My Worst/Craziest/Best Comedy Experience

Be careful with this type of audience.

I have been working as a comedian for about 10 years.

At first, I started as a Japanese style comedian (Owarai, お笑い芸人)then changed my style to English standup comedy. (Read after the “Japanese style comedian” section of “Day 3 Why a Japanese Girl Became a Comedian #2” for more details.)

A lot of things happened on and off stage.

Here, I would like to share my worst, craziest, and best comedy experience.

My Worst Experience

Maybe the worst experience in comedy can be translated to the worst hecklers?

I got the worst heckler at my own show years ago and he was a Japanese English teacher.

He arrived in the middle of the show and sat in the front seat, heavily drunk and manspreading.
He intermittently repeated sleeping and cursing inarticulately.

Half of the audience were older Japanese people who came to an English comedy show for the first time and they were totally scared of his attitude.

After sleeping 25mins, he yelled, “Shut the *uck up, son of a b*tch!”

You’ll see how Japanese-English education has improved!
No grammatical error, but a “human” error.

At first, I wondered if he was a hater coming to interrupt my show but there was a possibility that he might be a member of a group of English teachers, introduced to me by an acknowledged intellectual.

Later, I figured out he was one of the English teachers.
The rest of the group also came late, heavily drunk, and fell asleep.

I was furious.
But there were older Japanese people in the audience, as well as this group of rude teachers who had been introduced to me by a guy who was of a higher status than me.
So, with respect to Japanese social norms, I was obliged to remain polite.

Smiling, I calmly said,
“Tomorrow in their classrooms they’ll shout, ‘Hey, listen!!’.
“But I wonder how they’ll know if the students are listening or not, without knowing what ‘listening’ is.”

A few days later they thankfully messaged me,

“ I’m rooting for you!”

I’d say,

“***k you very much!”

with bowing.

That’s an English phrase I learned from them.

How many points did I get on this test?

My Craziest Experience

Photo by Steve Harrris on Unsplash

Asia’s Got Talent was my very first international TV offer and the CRAZIEST experience where I learned a lot of things.

It was an amazing opportunity to get to know talented artists and performers from all over Asia.

But I had a huge misunderstanding.

When I got the offer, the casting agent asked me, “Are you interested in auditioning for an audition program?”

Actually, the show is an audition show so she was right.

But I took it as an audition held in a rehearsal studio to decide if was right for the part.

There were other Japanese performers who also had understood the message in the same way that I had.

But it was not an audition, it was the REAL DEAL!

The agent also suggested I bring some options for my costume skirt to have a producer check because it was in Malaysia, a Muslim country, so the audience might have gotten offended if I’d worn a short skirt school uniform.

Even the staff who picked me up at the airport also said, “Yes, it’s a rehearsal!”

I believed it would be a rehearsal or audition until the moment I was standing backstage.

I know! How embarrassing!!

When I jumped out on the stage, three judges including Melanie from Spice Girls, and a big audience welcomed me.

I later realized this careless misunderstanding was caused by my own low self-esteem believing, “I am not worthy of it”, and subconsciously fixed ideas based on Japanese customs.

Around that time, I was struggling with my ex’s words. “I don’t wanna see my girlfriend being laughed at.”

And Godzilla mom’s demoralizations, delivered daily since my childhood.

This experience taught me a very important professional lesson: Be ready 100% anytime and don’t underestimate myself.
If someone casts me for a challenging opportunity, I deserve it as long as I do my best.

And… when I get international gigs, it can’t be too much to ask for details again and again!

As a result, it led me to a wider range of gig opportunities.

Now I think it was a necessary milestone.

My Best Experience

As I mentioned in. “Day 3 Why a Japanese Girl Became a Comedian #2”, I didn’t function well as a member of the comedy group at the very beginning.

At a show pub one evening, at the last minute our leader told me to do the show opening.

I still remember how I blanked out.

I asked a senior comedian what to say.

He had some regular jokes about the announcements like,

“All of the performers tonight have been on TV and are professional entertainers.
They each retain their own image rights.
So as for taking pictures, I am very sorry to say this, but…
Please go ahead and take pictures non-stop!! “

I memorized those notes and just chatted with some drunken members of the audience.

It turned out to be a huge blast and I got a regular job as the show’s host.

Though I didn’t have many crafted jokes for myself yet, it made me confident of my funny bone.

After starting English standup, every comedy night is the best night.
I do something new to be better, and the better educated I get.

But if I have to choose only one show as my best experience, it would be the gig I did at a prep school for street children in Cebu City in the Philippines.

The school was built by a Japanese teacher for kids living in slums.

Their houses were sometimes squeezed between walls, or built underneath a radio tower.

I prepared family-friendly jokes based on Japanese anime.
But after arrival, I noticed they didn’t have televisions in their homes.

I regretted my lack of imagination.

I was afraid my jokes might hurt their feelings, but the showtime was coming.

There wasn’t time to prepare alternative jokes, I had to go on as planned.

Then…

They LOVED my jokes about Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball!!

I was really happy seeing kids love Japanese anime regardless of the differences in nationalities and environments.

Comedy Is a Journey.

I was a natural-born comedian.
Being funny has been my surviving skill.

I have been a comedian all my life.

…Maybe that’s why I attained a special skill set in farting. (I am a fartist!)

I am just excited about the next craziness that will happen tomorrow!

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NY based Japanese standup comedian| TV Host | Actor | A Top Writer in Feminism | Mental Health | Diversity. a.k.a. “Pink Unicorn” znap.link/Kilaracomedy

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Kilara Sen

Kilara Sen

NY based Japanese standup comedian| TV Host | Actor | A Top Writer in Feminism | Mental Health | Diversity. a.k.a. “Pink Unicorn” znap.link/Kilaracomedy

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