Malaysiakini Malaysians Kini

'I'm very clumsy, I fell into stand-up comedy'

Geraldine Tong  |  Published:  |  Modified:

MALAYSIANSKINI | Armed with a ukulele, a raspy voice and a big personality, Hannan Azlan has had a meteoric rise in the stand-up comedy scene, making her television and international debut within six months of starting in 2015.

One day after her first anniversary in stand-up, she became the youngest and only female winner of the Hong Kong International Comedy Competition.

But the path she took in her career in stand-up comedy turned out to have been mostly a series of leaps of faith and happy accidents.

The 23-year-old bundle of enthusiasm, who brims with charm, said even her foray into stand-up comedy was an accident.

“I fell into stand-up in 2015. I am very clumsy, I don’t tie my shoelaces,” she quipped during an interview with Malaysiakini.

Hannan, who was born in England but grew up primarily in Ampang, had never originally intended to join stand-up, as she previously worked in theatre as an actor, musician, composer and lyricist.

But once she tried stand-up in October 2015, upon the recommendation of a friend, it was full-steam ahead for her as two months in, she self-funded a trip to perform in Singapore, booking shows wherever she could.

“There’s just something different about going to a new country, nobody knows who you are, there is no context, no relationship, and then doing well and performing and doing the work.

“That was a beautiful experience, very humbling and I learned a lot,” she said.

About six months in, the comedian who incorporates music into her sets, had her international debut at the Singapore Fringe Festival in April 2016.

Relentless momentum

That was when she decided to quit her part-time jobs in theatre to pursue stand-up full-time, and she started performing in various places.

Eventually, she ended up in Hong Kong, “just to check out the comedy scene..

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