We recently caught up with Vancouver comedian Michaela Chung to find out more about her comedic style, her influences and where her favourite place to play a live show is.
How would you describe your comedy style?
I talk about being half-Chinese and half-white as well as the pitfalls of dating in your 30s. I try to find the funny in honest emotions and relatable experiences.
Who are some of your influences?
John Mulaney, Anjelah Johnson, Ali Wong and Jen Kirkman
Who was your favourite comedian growing up?
I wasn’t very into comedy growing up. Several years ago I got food poisoning while travelling in Peru and all I could do for the entire day was lie on my side and watch YouTube videos. I stumbled upon a comedian named Anjelah Johnson and I saw a bit of myself in her. I thought, “I think I could be good at this too.”
Who is your favourite comedian now?
It’s always changing, but I felt really inspired by Catherine Cohen’s special, The Twist…? She’s Gorgeous. I loved that it was silly, but also glamorous. I’d love to do musical comedy someday.
What is your pre-show ritual?
I try to always write new jokes at some point that day. In the hour before the show, I play a word association game where I choose a random word and then think of synonyms, related words, cliches and titles associated with it. Right before I go on stage I do a golden light visualization where I imagine an orb of light and energy passing through my whole body from head to toe. It helps calm my nerves!
What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?
I’m from Ottawa and I’ve only been performing in Vancouver for a few months. So far the Jokes Please show at The Cambrian has been my favourite. It feels great to perform at a packed theatre in front of a highly engaged audience.
What is your favourite bit you have written and why were you proud of it?
In one of the first bits I ever wrote I do an impression of my Chinese father lecturing me. I spent several hours learning how to do a Cantonese accent and then honing the punchlines. I still enjoy performing it because it speaks to my honest experience and I also just love doing act-outs and being silly on stage.
What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?
During the pandemic, I ran a joke-writing group over Zoom and every Friday we’d virtually watch a stand-up special together. I watched so many specials I would never have chosen myself. Nowadays, I ask other comedians for recommendations or I listen to playlists on Spotify.
Tell us a joke about your city.
As a mixed-race person, I have the face of the future: Racially ambiguous, yet exuding white privilege. People in Vancouver always look at me like, “This girl definitely doesn’t ski, but she still goes to Whistler.” Yep, I go for the spa and overpriced pinot.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?