VIDEO — "I'm at that age where dreams start to die," says comedian Ed Hill about nearing the age of 30. "Western kids want to grow up to be a basketball star or an astronaut. All I want to do now is parallel park without having a panic attack."
"I'm at that age where dreams start to die," says comedian Ed Hill about nearing the age of 30. "Western kids want to grow up to be a basketball star or an astronaut. All I want to do now is parallel park without having a panic attack."
Hill will perform stand-up comedy at 8 p.m. Friday, March 28, at Chadwick's Pub, 2300 Biddle Road, Medford. Mike Wally Walter will close the show and Carl Lee will emcee. The cover costs $8.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Hill and his family moved to Vancouver, B.C., when he was 10 years old. Hill first got into comedy while attending Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
"I had been working as a professional DJ, so I had experience being on stage," Hill says. "I couldn't get in touch with the music anymore. I needed a new creative outlet."
Hill discovered a comedy-writing class being taught at the university and enrolled. Not knowing what to expect, Hill came to class the first day with a complete set of jokes.
"I thought that maybe this would be a class where we would write and then have a place for critique," Hill says. "There were six of us in the class, and when I got up front to tell the jokes, there was this strange tension.
"Some of my classmates came up to me later and said they didn't know anything about joke writing. This class was about the basics of joke writing, and I intimidated them because I showed up with a full set. They didn't think I was actually in the class. They thought I was a plant by the professor."
Hill worked his way through open mics with his classmates, many of whom have left comedy, eventually earning guest spots and emcee positions at local clubs.
In 2011, he appeared on the Canadian stand-up comedy competition show "Stand Up & Bite Me." While he's not proud of the jokes, he is proud that he did the show.
"I had just started and I submitted my application not knowing it was a television thing," Hill says. "It was an interesting experience and it taught me a lot of things, like that I'm bad at answering questions."
Hill has been performing stand-up for five years now and says that he has finally found his voice on stage.
"My stuff is significantly more personal," Hill says. "I can't do observations anymore, it doesn't feel right to me. My comedy should mean something to me."
Hill's album, "Canasian," was recorded in Taipei during his "Manchild" tour of Asia. Hill says the performance has the atmosphere of coming home, and it is a bridge between his older observational jokes and his current, more personal humor. A mini-documentary that includes a full performance from the tour is available for free on Hill's website at www.kingedhill.com.
While he doesn't explicitly discuss being an immigrant in his comedy, it does weave itself in.
"I try not to talk about, 'Well, white people are like this, Asian people are like this.' I talk more about my fears and insecurities," Hill says. "But I'm a bicultural person, so my lens is going to be a little different than other people's."