ABROAD returns to our screens with Season 3 this coming May 26 and what do we love? The sketch comedy show is totally relatable for many immigrants here in Canada.  But if your background is Filipino you’ll find this series next level fun!

Co-created by and starring Filipina comedian Isabel Kanaan, ABROAD is a multi Canadian Screen Award nominated series with six, 30 minute episodes in English and Tagalog based on the immigrant experience in Canada.

Isabel is a Filipina-Canadian actor, comedian, and writer best known for OMNI’s ABROAD, CBC’s Air Farce, and TFC’s BRGY.

She has written and starred in multiple award-winning TV shows such as Air Farce, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and Tallboyz. Isabel is an alumna of The Second City and Seneca College’s Acting for Camera and Voice. She has received rave reviews for her performance in “Ponytail” which screened at Reel Asian International Film Festival, and for her stage presence in Factory Theatre’s “Prairie Nurse.”Isabel Kanaan - CBC Gem - Abroad

She co-created, produced, wrote, and starred in the Canadian Screen Award nominated “ABROADABROAD”. She was awarded the NBC Universal Bob Curry Fellowship, the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award, one of NOW Toronto’s breakthrough stage artists, and was nominated for a Premier’s Award for her expeditious achievements in theatre, film, and TV.

Loosely based on Isabel’s experience immigrating to Canada as a teenager, ABROAD presents a humorous look at how immigrants think, perceive and deal with living in Canada. ABROAD features hilarious send-ups of social issues, tech trends, celebrity culture, and family dynamics with over the top characters including fan favourite Passive Aggressive Mama, and Kanaan’s unforgettable Manny Pacquiao impression. Since ABROAD premiered in 2022, sketches have gone viral around the world with over 32 million views on Instagram and over 1.9 million views on TikTok.

“I have had fans say that they are so bewildered to see a show like Abroad because never did they think that they could see a dual English-Tagalog show in the Western world that was their life,” says Isabel Kanaan. “There are others that would message me and say “I just want to let you know that you helped me about feeling proud of my Filipino heritage” and that is so cool because that is what I wanted from the very beginning, for us to accept who we are, and it’s nice to know people are connecting in that way.”

Isabel Kanaan - CBC Gem - Abroad

We had a chance to chat with Isabel prior to the show’s Season 3 launch!…

Now that ABROAD is in Season 3, what have you learned in the creative process this time around that was different from previous seasons?

Isabel: This time around we really focused on work-life balance. Season one, we were all still learning what the show was, how we all worked together, a lot of trial and error. Season two, we learned from our mistakes in season one so we were much more efficient. Season three, we pushed it even more and were a well-oiled machine, to the point where we beat the industry standard of having twelve hour work days and instead spent less time on set so we could all go home and have ample time with our selves, our friends, or our families.

We learned that you were pregnant while filming this Season 3 and that must have added some special magic. What kind of tricks did you learn to manage to keep the characters moving forward?

Isabel: Being pregnant while filming really had me listening to my body more, so I would isolate my energies to what was needed for the character. For example, on days where standing was extremely difficult to do, we would make the choice to have that character sit down in the scene more, so I had to focus my energies and bring the character out through my face and upper body physicalities. If I had a migraine that day, I would keep my eyes closed up until they called action and bring the character to life only then, and then as soon as they yelled cut I was back to closing my eyes. We’d also have contingency plans of switching which sketches to film depending on how my energies would be. Overall, the best trick was communicating with the team and everyone suggesting creative ways to put what I was feeling into the scene or working around it.

What has been the most rewarding experience so far?

Isabel: Working with the team for three seasons now makes filming ABROAD feel like home away from home. There are some jobs out there where we get anxious to come into work or get the “Sunday Scaries” because going back to work on Monday from a weekend away can be daunting, but I find myself looking forward to coming into work because everyone is so lovely to be around and the team always finds different ways to keep the fun on set – whether that be costume themed Fridays, pizza Wednesdays, or even people bringing their children or family around for everyone to meet.

Starring alongside Isabel Kanaan in Season 3 are Justin Santiago, Nicco Lorenzo Garcia, Joy Castro and Aldrin Bundoc. ABROAD season 3 will also feature Byron Abalos, Jon Blair, Sharjil Rasool, Christian Smith, and Jillian Welsh.

ABROAD Season 3 premieres on OMNI Television on May 26, 2024 at 8:30 pm EST.

You can find out more about the series at omnitv.ca

Follow their social on IG @abroadcomedy for updates!