CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
HZ: I’ve been gigging for just under a year, it’s been a great experience so far, lots of highs and lows. I’ll never forget that great feeling once I’d done my first gig, it was great.
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
HZ: Story telling of stuff that’s personal to me and then putting a twist on it, basically just trying to be myself on stage and saying some jokes in between.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
HZ: A lot of American comedians influence me, not sure why, but their style appeals to me. I love listening to Bill Burr, I think if the person you’re listening to is engaging, you’re half way there. I do love British comedy as well, Simon Amstell is the stand out comedian for me, he’s great.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
HZ: Not really, when I was at Uni I thought about it, but then the opportunities were few and far between, then when I moved to London I was like “Why not”.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
HZ: I will think of a topic, write everything I know about that topic, then provide an after thought. Saying it out loud helps, I’m finding out that my best material is when I’m just talking to myself – I’m getting more jokes this way.
CB: 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?
HZ: It’s a hobby at the moment, I’ve had a string of jobs that influence my comedy, I’ve been a plumber, a glazier, a telephone sales person thingy, and a few more. I’m more bothered about getting good than becoming professional to be honest, when you get good laughs you want more. I used to play football full time when I left school, so going to open-mic nights is like going to football training, you just want to improve.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
HZ: Enjoyable: speaking to all the great people I’ve met on the circuit, such lovely people and of course getting those belly laughs. The most frustrating part? Remembering stuff when changing my set, my mind after a long day at work can work against you!!
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
HZ: A happy one, one that’s been well warmed up, if there’s a good MC, you’re half way there. I’m not fussy though to be honest, I think if you’re funny, you should be able to make anyone laugh at any time.
CB: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started gigging? Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
HZ: I had one guy say “Where you from?” randomly between my set to which I said “ask your mum” which erupted the room, obviously the mum card has been milked dry but it still worked.
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
HZ: Have fun. Don’t take it too seriously, let it flow and believe in yourself!