Because I Said So™ format of sit down comedy tearing through news topics from law, to entertainment, to technology, to religion, and finishing up with the things that just made her mental. She has performed Because I Said So™ for 21 years in Provincetown, as well as in a whole mess of other places in North America.
Eventually, Maggie landed on a full time job AND the love of her life (now her wife). Nice landing, we know. One of the original on-air talents on STAR!, she parlayed that job into her own talk show called Because I Said So™. (You'll note that funny trademark sign keeps popping up. We're not sure why Maggie bothers. As you may recall, Universal recently released a movie with the same name. Silly rabbits, trademarks are for kids. What?)
BISS, as it was referred to around the station, allowed Maggie to have some fun and interview some big time celebrities. She continues to do those interviews (even though BISS went bust) as a field producer during the Toronto International Film Festival for the syndicated US entertainment show, Extra. Over the years Maggie has had the privilege of interviewing comedy legends such as Phyllis Diller, Bea Arthur, Joan Rivers, and performers such as William H. Macy, Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Robert Downey Jr., Laura Linney, Eartha Kitt, k.d. Lang, and too many others to list here.
In the meantime and in between time, Maggie wrote a book and two screenplays with Lea DeLaria (the book got published-hey, one out of three isn’t bad), and has written for various publications and television networks.
Maggie has had a hand in radio since 1996 when she started doing daily bits for two US stations based in New Jersey. She’s been heard in Canada on CBC’s The Current, CFRB, AM640, 104.5 CHUM FM, and eventually landed “The Maggie Cassella Show” a drive home show she hosted from April to August of 2007.
Maggie recently completed six episodes of The Vent!, a thirty-minute show she co-created and produced, that focuses on one topic from a variety of angles. (Think social commentary without the finger wag). Her production company - A Sweet Little Production Company - is located in Toronto and she continues to work on developing shows and films.