I like playing with that space between laughter and discomfort where your discomfort can also make you laugh, and you're confused about the mixed feelings. That's challenging, and I think that's what makes for some of the best art.
I'm not like most comedians. I don't deal with just heckles - I'm also dealing with threats and anger. Here I am, a brown person on stage being quite blunt. I talk about white privilege; I talk about U.S. imperialistic practices; I talk about colonialism. I'm not saying things that are easy for people to laugh at.
When you ask your white friends what their cultural heritage is, they don't just say white. They give you a math equation. 'Well, I'm a third German and a fourth Irish and one-sixteenth Welsh and one-fortieth Native American for college applications.'
Heckles always vary. I mean, some people are just drunk, and it's nonsense, or, you know, some people just want to just repeat something I've said or add their own two cents about an opinion, but because of the nature of what I do and who I am, like, I also get the racist stuff, which is hard.
I want to write my own stuff, and, you know, it would be nice to put myself in it. But I would like to hope that there are going to be better roles offered as well and that I don't need to do everything. You know, like, I appreciate my career being somewhat DIY, but it would be nice to get some help.
I am actually a bit chubby, and I eat everything. I eat in a way - if my parents fed me the way I choose to eat as an adult, they would've lost custody.
I've been approached after shows from people who said, 'I don't agree with anything you said, but I laughed the whole way through.' That's still a little strange to me. Like, nothing, really? But at the same time, that's what happens in a conversation.
Both my parents are immigrants. I've seen different struggles they've had. There's a reason you don't see me using accents. I don't do impressions of my folks. When I'm doing a crappy impression of my folks, and you're laughing, I'm thinking, 'When my parents talk to people, when they walk away do people do impressions of them? Do they laugh?'
When I started doing standup when I was 17, I was talking about being Indian and specifically ethnic jokes. Straightforward stuff that was fairly ignorant that I knew would get the laugh. It wasn't flipping stereotypes; it was using them.
I would love the opportunity to create my own program. I feel like a TV show with a format of monologue with lots of sketches thrown in could be really fun. But you know, that may never happen. Minimally, I just want to keep making stand-up.