Comedy Blogedy: How long have you been gigging in stand-up?
Aisha Alfa: I have been doing stand up for 2 years–my anniversary was April 24th 2012
Comedy Blogedy: How would you describe your comedy?
Aisha Alfa: My comedy is energetic, very visual and a bit silly. In the end I hope people describe my comedy as simply…FUNNY!
Comedy Blogedy: Which comedians influence your comedy?
Aisha Alfa: I love Gina Yashere, Mitch Hedberg, Mark Forward, Dominique and a local Winnipegger comedian named Matt Nightingale! I’m not sure if there is a particular comedian who influences me, but one thing I’ve learned is that everyone has their own brand of funny and I you try to emulate someone else’s brand it just comes off as awkward and insincere. I’ve realized that the things I find funny, strange or ridiculous are what I need to be talking about on stage otherwise the audience won’t feel what I’m saying.
Comedy Blogedy: Did you always want to go into comedy?
Aisha Alfa: No. My entire life until I was 30 was spent pursuing sports! I was a gymnast and then a soccer player (sorry…footballer) and that’s what I spend every moment thinking about and working on. When I moved back to Canada when I was 28 I decided to refocus and spend some time in different industries (from wedding planning to finances) and I realized I wanted to explore my creative side more. I got into acting and through that filtered into comedy. When I did my first gig on stage I thought it would be a one off, but when I got off stage I wanted to know how to get right back on again as soon as possible!
Comedy Blogedy: How do you go about writing your material?
Aisha Alfa: I have a hard time writing actual jokes! haha! I am more of a banter gal so writing a joke that will work with no one else to play off of isn’t second nature to me. When I need to sit down and write I usually get stumped! Most of my jokes are about things that have actually happened to me, or ideas I actually have etc. The good thing is that although I don’t write as much as some other comedians, when I do get a joke it usually resonates very well because of how authentic and natural it is.
Comedy Blogedy: Do you gig as a stand-up full time or is it more of a part-time hobby? If so, do you find that your main job influences your material?
Aisha Alfa: I am a part-time comic at the moment and would love for that to increase to more full-time. I am also a Certified Professional Life Coach, I act, am a professional speaker and professional host/MC for live and taped events. The good thing is I get to do the rest of my jobs from a comedic lens most of the time so it’s a lot of fun!
Comedy Blogedy: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the amateur comedy circuit?
Aisha Alfa: Being an amateur comedian is loads of fun are you kidding me??!! I get paid to go around and make people laugh, I feel like a star when I’m on stage and I get to be goofy as part of my job! It’s amazing! The only frustrating thing is that there are very few female comedians in our local scene compared to the male contingent. It’d be great to see more respected female comedians in the scene.
Comedy Blogedy: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
Aisha Alfa: I love performing to old ladies! They always want to laugh and are a lot dirtier than they let on!
Comedy Blogedy: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started gigging? Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
Aisha Alfa: I rarely get heckled. The only one I can remember was some random guy who was drunk and screamed out “they’re so soft” when I was in Las Vegas telling a joke about how people seem enamoured by black women. It actually made me laugh out loud because it was so random! Then I chucked the rest of my planned set and just finished my time making fun of his comment! It was hilarious and he was a great sport about it–even came and complimented me on my set after I was done!
Comedy Blogedy: What advice would you give to new acts thinking about starting out in comedy?
Aisha Alfa: DO IT!!! It’s so much fun and even when it’s tough it’s loads of fun! Plus people will think you’re super cool because doing stand up comedy is one of the most gutsy things you can do! It shows that you are fun, confident and a little bit nuts!
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